Ricotta Gnocchi with Parmesan Broth

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.

Ingredients

For the Broth

  • 1 cup of parmesan rind in chunks
  • 1.5 litres of water
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic bruised
  • 2 sticks of celery diced
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 4  bay leaves
  • 2 tspn black pepper corns
  • pinch of salt

Ricotta Gnocchi

  • 250g of ricotta
  • 3/4 cup of plain flour
  • a pinch of grated nutmeg
  • zest of a lemon or lime
  • pinch of salt
  • 25g of butter
  • 12 sage leaves
  • parmesan to garnish.

Method

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.

Ricotta Gnocchi

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!

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