Ricotta Gnocchi

Ricotta gnocchi is not a recipe special to my family. Although the dish is eaten in almost all parts of Italy, it is frequently unknown to some people. To me, it recalls sweet memories of my childhood. It takes me back to my summer holidays at my grandparents’ in the mountains of Trentino, a place where I was simply just happy. A bit like Marcel Proust and his beloved Madeleine. These ricotta gnocchi awaken my mémoire involontaire.

Unlike the big city where I was raised, in Trentino they still always use fresh products sourced from local suppliers.

As a child, I loved going shopping with my nonna to buy fresh ricotta in the dairy shop. And then I’d often eat it straight away for breakfast. I’d spread it on bread with a bit of sugar – a great way to start the day.

I rang my nonna a few days ago to ask for her ricotta gnocchi recipe.

A very simple, yet tasty dish. Here’s the ingredients you’ll need, and how to prepare it…

For 2-3 persons:

  • 250 g firm ricotta (alternatively you can use ricotta bought from a supermarket, even if the quality is not quite the same)
  • 100 g wheat flour, type 00 (the kind you use to make pizza). You might have to add a little more flour to produce a dough that is firm, but still elastic
  • 2 tbsp. grana padano cheese
  • 1 egg
  • A pinch of salt
  • Butter
  • Sage
  • Optional: grated truffle

Bring some water to the boil (salted to taste).

While the water heats, put the ricotta, egg, some of the flour, salt and grana padano into a bowl. Knead everything together with your hands to make a dough. If it’s not firm enough, add some more flour.

Once the dough is ready, put it out on a work surface dusted with flour, and roll into medium-sized balls (or any other preferred shape).

Sprinkle some flour on the shaped gnocchi, and immerse them in the water.

Add the butter and sage to a frying pan, and heat until the butter turns brown.

As soon as the gnocchi have risen to the surface of the water, remove them from the water using a skimmer spoon, add to the pan and fry in the sage butter.

Sprinkle with grated truffle or grana padano according to preference.

Buon appetito!

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