Gnocchi con la Fioretta

Soft Ricotta Gnocchi

banner

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

This traditional recipe in its original form comes from the city of Vicenza and calls for a very local cheese that is a close relative of ricotta. This is almost liquid in texture and is enjoyed in the Val Leogra as a drink. I have suggested a way to slacken ricotta to try to achieve a similar sloppy texture that can then be worked with flour and salt to create these delicate gnocchi.

Ingredients

  • 180 g/ oz/generous cups 00 flour
  • 400 g/14 oz Fioretta delle Valli Vicentine, or substitute with 400 g/14 oz soft ricotta cheese blended with enough skimmed milk to create a smooth, runny, drinkable texture
  • 75 g/3 oz smoked pancetta
  • 100 g/ oz/8 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • 30 g/ oz smoked Val Leogra ricotta, or substitute with 30 g/ oz smoked hardened ricotta, or slightly less salted ricotta
  • 50 g/2 oz/ cup freshly grated Grana Padano
  • sea salt

Method

  1. Using a fork, blend the flour into the Fioretta delle Valli Vicentine or liquefied ricotta to make a smooth, thick batter. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

  2. Cut the pancetta into small squares and fry these, tossing, in a hot non-stick pan until the fat runs and the pancetta becomes golden brown and crisp. Set aside and keep warm.

  3. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, then turn down the heat to create a softly rolling boil.
  4. Working in batches, use two large spoons to scoop the chilled ricotta mixture into egg-shaped gnocchi and drop these into the boiling water. Take care not to overcrowd the pan: cook just a few gnocchi at a time.

  5. Scoop out the gnocchi with a slotted spoon when they bob up to the surface of the boiling water and keep hot in a separate warmed dish. Repeat until all of the gnocchi are cooked.
  6. Meanwhile, in a very large frying pan that can hold all of the gnocchi at once (or use two smaller frying pans), melt the butter with the sage leaves until the butter is noisette (hazelnut) coloured.
  7. Remove and reserve the sage, then tip the gnocchi into the hot butter, basting constantly.
  8. When the gnocchi are coated in the butter, transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with the smoked ricotta, the reserved sage leaves, the grated Grana Padano and the reserved pancetta, then serve immediately.