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by Sarah Steimer

I love gnocchi, but it can be pretty heavy in its traditional potato-flour form. This ricotta version is a lighter alternative for summer.

  • 2 1/2 cups ricotta
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • Pasta sauce
  • Parmesan

In a bowl, combine the ricotta, egg and 1 cup of the flour. Mix with a wooden spoon until everything begins to stick. Begin kneading the dough with your hands and add the rest of the flour little by little, only until there is enough so the dough is smooth and elastic but not overly sticky.

Some gnocchi recipes call for you to roll each piece with the tongs of a fork to give it ridges. That’s a big, fat waste of time, if you ask me. Gnocchi does not need to be difficult! Especially not this recipe (three ingredients? Yes, please).

Roll the dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Separate the dough into eight pieces. Roll out each piece into a long, even rope. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1/2-inch segments and set aside. Repeat until all the dough is rolled and cut.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the gnocchi all at once. Stir often and cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until the pieces float to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon.

Serve with the pasta sauce of your choice and Parmesan cheese.

Makes 3-4 servings.

Recipe adapted from : Katherine Martinelli

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by Sarah Steimer

My gnocchi didn't look perfect, but I'm pretty sure that's what happens when you're neither A.) a machine nor B.) a professional chef.

  • 2 pounds Russet potatoes (about two potatoes)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • 1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 1 or so bunches of broccoli
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Make a slash around the circumference of each potato, cutting just through the skin (this will help get the skin off easier when you finish cooking the potatoes).  Bake potatoes in a 350 degree oven until a knife can be inserted easily, about an hour. Or you could pop it in the microwave for a few minutes on the baked potato setting.

Pull the skin off and press the potatoes through a potato ricer into a large mixing bowl or mash it however you can — I just used a hand potato masher and didn’t wind up with many lumps at all. The goal is lump-free potatoes.

If you make more gnocchi than you'll need that day, freeze the pre-cooked pieces on a cookie sheet for about an hour then transfer to a freezer bag, back in the freezer. The gnocchi can last for weeks in there.

Add flour, 1 teaspoon salt and eggs. Mix with your hands into a smooth dough — this works better if the potatoes are warm. Place dough on a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly.

Cut the dough into 4 pieces. Give yourself plenty of counter space and roll each piece with your fingers into a rope about the thickness of your finger. Cut into 1-inch lengths. Roll each on the back of a large fork along the tines, flicking it off into a grooved and rounded shape.

Let me stop right here and say that I have no clue why this fork thing is necessary. I think it was a big time-waster, frankly. Skip it if you’d like.

Place gnocchi on a floured baking sheet.

Clean and trim broccoli then steam it until it reaches your desired tenderness. In the same pot, once you’ve removed the broccoli, add salt to the water and bring to a boil again. Gently add gnocchi to the boiling water in batches. Don’t put in more gnocchi than will rest separately on top when they float to the surface. Continue to cook for 90 seconds after they have risen. Remove with skimmer and place into a colander.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add red pepper flakes and garlic and cook just a few minutes until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add broccoli, gnocchi and and about 1/2 cup water to skillet, tossing gently and seasoning with salt and pepper.

Add shredded cheese to individual servings.

Makes about four servings.

Recipe adapted from: Cook, Shoot Eat… a photographer’s journey

Photos: Sarah Steimer

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