Yes that's right readers, I made gnocchi... from scratch. Ok if we're getting technical its not called gnocchi... its Ndundari (Ricotta Dumplings).
Making gnocchi (Ndundari) is something that I've wanted to do for a while but there is an element of unknown hanging around it because I've never made it before. This week I will not hide away from food, I will grow and make and - did I tell you I made gnocchi... from scratch!! Waahhoooo!
It was so damn good...
and easy... believe it or not!
This recipe is from the cookbook Two Greedy Italians by Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo. It uses ricotta cheese for these deliciously little tasty dumplings, not potato. It's one of Gennaro's recipes and I've seen him make it on the TV show a few times. He makes it look so easy and you know what?!... it was just as easy to make as he makes it look. No hidden tricks or anything. This is straight up honest food made from scratch. I loved that I knew exactly what went into the gnocchi and it didn't consist of 20 ingredients like some of the vacuum packets do. This had 7 ingredients in it, thats all. Flour, egg yolks, ricotta, parmesan, ground nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Just put all your ingredients in a bowl, give it a mix then turn it out onto a floured bench and knead until you have a smooth dough. Roll the dough into a sausage and cut small bits off. There it is... you have gnocchi!
I felt like an Italian Mama. All I needed was a large family to yell at to get them all to come to the dinner table, instead I had Tristan waiting patiently and a cat who has decided he likes to drink out of everything (yes I mean everything!) apart from his water bowl.
The sauce that went with the gnocchi was so simple and full of flavour. Olive oil, canned tomatoes, garlic and basil. So simple and fresh! It would have been nice to use home grown basil but Mr Caterpillar has made the basil plant his buffet so there is no basil leaves at all on the poor thing.
I will definitely make this again... and again! I absolutely loved it!
"Why I cooking so good??!" -Gennaro Contaldo
Ndundari Con Salsa Di Pomodoro e Basilico from Two Greedy Italians Cookbook by Gennaro Contaldo and Antonio Carluccio.
(Ricotta Dumplings with Tomato and Basil Sauce)
serves 4 (or 2 very greedy people)
For the Ricotta Dumplings -
200g '00' Flour, plus extra for dusting
3 egg yolks
20g freshly grated parmesan
pinch ground nutmeg
pinch sea salt
pinch cracked pepper
For the Tomato and Basil sauce -
700g tinned chopped tomatoes
a few fresh basil leaves
6 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, cut into thick slices
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Give it a mix and turn out onto a floured work bench. Knead gently with the palm of your hand until the dough becomes smooth.
- Divide the dough into quarters and roll one of the quarters into a thin sausage shape. Cut pieces off about 2cm long and place on a tray. Do the same to the other 3 quarters. You may need to add a little more flour as you go, it depends on how wet your ricotta was or how big your egg yolks were. You don't want a dry dough but you don't want a sticky shaggy mess.
- Let dumplings sit on a tray while you make the sauce. Put a pot of boiling salted water on the stove, ready to go.
- Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan (large enough to hold all the dumplings and sauce together) on a medium heat and add the garlic. Don't walk away! Once the garlic begins to colour add you tinned tomatoes straight away to stop the garlic from colouring anymore, you don't want a bitter taste. Add the basil leaves to the sauce and bring to a simmer while you cook your ricotta dumplings.
- Add your dumplings to the boiling salted water. Wait until they rise to the top and the cook for a further 2 minutes simmering. Check they are cooked (I pulled one out and tastes it - if it doesn't taste floury and its not stick they are done) then add them to your simmering sauce.
- Serve immediately with a little extra grated parmesan if you desire.
ps. THESE ARE SO DAMN YUMMY!!