Gnocchi

I don't have an Italian grandmother, a nonna if you will, which probably explains why I never learned how to make gnocchi.  Actually, it has intimidated me for quite a while.  Eyeing (or eye-ing) this recipe and it's short list of ingredients gave me the determination to try it.  Knowing I could freeze the batch provided an extra dose of "make this now for another day when you don't have ricotta".  This makes enough pasta for 2-3 meals especially if the gnocchi are frozen. 

Gnocchi
adapted from Food52
yield: 2

1/2 pound (8 ounces) fresh whole milk ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 cup (2 ounces) finely grated Parmesan cheese
freshly grated nutmeg to taste
1 cup AP flour, sifted, plus extra for rolling dough
1-2 tablespoons butter
Lemon, for sauce

Mix ricotta cheese, egg, and olive oil.  Add grated Parmesan cheese to mixture and add with nutmeg to taste.

Add sifted flour a little at a time and continue to mix thoroughly until dough comes together.

Dump onto generously floured surface and work with hands to bring together into a smooth ball. Add more flour as necessary until dough is smooth and no longer sticks to your hands.

Cut off slices of dough and roll into ropes 1-1 1/2" inches thick by spreading hands and fingers and rolling from center out to each edge of the rope.

Line one rope parallel to another and cut 2 at a time into 1-inch pieces. Roll each piece off the back of a fork to make imprints that will help hold the sauce.

Transfer gnocchi pieces to a lightly floured or non-stick baking sheet so they don’t stick together and put in the freezer while making the rest of batch. If you plan to save any gnocchi for future use, allow them to freeze entirely on the baking sheet before storing in a plastic bag to prevent sticking.

When ready to eat, bring a large stockpot of generously salted water to a boil.

Add gnocchi to boiling water and gently stir once with a wooden spoon to create movement and prevent gnocchi from sticking. As gnocchi rise to the top {a sign they are done cooking} scoop them out with a mesh strainer and immediately place in serving bowl shaking off excess water.

Heat a small saute pan and add a tablespoon or two of butter.  Let the butter brown and then add the gnocchi.  Let the pasta cook in the butter to develop golden edges; this should take a few minutes.  When all the pasta is lightly browned, turn off the heat and squeeze lemon juice over the pasta and butter.

Plate the gnocchi, grate Parmesan cheese over the top, and serve.