3.4.14 Ricotta Gnocchi with Kale Pesto and Toasted Pine Nuts
I don’t know about you, but lately, I’ve been up to a lot of projects. Specifically cooking projects. I figure that when this winter seems too cold, and too snowy to think about spending any time outdoors, the best thing to do is buckle down in the kitchen for some good old cookery. Not only is it fun, but it generally involves turning on the oven, which helps to warm up the house a little more - always a good thing in my book. So, as I’m sure you can imagine, I’ve been doing quite a bit of this lately.
In the past week or two, my cookery and other kitchen experimentation has included such things as making heirloom yogurt, and trying my hand at brewing kombucha. I attempted to make yogurt cheese (failure - it never solidified) and dark chocolate coconut milk ganache (success - it was amazing!). I made a couple of beautiful loaves of sourdough bread. I churned my own cultured butter and used the resulting buttermilk to whip up a batch of blueberry buttermilk muffins. I cooked up a giant feast of Spanish tapas, and made some of these lovely kofta from Jerusalem, which I highly recommend that you make immediately. And of course, I decided to make ricotta gnocchi. After all, why not? They’re delicious, fairly easy to make, and they freeze beautifully for later consumption.
And let’s just say, that of all my recent projects, making gnocchi was one of the easiest. So easy, I decided I had to share it here. After all, if you’re thinking of embarking on a cookery project of your own, this is a good one to try. And of course, the results are utterly delicious. Delicious enough that if you really felt like it, you could just eat them plain. But, of course, you would be probably be remiss not to top them with something like this lovely green kale pesto and some toasted pine nuts. Trust me. And get cooking already!
Ricotta Gnocchi with Kale Pesto and Toasted Pine Nuts
makes about 2-3 servings
Gnocchi freezes very well, so it’s not a bad idea to double or triple the gnocchi recipe and freeze some for later. To freeze, place gnocchi in a single layer on a parchment lined sheet pan, and put in freezer until gnocchi are frozen. Transfer frozen gnocchi to a ziploc bag, and store in the freezer until ready to use. Gnocchi can be cooked from frozen, just add a few minutes onto the boiling time.
- ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp pine nuts
- 4 cup chopped kale
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese (I recommend using Sartori SarVecchio)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 8 oz ricotta cheese
- ¾ cups flour + more for dusting
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
1. In a pan over medium heat, toast the pine nuts, stirring constantly until browned, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan, and reserve 1 Tbsp, placing the rest into the bowl of a food processor.
2. Return pan to medium heat and add the kale. Making sure pan is very hot, add ¼ cup water, and continue to cook, stirring kale, until it has cooked down slightly and water has evaporated, about 1-2 minutes.
3. Add kale to pine nuts in food processor bowl, along with the parmesan cheese, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Process until it reaches a smooth consistency. If it appears too thick, add a little extra olive oil.
4. Start medium pot of water boiling and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
5. While water comes to a boil, make the gnocchi. Combine all gnocchi ingredients in a bowl and mix until a smooth dough is formed. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and divide in half. Form each piece of dough into a rope about ½ inch wide. Using knife or dough scraper, cut the ropes into 1 inch pieces. If desired, roll each piece along the back of a fork to form ridges ( I like this because it helps the gnocchi pick up more sauce!), then place formed gnocchi on prepared baking sheet.
6. Once gnocchi are formed and water has come to a boil, add gnocchi to the water and watch for them to float to the surface. Once they start to float, cook another 2-3 minutes, then drain them and immediately toss with kale pesto. Top with remaining toasted pine nuts.