pro tip: ricotta gnocchi

This week, Nathaniel and I have been busy as ever continuing to search for jobs and a place to live. The good news is….I have a job! I am the new receptionist for Juve Salon and Spa here in Memphis, and I have already started work! This job is a huge blessing and is going to be a great place for me. You may be thinking “oh no! why are you abandoning your musical gifts?” but have no fear, I’m not abandoning anything! I have had a lot of experience in retail and customer service oriented jobs, and this will be a great next step for me. This job also gives me the fle-e-exibility to continue to pursue my musical ambitions. Yet another testimony of God’s provision in our lives.

fullsizerenderSo as we are still “homeless” (without a home of our own) we are taking opportunities to house-sit. This past week in one such home that was being sat, I found the most beautiful issue of this month’s Food and Wine magazine featuring Italy. I read through this issue many, many times, drooling over the gorgeous pictures of the Italian countryside and food. Some food magazines look really pretty or have a lot of info about amazing restaurants in the country that make you really depressed, because you don’t live in those cities and you will probably never eat there. These magazines are annoying and although interesting, pretty much useless. This magazine, however, has so many recipes that are actually doable AND restaurant quality. And of course pages and pages on the best places to stay and eat in Italy.

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Pro tip: tie a piece of kitchen twine tightly across your pot before placing on the heat. (I used flower wire which also worked in a pinch.) “Using steady pressure and working over the pot of simmering water, pipe out the gnocchi dough into 3/4 inch pieces, using the twine to cut them into the saucepan.”

I love pasta. I would eat it all day every day if I could. Please Lord, don’t ever make me gluten-intolerant. I have made homemade pasta a number of times, but I do not have all the basic shapes mastered yet. I’ve attempted to make ravioli once in my life, and my parents didn’t even eat it. You know that’s bad. Ravioli is on the agenda for this week, and I have much higher hopes for this attempt. Stay tuned!

 

fullsizerender-7Gnocchi is a classic comfort food of Italy, and it can be done in so many different ways. My family lived in Anderson, IN for a short time when I was very young. We lived across the street from an Italian lady and her husband. Again, I was young and don’t remember much about our time there, but my love for gnocchi came from her. The gnocchi that we normally make uses a traditional potato dough. The dough is then rolled out into long ropes, cut, and then rolled over a fork to create each individual shape. I am always cautious about ordering gnocchi in restaurants because they are often too soft for my liking; but these days, it is appearing frequently on menus, very often pan seared in brown butter. Is your mouth watering yet?

fullsizerender-16A very different and more delicate kind of gnocchi is ricotta based. I’ve seen this around as well but have been skeptical, because I don’t typically like ricotta. This recipe and “pro tip” were just too easy and good to ignore! From start to finish, this recipe takes about 20 minutes. Just a word of warning: this recipe says it feeds 4-6 people. I would say it feeds 4 people, just to be safe. I was cooking for 5 people, and I was very scared when I saw how little was in my serving dish at the end. It was fine–we each had plenty and were content. But if you’re starving or have 6 or more people, I would suggest making two batches.

fullsizerender-9I followed the recipe in Food and Wine for Ricotta Gnocchi with summer herbs. I added a bit more seasoning to my batter in the food processor (a little more salt, pepper, and some Adobo). Taste the batter before putting it in your piping bag to make sure it is seasoned to your liking.

fullsizerender-10With the gnocchi, we had roasted lamb chops and caprese. For dessert, mom’s chocolate soufflés.

fullsizerender-1Thank you always to my fabulous photography crew. PC: my husband and my father.

And just because it’s too hilarious not to share: as I was writing this, I got an email from Blue Apron trying to convince me to subscribe. The subject: “It’s thyme…for brown butter gnocchi.”

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