With the help of my little girls I can roll together a few key ingredients to create an incredible ricotta gnocchi for any weeknight dinner. This I can do, breaking into the Mom clique at my daughter’s school bus stop is apparently going to take a little more effort.
Since Edie started school earlier this month I have found myself standing on the sidewalk’s edge each morning and afternoon awaiting the school bus, desperately trying to break into the circle of gossiping mamas. I can hear Morgan Freeman’s voice playing in my head, “Although the new mother has disguised herself to fit in with the pack there is reluctancy from the others. They can smell her fear.” Like I’m some sort of freakish gazelle on a nature documentary.
I’ll fully admit, small talk isn’t exactly my strong point, “Sooo.. you like food?” Give me an audience of 100 or more and I’ll put on a show but one-on-one conversation intimidates the beejubus out of me. But, then again, so did making homemade gnocchi not that long ago.
Breaking in Ricotta Gnocchi
Inspired by delicious days
Prepares: 2 entrees / 4 side dishes
Time:About 20 minutes
- 1x 475g package of Traditional Ricotta
- 2 large farm-fresh egg yolks
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus dusting flour
- salt and pepper to taste
Serve with tomato sauce or any kind of pesto.
- Discard any excess liquid that the Ricotta’s packaging may contain, then add Ricotta cheese, egg yolk, salt and freshly grated Parmigiano into a large bowl. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Now add the flour and stir in briefly, just until combined – the dough will still be quite sticky. (Of course you can add more flour at this point, but keep in mind, that the more flour you use, the denser the gnocchi become in the end. And you want them to be as light & fluffy as possible, with a velvet-like texture.)
- (This is where my Play-Doh Master kids like to get involved – the secret is to flour everything because the dough is sticky.) Generously flour a board, take a big tablespoon of the dough and scoop it onto the board. It gets dusted with flour (dust your hands generously, too!), before rolling it into a finger-thick roll. Cut it into little pillows (stick the knife’s blade into the flour to prevent it from sticking to the dough). Then place each gnocchi piece on a floured board or parchment paper lined baking tray. Continue quickly with the next step, otherwise they will get soggy and stick to the paper/board anyway.
- Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a generous pinch of salt and reduce heat until the water bubbles lightly. Add the gnocchi and stir once, so they don’t stick to the bottom – then let cook until they start floating on top. Depending on their size this may take 2 to 4 minutes. Take out with a skimmer and serve immediately. Serve with a fresh tomato sauce, simple browned butter and sage or a pesto sauce.
delicious days is one of my favourite websites to visit for inspiration. I owe the author, Nicky, a big thank you for everything I know about gnocchi. I wish she were one of the mothers at the bus stop. Oh! To start my day discussing all of the different types of squash to create gnocchi with this fall.
So, this is life as a loving mother. Finding yourself in uncomfortable positions (from pregnancy and beyond) and making the best of it. There seems to always be something forcing us outside of our comfort zones, but I’ve discovered staying positive and stick-to-it-ness eventually turns into something great. So, I’ll keep forcing a smile and jumping into the conversation whenever I can, hopefully by Christmas I can secure some love with tins of cookies.
Win them over with food!
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