ricotta gnocchi with sage butter

I prefer ricotta over potato gnocchi. They are light and fluffy. Each bite is like a little pillow. Here I am suggesting you serve them with butter and sage, but there are lots of options. In the summertime, cook in the pan with butter, but instead of sage add mint and fresh peas. In the wintertime, you can make a heartier dish by adding balsamic vinegar to the butter and letter the sugar caramelize a bit.

1 ½ cups fresh ricotta
½ to 1 cup all purpose flour, plus more for rolling and dusting
1 egg, lightly beaten
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper
4 tbsp butter
small handful fresh sage

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. While the water is heating up, you can make the gnocchi dough. Drain any excess moisture from the ricotta. You want it to be nice and dry. If it is quite wet, you can wrap in cheesecloth and allow to drain in the fridge for a couple of hours before making your gnocchi dough.

Combine ricotta, ½ cup flour, and egg. Add in lemon zest, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Depending on how wet the ricotta is, you may need to add more flour. You want a soft dough. The dough will be a bit sticky, but needs to be dry enough to gently roll. Adjust your flour as needed.

Flour a work surface. Take a small handful of the dough and roll out into a long tube, about 1 inch wide. Cut into pieces, about ½ inch long. Continue rolling and cutting until all dough has been turned into bite sized gnocchi pieces.

When water has come to a boil, cook gnocchi in batches. When they are cooked, they will float to the surface. They will only take a few minutes. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and set aside onto a piece of parchment paper or a clean plate to dry off a bit. Repeat until all the gnocchi is cooked.

Heat butter in a large pan. You want the butter to brown slightly, but not burn. Add cooked gnocchi and toss to coat with butter. Allow gnocchi to fry in the butter to give it a slightly crispy outside – just a golden brown toast. Add sage to the pan and toss. Serve immediately while still nice and warm.

Makes four moderate portions. Serve as a main with a hearty side salad.