Light-as air-gnocchi are made easily with ricotta; serve with your favourite pasta sauce.
Light-as air-gnocchi are made easily with ricotta; serve with your favourite pasta sauce. 123rf

Gnocchi: homemade but foolproof

IT'S so handy having friends whose ethnic backgrounds are different to mine.

This week I'm sharing an easy gnocchi recipe supplied by my Aussie-born Italian friend Anna.

I love that we have embraced so many different cuisines these days.

The dark times when the kids of immigrants had to endure bullying at school because of the contents of their lunchboxes are, hopefully, long gone.

I've made gnocchi many times and it's been a bit of a hit-and-miss affair.

Potato gnocchi depend on the type of potato; one wrong turn and they turn out to be rubbery and tough.

But this recipe, using supermarket-deli ricotta, is as close to foolproof as you can get. Yes, ricotta.

I love simple sauces on gnocchi; there's nothing better than burnt butter with crispy sage or basil leaves. If you want to get fancy, toss a handful of pine nuts in at the last minute.

But you can, of course, smother these light-as-air little dumplings with your favourite sugo; a spicy tomato and chilli sauce would be good, or even a Bolognese.

It's up to you. Whichever sauce you serve, make sure it's ready to add as soon as the gnocchi are cooked.

Easy ricotta gnocchi

Serves 4


INGREDIENTS: 250g fresh ricotta

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan

1 large free-range egg, plus a yolk

pinch salt

1 cup plain flour

freshly ground black pepper, to taste


METHOD: Place the cheese and eggs in a large bowl.

Combine with a spatula, then stir in three-quarters of the flour.

Mix to a sticky soft dough, then add a little more flour if necessary, one tablespoon at a time, to firm the dough up.

Use as little flour as possible.

Lightly dust the work surface with a little more flour and turn the dough out.

Sprinkle with a little more flour then pat into a disk about 25mm thick.

Cut into eight wedges, then roll each wedge into a 15mm-thick log with your hands.

Cut each log into 20mm long pieces and lightly press with a fork on two sides to create indentations.

This helps the sauce to stick to the gnocchi.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, then add the gnocchi.

Return to a gentle boil; the gnocchi are cooked when they rise to the surface.

Drain, season to taste with black pepper, add sauce of your choice, and serve immediately.

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