The other night we were at dinner with our friends Nick and April and Nick asked me what I would make if I had someone REALLY important coming over for dinner. Without hesitation, I said that I would make my toasted ricotta gnocchi with pancetta, arugula and a truffle oil cream. As you can tell by my white pizza, I'm pretty fond of these flavor combinations. This is one of those meals that when you taste it, any care for your caloric intake flies out the window. This dish is totally worth it.
You want a light and fluffy gnocchi? Then the trick is to handle the dough as little as possible. Just enough to bring the ingredients together and form a ball. Any more will make the gnocchi tough. To be honest, I actually prefer these ricotta ones over the classic potato. They really are delicious.
If you've never made gnocchi before, this is a great starter recipe. I made these on a week night and we ate them at a reasonable 7:00pm. My husband jokes and says that I am the only person he knows that will just whip up gnocchi on a whim but hey, he's not complaining :)
Add garlic and truffle oil to cream
Transfer to pancetta pan and toast
Toasted Ricotta Gnocchi with Pancetta, Wilted Arugula and Truffled Cream
3/4 c. flour
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. lemon zest
1 cup whole milk ricotta, drained overnight
1/4 lb pancetta, chopped
3/4 c. heavy cream
1 t. truffle oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. arugula, chopped
1/4 c. flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 c. Parmigiano Reggiano
salt and pepper
In a large mixing bowl, add flour, cheese, salt nutmeg and lemon zest. Mix together until combined. In a separate glass measuring cup, mix ricotta and egg. Pour ricotta mixture into bowl with flour. Use a spatula, wooden spoon or your hands to mix until a ball of dough forms. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and dust with flour. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Shape into an oval disc about 1 inch thick. Using a knife or pastry cutter, cut off section of dough and use hands to roll into a rope about 1 inch in diameter. Slice rope into 1 inch pieces and place on floured cookie sheet. Repeat until all of the dough has been rolled out and cut into gnocchi.
From here, you can place the cookie sheet in refrigerator (if you plan on cooking withing 3-4 hours) or in the freezer (if cooking another day). Once frozen, store in plastic bag for future use. You can throw the frozen gnocchi directly into boiling water to cook them another time.
Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add a heavy pinch of salt and a few turns of olive oil. While water is boiling, cook the pancetta in a large non-stick skillet. Remove when crispy and let drain on a paper towel lined plate. Leave pancetta fat in pan and turn heat to medium low. In glass measuring cup, add cream, truffle oil and minced garlic. Stir to combine.
Place the gnocchi into the boiling water. Once it floats to the surface, it is done. Use a slotted spoon to transfer gnocchi from water to preheated pancetta pan. Toss frequently to brown gnocchi on all sides. Once toasted, add cream mixture and grated parmesan cheese. Toss and then add arugula, parsley and crispy pancetta. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Makes 2-4 servings, depending on how hungry you are!
Look how light and fluffy they are!