Have you ever had ricotta gnocchi? They're more delicate than their potato cousins. Apparently they're from Florence, but I'm not so sure. I spent the day in Florence yesterday and ate like a queen. Let me digress from this and tell you about the florentine steak actually. The Florentine steak is the best steak in the world, way better than those cows that get special spa treatments, trust me. It's the breed of cow, and strangely enough, if you rear them anywhere out of Tuscany, they don't taste the same. It's the grass, the water, the climate....It's a t-bone that's cut to about 3cm thick, and it's put on the grill for just a couple of minutes on each side as it has to be eaten rare. A little bit of olive oil, a little bit of salt, a little bit of salad and roasted potatoes, and it's fantastic. It's a thing to try if you haven't.
So let's go back to these gnocchi. I got the recipe from Bon Appetit and I was a bit worried at first because the dough was so soft, but it ended up tasting really nice! This was made with a simple sauce with just some fresh herbs, cheese and lemon zest, perfect for the summer.
This is one of the few dishes that my father actually enjoyed, so you know it's good.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit
9 oz/250g whole-milk ricotta
7 tbsp flour, sifted
2 tbsp olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
1 large egg
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped basil (plus more for garnish)
zest of 1 lemon
½ cup freshly grated parmesan
Blend ricotta, flour, olive oil, egg, parsley and basil in a processor until smooth. Season and taste. The dough will be very soft.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
Scoop 1 tbsp dough with one spoon (or tsp for smaller gnocchi, which I actually recommend), then use a second spoon to scoop out the dough, forming an oval shape, and use the first spoon to slide it into water. Repeat, using about 1/3 of the dough. Simmer until gnocchi rise to the surface and cook for 5 minutes longer. Transfer the gnocchi to a plate and repeat with remaining dough. Don’t throw away the cooking liquid.
Put some olive oil in a pan, and when hot, add the gnocchi and about ¼ cup of the cooking liquid. Stir and add parmesan and lemon zest and stir a bit more. Serve, drizzle with olive oil and some more fresh herbs and lemon zest.