Ricotta Gnocchi with Prosciutto Sage Butter Sauce

Ricotta Gnocchi

  • 1 pound Fresh Ricotta (2 cups) 
  • 2 large cold eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted
  • dash a ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano, lightly packed
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • flour
  1. The day before: make the Ricotta and let it drain overnight in the fridge. You want as much moisture as possible to be out of the ricotta or the Gnocchi will not form properly. To check if it is dry enough you can place 1 tsp. on a paper towel for 1 min. If a large ring of water is formed it is still too wet.
  2. Day of: Place the drained Ricotta in a large bowl and mash it as best you can, or you can also push it through a sieve to make sure it is as smooth as possible. Add the lightly beaten eggs, melted butter, nutmeg, parmigiano-reggiano and salt. Beat all ingredients well until the batter is soft and fluffy with no streaks remaining.
  3. Fill a small pot with water and bring it to a boil. Salt the water generously and keep it at a simmer. This water will be to test your Gnocchi to ensure that it is the right consistency so it does not need to be a big pot.
  4. In a large shallow baking dish make a bed of flour that is 1/2 an inch deep.
  5. With a spatula, scrape the ricotta mixture away from the sides of the bowl and form a large mass in the centre.
  6. Using a spoon, scoop up about 2 to 3 tsp. of batter and then holding the spoon at an angle, use your fintertip to gently push the ball of dough from the spoon into the bed of flour. Toss or roll gently to coat with flour.
  7. Gently pick up Gnocchi and cradle it in your hand rolling it to form an oval as best you can, making sure not to squeeze it. Do not over-handle.
  8. Test the first Gnocchi by gently placing it in the simmering water. It will sink and then bob to the top. After it bobs to the surface cook the Gnocchi until it is just firm 3-5 min (mine took 6).
  9. If the Gnocchi begins to fall apart, this means the ricotta cheese was probably still too wet. You can remedy this by beating a tsp of egg white into your Gnocchi batter. If your Gnocchi batter was fluffy but the sample comes out heavy , add a tsp of beaten egg to the batter and beat that in. Test a second Gnocchi to ensure success. (I had to add 3 tsp. egg whites to get the right consistency so don't give up!)
  10. Form the rest of the Gnocchi. You can put 4-6 Gnocchi in the bed of flour at a time, making sure not to overcrowd them at the risk of damaging the Gnocchi as you coat them.
  11. Place the formed Gnocchi on a sheet pan lined with wax paper and dusted with flour. Place in the fridge for one hour to firm up.
  12. Bring 2 quarts (8 cups) of water to a boil. Make sure that the pan is wide so that the Gnocchi will not bump into each other while cooking. Once the water is boiling, salt it generously.
  13. Drop the Gnocchi into the water one by one. Once they float to the top cook for 3-5 min. until just firm. (Judging by your test Gnocchi)
  14. With a slotted spoon remove Gnocchi and drop into sauce, gently rolling to coat it. Serve immediately.

Serves: 4 (small servings)

Prosciutto Sage Butter Sauce

  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 50 grams prosciutto, coarsely chopped (you can use bacon or ham)
  • 1 small lemon, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage, chopped (4 tsp dried)
  • 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
  1. Combine the wine and garlic and cook over medium heat until garlic softens and wine is syrupy, add prosciutto and cook until it crisps up a bit. Remove the prosciutto from the pan and add the the lemon juice then reduce until the liquid forms a light syrup. Add cream then decrease the heat to low and whisk in butter, one piece at a time, until well incorporated. Add sage and return the prosciutto to the pan. Set aside and keep warm. If reheating make sure not to boil or sauce may split. After tossing Gnocchi with the sauce top with parsley.
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