Friday, September 3, 2010

Ricotta Gnocchi with Roasted Tomato Sauce

I have never made homemade pasta.  It is one of those things that I find intimidating.  I have promised myself that I will try to tackle day. It is on my to do list.

I think what keeps me from making it is the fact that I do not have any of the fancy equipment. I know that it will require endless amounts of tedious hand rolling to get a nice thin sheet of pasta. And then I will have to hand cut all of the noodles, ugh. (Did I just admit to being lazy?) 

At any rate, I have made homemade gnocchi.  In fact, I have made it more than once and each time it has turned out beautifully. That's close, it is in the pasta family... it counts. The recipe that I keep going back to is Ricotta Gnocchi.  Truth be told, I am not a huge fan of the regular potato gnocchi.  More often than not I find it doughy and thick and just too starchy.  

But these Ricotta Gnocchi are a whole different story.  They are light and delicate.  They have a very subtle cheese and egg flavour which pairs very nicely with the roasted tomato sauce.  This recipe requires a bit of time and work.  The tomato sauce is the most involved piece, in that you have to roast the tomatoes before you bring the sauce together.

They are worth the effort and while I would not recommend this dish for a weeknight meal it is a great option for a night when you have a little more time and you want something special.  And the best part is you can pat yourself on the back because you have made homemade pasta. (That's right, it counts!)

Ricotta Gnocchi with Roasted Tomato Sauce
adapted from the September 2000 issue of Gourmet Magazine

2 lb plum tomatoes, trimmed and halved lengthwise
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 large eggs
1 (15-oz) container ricotta
1 cup all-purpose flour
handful of fresh basil leaves
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Place tomatoes, cut sides up, in a single layer on a cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Roast about 45 minutes until the skins are browned and wrinkled. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

While the tomatoes are roasting you can begin to make the gnocchi. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
In a medium bowl, beat together eggs and ricotta with a whisk until well blended. Stir in flour, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until combined. Your batter will be soft.
Use a small ice cream scoop or two small spoons to make the gnocchi. (If using small spoons, teaspoons from you cutlery work best) Scoop up a rounded spoon of batter, then use second spoon to scoop mixture off and into boiling water. Make 9 more gnocchi, scooping and dropping .into the water as you go.  The water should be at a good rolling boil when you start.
Simmer briskly until gnocchi are just firm in centre and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a platter and cool, covered with damp paper towel. Continue making gnocchi in batches of 10.
When tomatoes are cool enough to handle, give them a quick pulse in a food processor to break them down. Then scrape the pulp, skins, seeds, and any juices through a fine sieve set over saucepan. Press on solids in sieve to extract juices. Discard skins and seeds.
Stir 1/4 cup water into tomatoes and bring to a simmer over low heat. While tomatoes are coming to a simmer, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat. Sauté gnocchi, turning gently, until heated through and lightly browned, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Season gnocchi with salt and pepper. Serve with warm tomato sauce, fresh basil and a good shaving of  Parmesan.


  1. Ha, ha. I have made pasta by hand, but I have been intimidated to make gnocchi. Thanks for the great directions. This looks fabulous. My husband doesn't really like regular gnoochi, but I think this would appeal to him.

  2. Oh yum, I must admit not being a fan of gnocchi cos the ones I've had have been too heavy and gluggy. But ricotta would make them light as clouds, I imagine! Looks really yummy...

  3. These look lovely, Allison!
    I'll be featuring them on Foodwhirl tomorrow :)

  4. This looks great....being gluten-free, i am going to try these with brown rice flour or garbanzo bean flour and see how they turn out! Thanks!


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