Forgive me! I haven’t had the chance to get into the kitchen much lately and that makes me sad. I haven’t had time to do much else other than uni to be quite honest. On a rainy Sunday with masses of work staring at me, there really is only one thing to do to beat the uni blues, procrasti-cook!
This recipe is for a pan-fried version of the classic Italian dish gnocchi that will seriously knock your socks off. With no traditional potato in sight, this little gem of a recipe uses a mixture of Parmesan and Ricotta to create the most delightful little bites of heaven.
- 25g Parmesan Cheese
- 1 garlic clove (preferably roasted)
- 1 large handful of fresh basil
- 50 ml Extra Virgin olive oil
- 50g toasted pine nuts
- 100g Parmesan cheese (grated)
- A small handful of fresh thyme sprigs
- 350g Ricotta cheese
- 300g plain flour + extra for dusting
- 2 medium sized eggs
- Rocket & Lemon (to serve)
First, prepare the pesto. Ah, one of my absolute favourite inventions ever! Finely cut the Parmesan and tip it into a blender or mini food processor. Peel the garlic, tear the leaves from the bunch of basil and add both along with the oil and pine nuts. Blitz to a reasonably chunky paste, season to taste and set aside.
Now for the gnocchi. Finely grate the Parmesan and tip it into a large bowl. Pick the thyme leaves and add them along with the ricotta, plain flour, eggs and salt and pepper. Mix together well into soft dough. Then tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead together to form a smooth ball.
Once kneaded, divide the mixture into thirds and roll each one out into a sausage shape about 60cm long. Cut each ‘sausage’ into 2cm pieces to form the soft little pillows of cheesy goodness!
In the mean time, put a large frying pan on a medium to high heat with a drizzle of oil and small knob of butter.
Gently add the gnocchi to the pan and turn down low. Leave the gnocchi to cook on one side for a minute, before carefully turning them over to cook on the other side. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes, continuing to gently turn them every so often until they are crisp and golden all over. Repeat with remaining dough and uncooked gnocchi.
To serve toss hot gnocchi with pesto and stir through a handful of fresh rocket. Finish with a squeeze of lemon and devour a big bowl all to yourself!
This dish is perfect as a light lunch or even as a side dish with lamb or even beef. This is some seriously good gnocchi but gnocch as you know it!