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Zuni ricotta gnocchi report

Carb Lover | Nov 22, 2005 01:34 AM

After wanting to make Zuni's ricotta gnocchi since my love affair w/ the cookbook began, I finally got around to it tonight! Result is pictured below; sliced into one dumpling so you could see fluffy texture. I'm so grateful to have found the recipe on Martha's website so I don't have to paraphrase (see link).

Wanted to wait til I could get some really good fresh ricotta and bought some Bellwether Farms brand yesterday. While it doesn't specify in the book, believe this is the kind the restaurant uses. You can use any good quality ricotta though. Had to restrain myself from eating the container since the plain ricotta was so darn good...creamy, buttery, no wateriness or acerbic flavor at all. I didn't have to drain out excess water since this cheese was perfect in consistency.

The linked recipe is slightly different from the cookbook one. Most significantly, the cookbook version uses 8 TB butter for the sauce instead of 4 TB and adds a little water. I'd say that 6 TB butter and no water is a good compromise.

Like most of Rodgers' recipes, it looks sort of daunting b/c of the length (about 5 pages in the book), but the doing is actually easy and straightforward. Stand mixer will make life alot easier though since I beat the batter to death to maximize fluffiness. I pretty much followed the method, except I used XL eggs and made the gnocchi a little larger than specified. Forming this gnocchi takes patience (not like making potato gnocchi) so I got sloppy at the end, but it doesn't really matter since these are freeform and should be a little quirky.

I added some fresh grated nutmeg to the batter and used quartered crimini mushrooms instead of chanterelles. Sage was great w/ this. Drizzle of truffle oil might have been nice at end, but not necessary and I didn't have any good stuff.

Verdict? Delicate, ethereal, very feminine. Beguiling juxtaposition btwn. light as air texture and rich buttery and cheesy flavor. Mushrooms added a needed earthiness and meaty texture, and Rodgers provides other variations in the cookbook. Like most gnocchi, the richness and monotony makes it ideal for a first course as opposed to main.

While I enjoyed this dish and would make it again, I wouldn't say that I loved it as much as many of the other standouts in the book. Something about it didn't seem as balanced to me. Too much egg, not enough flour, too much butter. The wonderful ricotta flavor got drowned out in all that. Regardless, not a bad Mon. night supper and so glad to have discovered that cheese!

Any tried and true ricotta gnocchi recipes that might be more balanced?

Link: http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jht...

Image: http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y45/...

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