Ricotta Gnocchi with Crisp Ham & Chilli – today is my first day back at work after a couple of weeks off, and whilst I’m normally excited at starting a new year, today, I’m feeling every bit like a child being dragged through a shopping centre by a parent who is on a mission to get their daily ‘to do’ list completed in record time.
Anyhow, my holidays as some of you know, has been spent doing painting, installing a walk in wardrobe and various other odd jobs around Damo’s house, however during the evening I did manage to catch up on some recipe shows and social media trolling. One such show happened to be Donna Hay’s Basics to Brilliance which I must admit I binge watched, holed up in bed enjoying the cool surrounds of the air-conditioning.
Feeling inspired yesterday I decided to turn my hand to Ricotta Gnocchi to see if the dough was in fact light, fluffy and easier to work with as described in the show. Which in fact it is. The dough is very hard to stuff up, according to Hay, although, she does mention that it could be a little dry. I think that would occur if you weren’t exact with your measurements, but overall it’s super easy and not very difficult at all.
I decided to top it with some crisp ham, a touch of chilli and some green onions all done in a sour cream sauce as this is what was available to me in the fridge and to be honest, it tasted amazing, according, to the small food critics, they couldn’t get enough and went back for seconds.
So here’s how it went for me:-
- Not knowing the measurements or the exact recipe, I decided to search the net, what I found were four plus sites all proclaiming to have Donna Hay’s recipe for Ricotta Gnocchi.
- I started out following their instructions and after adding all the ingredients and stirring for 5 minutes, I realised that I had something that resembled a cake batter than a dough.
- I tried my hardest to ‘save’ it and to make it into a dough by adding more flour, but when you make Gnocchi, you learn that more flour makes it denser and heavier and therefore it ends up being rubbery and tasteless and probably only good for throwing against a wall.
- I then reverted to the TV program that I had seen and after yet another trip to the shop to purchase some more Ricotta, I started again.
- This time, I threw my hands in the air and worked it out for myself and lo and behold within a couple of stirs, I had a really nice looking dough.
- After turning it out on to a floured surface it took me less than a minute of kneading to combine, and I had a dough that I was happy with, light, fluffy and yet durable.
- I like to cut my dough up into quarters to make it more manageable. Then I can roll it out and cut it to whatever shape, thickness etc that I like.
- If you want more Gnocchi cut it smaller, if you want large Gnocchi, then cut it bigger, whatever takes your fancy.
- Cooking the Gnocchi is easy and it didn’t fall apart. I had a fair amount of Gnocchi so I cooked mine in two batches and as soon as the last Gnocchi had hit the water, the first ones were already floating. Gnocchi is cooked once it floats to the surface.
- Once cooked, I placed the Gnocchi onto a paper towel lined plate and set aside whilst I made my sauce.
- When the sauce was complete, I tossed my Gnocchi through it to warm up again, then serve!
- This dish would go nicely with a fresh salad and crusty bread.
Ricotta Gnocchi with Crisp Ham & Chilli
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups parmesan cheese grated
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- all purpose flour for dredging the surface
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 100 grams 97% fat free shaved ham
- 1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes
- 3 green onions / shallots sliced thinly
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 2/3 cup light sour cream
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1/3 cup flat leaf parsley finely chopped
To Make Gnocchi
In a large mixing bowl add all of the ingredients, stir to combine and until a sticky dough forms.
Sprinkle a handful of flour on the bench-top or silicone mat and turn out the dough.
Knead gently until the dough comes together. Cut into quarters - optional.
Roll out the dough and using a sharp knife, cut the Gnocchi.
Bring a pot of water to the boil and add a pinch of salt to the water.
Add the Gnocchi. Gnocchi is cooked when it floats.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the Gnocchi and transfer to another plate, set aside.
Continue to cook the next batch if required.
To Make The Sauce
Add a teaspoon of olive oil to a large frypan over a medium to high heat.
Add the ham and continue to cook for 5 minutes or until golden and crispy. Transfer the cooked ham to a plate and rest.
In the same frypan, add a teaspoon of olive oil and add the onions/shallots, garlic and chilli. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onions/shallots have softened slightly.
In a small bowl or jug add the sour-cream and water, stir to combine.
Add the sour-cream mixture to the frypan and reduce the heat, low to medium. Continue to cook for 1-2 minutes.
Return the Gnocchi and ham to the frypan, add the parsley and stir gently to combine and heat through
Once the gnocchi has been heated through, serve. Top with grated parmesan, crusty bread and a salad.