Ricotta gnocchi gratin with parsley butter

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

Vegetarian

Vegetarian

By Alice Hart

Published 2018

  • About

These light and fluffy little parcels don’t have to be baked – you could serve them straight away with the melted herb butter or perhaps the gorgonzola sauce. It’s very important to drain the ricotta thoroughly, so try to do this the day before you need it. Serve with a simple green salad.


PLUS DRAINING TIME

Ingredients

  • 450 g (1 lb) ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 15 g (½ oz) butter, melted
  • a few gratings of nutmeg
  • 40 g ( oz) parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • about 100 g ( oz) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 100 g ( oz) parsley butter, diced

Method

Line a colander with muslin and lay the ricotta in it. Set over a bowl, cover and leave to drain for 8–24 hours. Alternatively, put the ricotta in a square of muslin and gather it into a ball. Squeeze firmly to force the water out. Place the cheese in a colander and weigh it down with a plate and a couple of unopened tins. Set aside for 20 minutes, then wring out before you unwrap it.

Turn the drained cheese into a bowl and mash with a fork. Add the eggs, butter, nutmeg and 15 g (½ oz) of the grated parmesan. Season with salt and pepper then fork through to mix lightly but evenly.

Measure the flour onto a plate. Drop heaped teaspoonfuls of the ricotta mixture into the flour, in batches of five or so. Turn them over with a fork, then remove one by one and gently shake in your hand to form a lightly floured oval. Don’t squeeze or press. Place on a lightly floured tray.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Put half the parsley butter in a heatproof bowl. Drop the gnocchi, one by one, into a large saucepan of generously salted water, and cook until they float to the surface (about 3 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon, shaking off excess water, and drop them into the parsley butter. Toss gently to melt the butter, then tip into a medium gratin dish. Dot with the remaining parsley butter and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan. Bake for 10–15 minutes until golden and bubbling.