Italian for “dumplings”, gnocchi [NYOH-kee] can be made from mashed potatoes, flour or ricotta. Eggs or cheese are added and then the dough is shaped into small nuggets, cooked in boiling water and served with butter and Parmesan or a savoury sauce. The dough can also be chilled, sliced and either baked or fried.
450 grams firm ricotta e.g. Zany Zeus
1 clove garlic, crushed 2 medium (size 6) eggs
1⁄2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
good grating of nutmeg 1⁄2 cup flour
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
300 grams Italian style sausage e.g. pork and fennel
1 x 400 gram tin Italian tomatoes, crushed
Gnocchi: Place the ricotta, garlic, eggs, parmesan and nutmeg in a bowl and combine. Sift over the flour and season well. Use a fork to mix well.
Tip a third of the mixture out onto a well floured board and roll into a long rope about 2 cm thick. The mixture will be a little sticky but keep your hands well floured to make it easier to roll. Cut into 1 cm lengths and place on a piece of baking paper that has been lightly dusted with flour. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Cover and refrigerate if not using immediately. The gnocchi can be made 1 day ahead.
Sauce: Heat the oil in a sauté pan and add the onion, garlic and rosemary. Season and cook gently until the onion is tender.
Remove the skins from the sausages and cut into 2 cm pieces. Increase the heat and add the sausage meat to
the pan. Allow to brown then add the tomatoes and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
Gnocchi: Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add a third of the gnocchi. They will sink to the bottom then rise to the top. Cook for 1 minute after they float to the surface. Use a slotted spoon to lift them out and add them to the hot tomato sauce and repeat until all the gnocchi is cooked.
To serve: Fold ripped basil through the gnocchi and spoon into warm serving bowls. Serves 4