RICOTTA GNOCCHI

I recently saw a post and recipe for ricotta gnocchi. They are creamy and light little pillows that melt in your mouth. The key is not to add too much flour. I honestly prefer them over the potato gnocchi. In fact, I never really liked gnocchi until I had them made with ricotta. I just never understood what the big deal was.

There is an Italian restaurant in Ocean City that we frequent. I am sure I have mentioned it before. Ristorante Antipasti, on Coastal highway. Trust me, if you are ever in the area, make a reservation and go. Some of the best eats in Ocean City and the owner and his wife make you feel like family. His gnocchi changed my mind forever.

http://www.ristoranteantipasti.com/

I liked them so much; I wanted to be able to share them with everyone. I knew I had to learn how to make them. So make them I did. This is my recipe. Again, you do not want to add too much flour, it will make them heavy and doughy. Other than that, it’s pretty straight forward and easy to do. There’s no special equipment required and it goes quickly.

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We like ours in tomato sauce and a nice grating of fresh parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil. A brown butter sage sauce also works well here. Just add some crusty bread, an olive oil dip, and a green salad. A good bottle of wine completes this taste sensation. Be prepared to be transported. This meal is amazing!

Ricotta Gnocchi

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 small containter of full fat ricotta cheese (do not use skim or low fat), drained of all liquid
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 C fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 t French grey sea salt (Kosher can also be used)
  • 1 1/2 C all purpose flour (plus more or less as needed)
  • fresh chopped basil, for garnish
  • Kosher salt, ┬áto add to boiling water

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large bowl add 1 C flour, make a well in the center and add the eggs, ricotta, parmesan, and salt.
  2. Mix until combined and turn out onto a floured board and begin kneading gently. Add flour as needed, dough should be slightly wet, but hold together. The less flour added, the lighter it will be. More flour results in doughy gnocchi.
  3. Divide the dough into 6 pieces. One rope at a time roll into a 1/2″ circumference and cut into one inch pieces. Place pieces onto a lightly floured wooden board or a sheet pan that has been floured.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a good amount of Kosher salt. Have your sauce hot and ready on another burner.
  5. In small batches add the gnocchi to the boiling water and cook for 1-2 minutes or until they float to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon and drop into your heated sauce of choice.
  6. Top with a good grating of parmesan cheese and chopped basil.
  7. Serve immediately

I like to make my own sauce but in a pinch, Rao’s marinara sauce is excellent. I keep it on hand when I am in a hurry.

Marinara Sauce

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

Viki D

SNOWBALL COOKIES and FLAMINGOES

I thought it would be fun to share my recent artwork with you. I love to draw and use chalk pastels. They are so fun and forgiving with just a few tools. It’s also an inexpensive hobby.

This one was done for my dear friend Rhonda. She loves Flamingos! When we were in Aruba together she was on a mission. The Renaissance has a private island appropriately named, “Flamingo Island”. It’s a little island that you can see when coming into Aruba by plane. They escort you there by boat, if you are staying at the hotel. She was able to go with a mutual friend, mission accomplished. She loved it!!!

I try to make my gifts by hand for my friends and family. At this stage in my life I just think it’s more personal and memorable. The fact that I like to do it is an even bigger perk. I couldn’t wait to give it to her! I actually started writing this post before I was able to gift it to her. Anyway, it was a hit and she has another piece of artwork to hang in her home to remind her of our time.

I invited her to the house for lunch. At her request we had Chicken Caesar salads. I do have a killer recipe for Caesar dressing. Sadly, it remains a secret and will for a while. I am looking into bottling, and selling it. I will share her favorite cookie. She requests these at Christmas. I figured since we needed dessert, why not for her birthday?

We call them snowballs. They are also known as Russian Tea Cakes and Mexican Wedding Cookies. I think there are probably more names than there are recipes. I have had this one for years. I have no idea where it came from so I won’t take total credit for it. It’s a great tea cookie. It’s covered in snowy, powdered sugar and melts in your mouth. If you make them…..just don’t tell Rhonda! I hope you enjoy!

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Snowball Cookies

  • Difficulty: easy
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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 C,  unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 T sugar
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 1/4 t fine grey sea salt (you can also use Kosher)
  • 2 C, all purpose flour (King Arthur is my choice)
  • 2 C finely chopped, pecans or walnuts
  • Confectioners / Powdered sugar for dusting

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In the bowl of a mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in the vanilla and salt.
  3. Gradually and slowly add the flour until all is combined.
  4. By hand, stir in the nuts and mix until fully incorporated.
  5. Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and let it chill for at least one hour in the fridge.
  6. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or a silpats.
  7. Using a 1 inch dough scoop, scoop dough making sure it is a level amount. Roll between the palms of your hand to form a ball.
  8. Place the dough balls on a baking sheet about 1 1/4 inch apart.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees, for 10-12 minutes (stove temps vary). The underside of the cookie should be lightly brown and not cracked.
  10. Cool on the cookie sheets for 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks but first roll gently into the powdered sugar while warm.
  11. Let them cool completely on the racks and before storing roll them again in powdered sugar.
  12. Store them in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks.

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy in these uncertain times. May God Bless and Keep you all. I pray we get through this soon.

Until next time,

Ciao xoxo

Viki D