The other night I got to craving pasta (well, let’s face it—most nights I crave pasta, but this time I caved). But I wasn’t looking for the dried, boxed pasta. No, I was in the mood for some of the homemade stuff.
I have yet to splurge on a pasta maker. Not because it’s too expensive. (You can buy a decent pasta maker for under $100.) And not even because my shoebox of a kitchen inhibits me from stocking up on yet another kitchen gadget. Nope. I have consciously refrained from purchasing a pasta maker simply because if I did, it would be waaaaay to easy for me to eat my weight in carbs. However, now I had this dilemma, because I had become fixated on making my own!
A lightbulb suddenly went off: gnocchi!
Gnocchi is a type of pasta. Typical pasta is made from flour and eggs. Gnocchi usually has an extra ingredient added in like spinach, potato, or in this case, ricotta. The end result is a light, pillowy bite of heaven that is so soft, it almost melts in your mouth. Yum!
For today’s recipe, I paired these little dumplings with a browned butter, apricot, and sage sauce.
Yields: 3 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes, + 2 hrs rest time | Cook Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 2 ½ hrs
16 oz low fat ricotta
1 cup all-purpose flour, + additional for rolling out the dough
½ cup grated parmesan
For the sauce:
3 apricots, diced (reserve ½ one to garnish, sliced)
2 tbsp pecans, chopped
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sage, chopped, reserving a few leaves to garnish
2 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
- Place ricotta in a sieve, strainer, or cheesecloth with a bowl underneath. Allow any water to drain for about an hour.
- Combine strained ricotta, flour, parmesan, and egg in a bowl. Dough should be slightly moist but not sticky. (You made need slightly more or less flour to achieve the proper consistency). Divide the dough into 4 pieces.
- Lightly sprinkle a flat surface with flour. Using your hands, roll out the dough until you have a cylinder-shaped piece of dough that measures ~12 inches long X ~1/2 inch wide. Repeat with each piece of dough.
- Using a bench scraper or knife cut into ½ in X ½ in squares, making an indentation in the middle of each one with your fingers.
- Place gnocchi onto parchment paper lightly sprinkled with flour and allow to dry for about an hour.
- In a small pot heat apricots over low/medium heat and cook until they start to breakdown, ~15 minutes.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, heat pecans over medium heat frequently stirring until slightly browned and fragrant.
- In a separate pan, heat butter over medium heat until it starts to brown ~5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add gnocchi to boiling water. After a few minutes, the pasta should start to float to the top. Once it floats, continue boiling about another minute. Remove from water, reserving 1 cup pasta water to add to sauce.
- When apricots start to thicken (they should resemble a jam-like consistency), add pecans, sage, browned butter and warm over low heat. Add pasta water a little bit at a time stirring sauce in between each addition until it thickens.
- Add gnocchi to sauce and toss to combine. Remove from heat and top with goat cheese, sliced apricots, and sage leaves.
The Cook’s 2 Cents:
- You’ll have the urge to shake the pan to get the gnocchi to float to the top. Don’t give in to the urge! If they float too soon, they won’t be done cooking. They’re not stuck to the bottom, trust me, they’ll float on their own when they’re ready!
- If you’re pressed for time, you can dry the gnocchi out on a baking sheet in the fridge. This will cut the drying time to about 15 minutes instead of an hour on the counter.
- When browning the butter, you’ll notice nothing really happens—until it does. It’ll take about 5 minutes before you see a color change and then it goes very quickly. Don’t take it off the heat until you see little specks of brown in the butter. If you take it off too soon, you won’t get that nice browned butter flavor.
- Dough is very fickle. There are a lot of different factors such as the weather outside (humidity in the air) or the type of flour used that will end up affecting your end product. I typically add 1 cup of flour for this recipe, but a few tbsp more or less may be needed.
Serving Size: 1 cup
Servings Per Recipe: 3
Calories: 399 Fat: 27g Sodium: 259mg Carbs: 14g Fiber: 1g Sugars: 3g Protein: 26g