Like rice, pasta, and potatoes, gnocchi are a stage on which you can feature more complex flavours. Here the ricotta gnocchi, together with slow roasted tomatoes, garlic, and thyme, are in the spotlight.
Gnocchi, while sometimes classed as a type of pasta, is really in a class of its own. It is so much more than a pasta. Gnocchi can be the vehicle for other flavours. Or it can be the flavour. This range is well represented here on delectabilia.
Unlike the more common potato based gnocchi, ricotta gnocchi is lighter yet 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. This gnocchi though did go spectacularly well with Roquefort cheese.
Slow roasting tomatoes is a highly undervalued technique. Tomatoes respond so well to this cooking method. They dehydrate, the sugars come to the fore and caramelize a little. This perfectly balances the natural acidity of this most versatile of fruits.
The trioka of garlic, thyme, and parsley, bound together with extra virgin olive oil, and topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano, add harmonious notes to the sweet acidiity of the tomatoes, completing this simple yet incredibly tasty dish.
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).