Ricotta, Pea and Herb Gnocchi with Fresh Tomato Salsa and Crispy Pancetta

, from Issue #32. August, 2015
Photography by Nick Tresidder.
Ricotta, Pea and Herb Gnocchi with Fresh Tomato Salsa and Crispy Pancetta

Serves: 6


500 grams ricotta
3 egg yolks
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese plus extra for serving
freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup plain flour, sieved
1 cup frozen peas plus extra to garnish
handful mint leaves, finely chopped
handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground  pepper
extra virgin olive oil, to serve

Tomato salsa
250-300 grams assorted tomatoes i.e mixture of colours and shapes
2–3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6-12 rashers pancetta
pea shoots, to serve


Place the ricotta in a sieve and leave to drain over a bowl in the fridge for 2–3 hours. 

Blanch the peas in boiling water then drain well and cool under running water. Briefly blend in a food processor or blender or mash with a fork.

Beat the ricotta, eggs, lemon zest, Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, peas and herbs in a bowl. Set aside about 3 tablespoons of flour then add the remaining sifted flour to the ricotta mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until just combined then season generously with salt and pepper. Using lightly floured hands, shape the gnocchi into logs, about 2 cm in diameter, then cut into 3 cm pieces. If the mixture is too wet add a little extra flour, but be careful not to make it too heavy. Set aside on a lightly floured tray. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Salsa: Roughly chop the tomatoes into small pieces and toss with the olive oil. Season and set aside.

Grill the pancetta until golden and crispy then set aside on kitchen paper. Just before you are ready to serve bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil. Place the gnocchi in the water and cook, in batches, for 3-4 minutes. Each gnocchi will bob to the surface of the water when it is cooked. Remove using a slotted spoon and place them in a serving bowl. Continue until all of the gnocchi is cooked. Serve immediately with crispy pancetta, extra grated Parmesan cheese and the tomato salsa on the side. 

Pantry note:
Pancetta: Italian bacon made only from the belly that is cured with salt, pepper, and other spices, but is not smoked.