Ricotta Gnocchi

Because we had fresh ricotta to use that we made I didn’t want it to go to waste so I decided to have a go at gnocchi.  I hadn’t made it before but it was on my list!  I found this recipe online and used it as a guide.  I was pleased with the results and it was something the family enjoyed.

It is quick and easy and you can have dinner done in an hour from start to finish.  In a large bowl mix a cup of ricotta, 2 eggs beaten, 1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, herbs of your choice (about a tsp), and 1 cup flour.  For this I used marojam, sage, and thyme.  Mix it all together until if forms a dough.

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The dough will be soft but you don’t want it overly sticky so add flour if need be.  Take about a third and roll it out into a rope.  Cut them into inch long pieces and use the fork to put grooves in.  Place on the plate.  Do this for the rest of the dough.  Once done place it in the fridge while you do the sauce.

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I just did a simple sauce for this with our tomato sauce and veg.  Once that was made up I brought the water to a boil and tossed in the gnocchi.  It will sink but once it is done it will float.  About 4 minutes or so.

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Once it is cooked toss in the sauce and it is ready to serve.

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It is a great meal for when you want something tasty but easy.

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Ricotta Cheese made from Whey

In my previous post about making swiss cheese I mentioned saving the whey for another recipe.  When making various cheeses you may find yourself with a good amount of whey left over.  Not wanting to waste this we make ricotta cheese.  It is a very simple cheese to make.  For this we used the book “Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking” by Gianaclis Caldwell.  It is an excellent book if you are moving beyond beginner cheeses.

Again it is important to make sure everything is sterile.

While continually stirring bring the whey up to 195-200F or 91-93C.  It is important this does not boil!

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Once the temp is reached let it cool back down to 190F/88C while stirring.  Now it is time to introduce the acid.  You can use lemon juice or vinegar, usually white or cider.  To do this 1 tablespoon is added at a time until the curds separate enough.

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Have a colander lined with cheese cloth or butter muslin over a large bowl to drain the cheese.

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Once most of it has been drained hang in a spot that is not drafty to let the rest of the whey drain.  This takes about an hour.

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Salt to taste if you like and then store in an airtight container in the fridge.  It keeps about a week.   I didn’t salt this as I wanted it for a recipe.

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What to do with the leftover whey after this recipe?  Compost pile or the garden.  🙂