Leftover Ricotta? Make Gnocchi!

I had some extra ricotta cheese, left over from making lasagna, and I wondered: what else can you make from ricotta? Some googling turned up several answers, including Ricotta Gnocchi with Browned Butter and Sage, and I decided to try it out.

I’ve never made gnocchi, but I love eating it. I had some vague idea that it was generally made with potatoes. But this recipe creates mostly-ricotta gnocchi (with some parmesan cheese, parsley, and flour). The resulting dough was extremely sticky, even after adding some extra flour. But I rolled it out, cut it into little pillows, and then pressed them into a fork as directed. The next instruction was to drop them in boiling water and then spoon them out when they floated to the top, in 2-3 minutes. They were so squishy when I dunked them that I was skeptical that 2-3 minutes could really turn them into gnocchi, but sure enough, it worked! Very easy!

The browned butter with sage was absolutely divine. I was fascinated to observe that the butter really did turn from clear-ish yellow to a browned hue, simply by heating. Apparently this is caused by the milk solids and salt in the butter turning brown. Except that — ha! What I’d actually used was I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter (I’m sure several of my friends are now cringing in horror). I don’t think it has any milk solids, but apparently, it browns too! And it’s tasty!

(Now I’m itching to look up the Fats chapter in my copy of “What Einstein Told His Cook”—I’m pretty sure this was covered—but I loaned it to a friend a while back.)

If you have any other great suggestions for ricotta cheese recipes, I’d love to hear them.

2 of 2 people learned something from this entry.

  1. A life-long scholar said,

    November 2, 2008 at 5:00 am

    (Learned something new!)

    Oh, that sounds really yummy! I adore ricotta, I’ll have to try it next time I can get to the store for more ricotta.

    I occasionally make a ricotta quick-bread snack by mixing 1/2 cup flour with just enough ricotta to make a non-sticky dough, rolling it out thin and baking in a toaster over till just starting to turn golden brown (sometimes I flip it once, then butter the new top and put it back in to brown. If you prefer breads whcih rise a bit, you can add a pinch of baking powder, but I like it just fine without.

  2. wkiri said,

    November 2, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    (Learned something new!)

    Thanks for the comment, and for the snack tip! I’m going to try that myself sometime. :)

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