Here is a great Lenten entree. This gnocchi is lighter, fluffier and easier to make than the popular potato gnocchi. These soft and cheesy little dumplings are one of the easiest homemade pasta recipes to make. What more can we ask for!
Ricotta Gnocchi With Chunky Marinara Sauce
Two 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes
6 T. unsalted butter or olive oil
1 large white or yellow onion, diced (about 1 ½ cups)
1 medium carrot, finely grated
5 large cloves garlic, sliced (or less depending on your taste)
1 T. dried oregano
1 ½ tsp. Kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 large bay leaves
½ cup fresh basil leaves (torn into small pieces)
Pour both cans of tomatoes into a large bowl. Use your hands to crush the tomatoes into smaller pieces. Set aside. Heat butter or olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook until soft (5 minutes or so).
Add carrots and garlic and cook 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes and juices, oregano, S&P and bay leaves. Stir and let simmer uncovered on low heat, for 45 minutes – 1 hour till thickened. Remove bay leaves, stir in basil.
16-ounce whole milk ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 ½ tsp Kosher salt
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
Place ricotta in a bowl lined with cheesecloth. Let drain at room temp for one hour.
In medium sized bowl, whisk together eggs, Parmesan cheese, salt & nutmeg. Squeeze cheese cloth with ricotta and add drained ricotta to egg mixture and whisk until smooth, adding 1 1/2 cups flour & combining until all ingredients are evenly and a soft dough forms. (Dough should be slightly tacky to the touch, but not so sticky that it comes off in your hands.) Sprinkle in a bit more flour, 1 T at a time. Shape dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in refrigerator 30 minutes. Dust some flour on your work surface and your hands.
Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Pinch off a ball of dough (about size of lemon) and roll out into a 3/4 inch thick log. Use a knife or bench scraper to cut crosswise into 3/4 inch pieces. (Place gnocchi pieces on lined baking sheet and repeat with rest of dough.)*
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the gnocchi and stir to separate. When gnocchi rise, let cook 2-3 additional minutes Serve with sauce.
Etc. — *I eliminated this step and rolled out a portion of the dough at a time, dropping in boiling water. The remainder until used up was placed in the refrigerator. Worked out fine. This is really good and different. And, if you wish, use your favorite spaghetti sauce without meat for lent that is. Hope you like it.