These delicious Italian dumplings are made from potato, semolina, wheat flour or cheese and other ingredients. They can be served with tomato-based sauces or with melted butter and cheese. Serve as an entree or light lunch with a salad and crusty bread.
350g fresh ricotta
1 cup finely grated parmesan
1 egg, lightly beaten
Pinch ground nutmeg
½ cup plain flour
Salt and pepper, to taste
TOMATO BASIL SAUCE
1 tbsp olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
400g can Italian cherry tomatoes in tomato juice
½ cup dry white wine
1 tsp brown sugar
¼ cup cream
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
1. Place ricotta in a sieve over a bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight to drain.
2. Combine drained ricotta, parmesan and egg in a large bowl. Gently stir in nutmeg and flour until mixture comes together to form a soft, sticky dough. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Halve dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll one half into a 40cm-long log shape. Using a sharp knife, cut log into 2cm-long pieces. You should have 40 pieces. With hands lightly floured, roll each piece into an oval shape. Set aside on a tray lined with baking paper. Repeat with remaining dough.
4. To make tomato basil sauce, heat oil in a large frying pan. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft. Add undrained tomatoes, wine and sugar. Bring to boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove and cover to keep warm.
5. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to boil. Drop half the gnocchi, one by one, into water. Once gnocchi rises to surface, cook for a further minute. Remove and transfer to a large bowl. Cover to keep warm. Repeat with remaining gnocchi.
6. Stir cream and basil into tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Stir over heat until hot. Add gnocchi to pan and stir to coat in sauce.
7. Serve gnocchi immediately.
Fresh ricotta is available from the deli counter at supermarkets. Sauce can be made, omitting cream and basil, up to one day ahead. Keep, covered, in refrigerator. Add cream and basil when reheating sauce. Gnocchi are best made on the day of serving.