giovedì 14 maggio 2009

Daring Cooks' Zuni Ricotta Gnocchi

This is the first Daring Cooks Challenge and the recipe was chosen by our founders Lisa of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice.

The recipes was taken from the cookbook by Judy Rodgers, named after her restaurant, The Zuni Café Cookbook.

The sauce is with tomato, garlic and pesto.

Zuni Ricotta Gnocchi
Source: From The Zuni Café CookbookYield: Makes 40 to 48 gnocchi (serves 4 to 6)Prep time: Step 1 will take 24 hours. Steps 2 through 4 will take approximately 1hour.Note: For our members who have special dietary requirements or who have toalter the recipe for health reasons, our alternative Daring Cooks, led by Shellyof Musings From The Fishbowl, have developed an alternative version of therecipe. Please check the Alternative Daring Cooks' forums for more information.Tips:1. If you can find it, use fresh ricotta. As Judy Rodgers advises in her recipe,there is no substitute for fresh ricotta. It may be a bit more expensive, butit's worth it.2. Do not skip the draining step. Even if the fresh ricotta doesn't look very wet,it is. Draining the ricotta will help your gnocchi tremendously.3. When shaping your gnocchi, resist the urge to over handle them. It's okay ifthey look a bit wrinkled or if they're not perfectly smooth.4. If you're not freezing the gnocchi for later, cook them as soon as you can. Ifyou let them sit around too long they may become a bit sticky.5. For the variations to the challenge recipe, please see the end of the recipe.Equipment required:• Sieve• Cheesecloth or paper towels• Large mixing bowl• Rubber spatula• Tablespoon• Baking dish or baking sheet• Wax or parchment paper• Small pot• Large skillet• Large pan or pot (very wide in diameter and at least 2 inches deep)For the gnocchi:1 pound (454 grams/16 ounces) fresh ricotta (2 cups)2 large cold eggs, lightly beaten1 tablespoon (½ ounce) unsalted butter2 or 3 fresh sage leaves, or a few pinches of freshly grated nutmeg, or a fewpinches of chopped lemon zest (all optional)½ ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated (about ¼ cup very lightly packed)about ¼ teaspoon salt (a little more if using kosher salt)all-purpose flour for forming the gnocchiFor the gnocchi sauce:8 tablespoons (227 grams/1/4 pound/4 ounces) butter, sliced2 teaspoons waterStep 1 (the day before you make the gnocchi): Preparing the ricotta.If the ricotta is too wet, your gnocchi will not form properly. In her cookbook,Judy Rodgers recommends checking the ricotta’s wetness. To test the ricotta, takea teaspoon or so and place it on a paper towel. If you notice a very large ring ofdampness forming around the ricotta after a minute or so, then the ricotta is toowet. To remove some of the moisture, line a sieve with cheesecloth or paper towelsand place the ricotta in the sieve. Cover it and let it drain for at least 8 hours and upto 24 hours in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can wrap the ricotta carefully incheesecloth (2 layers) and suspend it in your refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours with abowl underneath to catch the water that’s released. Either way, it’s recommendedthat you do this step the day before you plan on making the gnocchi.Step 2 (the day you plan on eating the gnocchi): Making the gnocchi dough.To make great gnocchi, the ricotta has to be fairly smooth. Place the drained ricottain a large bowl and mash it as best as you can with a rubber spatula or a largespoon (it’s best to use a utensil with some flexibility here). As you mash thericotta, if you noticed that you can still see curds, then press the ricotta through astrainer to smooth it out as much as possible.Add the lightly beaten eggs to the mashed ricotta.Melt the tablespoon of butter. As it melts, add in the sage if you’re using it. If not,just melt the butter and add it to the ricotta mixture.Add in any flavouring that you’re using (i.e., nutmeg, lemon zest, etc.). If you’renot using any particular flavouring, that’s fine.Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and the salt.Beat all the ingredients together very well. You should end up with a soft andfluffy batter with no streaks (everything should be mixed in very well).Step 3: Forming the gnocchi.Fill a small pot with water and bring to a boil. When it boils, salt the watergenerously and keep it at a simmer. You will use this water to test the first gnocchithat you make to ensure that it holds together and that your gnocchi batter isn’t toodamp.In a large, shallow baking dish or on a sheet pan, make a bed of all-purpose flourthat’s ½ an inch deep.With a spatula, scrape the ricotta mixture away from the sides of the bowl andform a large mass in the centre of your bowl.Using a tablespoon, scoop up about 2 to 3 teaspoons of batter and then holding thespoon at an angle, use your finger tip to gently push the ball of dough from thespoon into the bed of flour.At this point you can either shake the dish or pan gently to ensure that the flourcovers the gnocchi or use your fingers to very gently dust the gnocchi with flour.Gently pick up the gnocchi and cradle it in your hand rolling it to form it in an ovalas best as you can, at no point should you squeeze it. What you’re looking for is anoval lump of sorts that’s dusted in flour and plump.Gently place your gnocchi in the simmering water. It will sink and then bob to thetop. From the time that it bobs to the surface, you want to cook the gnocchi untilit’s just firm. This could take 3 to 5 minutes.If your gnocchi begins to fall apart, this means that the ricotta cheese was probablystill too wet. You can remedy this by beating a teaspoon of egg white into yourgnocchi batter. If your gnocchi batter was fluffy but the sample comes out heavy,add a teaspoon of beaten egg to the batter and beat that in. Test a second gnocchi toensure success.Form the rest of your gnocchi. You can put 4 to 6 gnocchi in the bed of flour at atime. But don’t overcrowd your bed of flour or you may damage your gnocchi asyou coat them.Have a sheet pan ready to rest the formed gnocchi on. Line the sheet pan with waxor parchment paper and dust it with flour.You can cook the gnocchi right away, however, Judy Rodgers recommends storingthem in the refrigerator for an hour prior to cooking to allow them to firm up.Step 4: Cooking the gnocchi.Have a large skillet ready to go. Place the butter and water for the sauce in theskillet and set aside.In the largest pan or pot that you have (make sure it’s wide), bring at least 2 quartsof water to a boil (you can use as much as 3 quarts of water if your pot permits).You need a wide pot or pan so that your gnocchi won’t bump into each other anddamage each other.Once the water is boiling, salt it generously.Drop the gnocchi into the water one by one. Once they float to the top, cook themfor 3 to 5 minutes (as in the case with the test gnocchi).When the gnocchi float to the top, you can start your sauce while you wait for themto finish cooking.Place the skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Swirl it gently a few timesas it melts. As soon as it melts and is incorporated with the water, turn off the heat.Your gnocchi should be cooked by now.With a slotted spoon, remove the gnocchi from the boiling water and gently dropinto the butter sauce. Carefully roll in the sauce until coated. Serve immediately.Variations: For the gnocchi, you can flavour them however you wish. If you wantto experiment by adding something to your gnocchi (i.e., caramelized onion,sundried tomato), feel free to do so. However, be forewarned, ricotta gnocchi aredelicate and may not take well to elaborate additions. For the sauce, this is yourchance to go nuts. Enjoy yourselves. Surprise us!!!

4 commenti:

natalia ha detto...

Che bel piattone !!!

BICE ha detto...

E pensa che hanno anche chiesto il resto....

BC ha detto...

Ben fatto.

Ho dimenticato completamente. Ai miei sono piacciuti piu' di quelli di patate.

Lauren ha detto...

Your gnocchi look amazing!! Beautiful job =D.