Like rice, pasta, and potatoes, gnocchi is a stage on which you can feature more complex flavours. This pan-fried ricotta gnocchi is the perfect foundation for sweet and savoury slow-roasted tomatoes, garlic, thyme, and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Pan-seared ricotta gnocchi
While sometimes classed as a type of pasta, gnocchi is really in a class of its own. It is so much more than pasta. Like pasta, gnocchi is often the vehicle for other flavours. Or it can be the flavour. This range is well represented here on delectabilia.
Compared to the more common potato-based gnocchi, ricotta gnocchi is lighter. Yet, it retains that creamy cheesiness of the ricotta. And the bonus, ricotta gnocchi is easier to make than potato gnocchi. It is much easier to make than this beetroot and ricotta gnocchi. Though, this beautifully red gnocchi did go spectacularly well with Roquefort cheese.
Pan-fried ricotta gnocchi has an additional layer of flavour from the searing, plus a nice crisp surface. Pan-frying gnocchi is my favourite way of preparing this versatile ingredient. It works so well with these slow-roasted tomatoes. This technique also worked extremely well for this seared gnocchi with miso peas dish.
Slow roasting tomatoes is a highly undervalued technique. Tomatoes respond so well to this cooking method. They dehydrate, causing the sugars to come to the fore and caramelize a little. This perfectly balances the natural acidity of this most versatile of fruits.
The trio of garlic, thyme, and parsley, bound together with a good extra virgin olive oil, and topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano, add harmonious notes to the sweet acidity of the tomatoes, completing this simple yet delicious dish.
Pan-fried ricotta gnocchi and slow-roasted tomatoes
- 330 g ricotta cheese
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Parmesan
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 tsp salt for the gnocchi mixture
- 1 tsp salt for the cooking water
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 700 g cherry tomatoes preferably mixed colors
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6-8 sprigs thyme
- 6-8 cloves garlic crushed under a knife
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup parsley finely diced
- 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano grated. Parmesan will work of course
- 10 g butter
- 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
Slow roasted tomatoes
- Slice the tomatoes length-wise or width-wise, depending on their shape. They need to sit cut side up in the baking tray.
- Toss the tomatoes with 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil and the 1/2 tsp salt.
- Lay out in a baking tray, cut side up. Add the smashed garlic. Lay the sprigs of thyme on top.
- Bake at 100 degC for 2.5 to 3 hours, depending on the size of your tomatoes.
- Discard the garlic and thyme.
- Remove moisture from the ricotta cheese by squeezing between paper towels, 4 layers below and 4 layers on top.
- After removing the moisture, measure 225 g and add to a large bowl. Retain the rest for another use.
- Lightly whisk the egg and egg yolk and add to the bowl.
- Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano (or parmesan) to the bowl, together with 100g of the flour, the salt, and the pepper.
- Fold the mixture together with a spatula, adding more flour, a Tbsp at a time, to get a firm enough consistency to roll out.
- Divide the dough into quarters.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll each quarter out into a long “log” about about 10-15mm thick.
- Cut each “log” into 15-20mm pieces.
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add 1 tsp salt.
- Boil the gnocchi pieces until they float, about 3 minutes.
- Remove the gnocchi from the boiling water and allow to drain in a colander.
- Heat the 10g butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil in a wok over a medium heat.
- Add the cooked and drained gnocchi and sear until starting to brown.
- Add the roasted tomatoes, parsley, and other 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil and toss (not too much so as to keep the tomatoes intact).
- Server topped with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (or parmesan).