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ricotta gnocchi with peas and mint

You know I do cook other things don't you, not just cakes and desserts? In fact I spend all weekend cooking meals for the week ahead. As well as things I can heat up like curries and casseroles, I also like to cook things that take about 20 minutes to get onto the plate.



A few years ago my friend Vanessa asked if I'd ever made ricotta gnocchi. I hadn't but when I eventually did, I wondered why I'd ever made them any other way. You can have gnocchi in the pot in about 10 minutes flat and whilst I love potatoes, I probably love ricotta just as much. 



Apart from salt, pepper and nutmeg all you need are 4 key ingredients - eggs, parmesan cheese, flour and ricotta.



Like all gnocchi, you need to use a light hand with these and only use enough flour to stop the dough from sticking.



I don't usually bother but I decided to roll the gnocchi over a fork to make those characteristic ridges.



I made these gnocchi for my lunch on Saturday but I was faced with a dilemma. What sauce should I make to pair with the gnocchi? I make tomato based sauces all the time and I was a bit worried a tomato sauce would swamp these delicate gnocchi so I looked to Gordon Ramsay for some inspiration. I found this recipe and adapted the sauce a little by swapping mint for the thyme. I thought peas and mint sounded like the perfect combination of spring flavours.



The gnocchi only took a minute or two to cook and the sauce took about 5 minutes to put together so the gnocchi were on my plate in next to no time. If you'd like to try these for yourself, here's the recipe for you. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon and all eggs are 60 grams. 

Ricotta gnocchi with peas and mint - serves 4

Ingredients
500g fresh ricotta
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus a little extra to serve
2 large egg yolks, beaten
1 tsp salt
pinch of nutmeg
1 cup plain flour, plus extra if required

Sauce
Olive oil, for frying
Freshly ground black pepper
150g peas, defrosted if frozen
Knob of butter
a few sprigs of mint,  leaves only
Zest of 1 lemon

Method
Place ricotta in a fine sieve over a bowl for 30 minutes to drain off any excess liquid. Place drained ricotta in a bowl with grated cheese, egg yolks, salt and nutmeg. Add flour and mix to form a dough. Add a little extra flour if the dough is too sticky and wet. Be careful not to overwork.

Divide dough into quarters and gently roll into two-centimetre-diameter logs on a lightly floured surface. Cut into two-centimetre pieces and gently place on a lightly floured tray. Press down with back of a fork to make indents in each gnocchi. Continue with remaining dough.

To cook gnocchi, drop into a saucepan of simmering, lightly salted water and remove as soon as they float to the top, after one or two minutes. Drain thoroughly.


Sauce
Heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a little olive oil. Add the gnocchi to the pan with a pinch of salt and black pepper and sauté for 1-2 minutes on each side until coloured. Add the peas and butter and season to taste. Toss, then add the lemon zest. Serve topped with the mint leaves and some grated parmesan.



So how were the gnocchi? Brilliant! The parmesan cheese in the gnocchi turned a bit crusty when fried and the peas, mint and lemon made for a lovely fresh and light sauce. I've stored some of these gnocchi in the freezer and I'll be having them again for my dinner later this week.

I hope you all had lovely weekends.

See you all again soon.

Bye for now,

Jillian

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