The word gnocchi in Italian means ‘little lump’. It was originally served as an extra during a traditional Italian meal. Gastronomically speaking however, gnocchi should be anything but lumpish, a well made gnocchi should be light and fluffy. This parmesan broth is delicious and a great way to use up the parmesan rinds.
For the Broth
Place all ingredients into a saucepan and simmer for approx 45 mins, stirring occasionally to make sure the parmesan rind doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. When the broth is done strain through a fine sieve or colander and discard the solids, you should end up with approx 1 litre of broth.
Gradually add most of the flour to the ricotta, nutmeg, zest and salt, reserving a little flour. Knead until it becomes a smooth mixture. Once the mixture becomes soft and smooth stop kneading and allow it to rest. Dust work area with a little flour. Divide mixture into 4 and roll into a sausage. Cut into 1 cm pieces and roll each piece with the curved side of fork or a gnocchi board. This creates a surface for the broth to stick to the gnocchi. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add salt. Drop in some gnocchi remembering not to overcrowd.
When the gnocchi rises to the surface then remove with a slotted spoon, place it in a warm oiled baking tray to keep warm, continue cooking remaining gnocchi. To do the burnt butter sage leaves, place 25g of butter into a fry pan and cook until frothing. Add the sage leaves and continue cooking until the leaves become crisp, remove from butter place on a paper towel until ready to serve. When all the gnocchi is cooked, reheat the broth and add a nip of brandy to the broth (this is optional). Place the warm gnocchi into serving bowls and pour over broth, garnish with sage and a little shaving of parmesan. Enjoy!