They are quicker to make, there are no potatoes to cook, and for starch-conscious eaters this is a sensible gnocchi meal. Here the sauce is just the cheese, but you can drizzle on some tomato sauce or pesto if you like.
- for the gnocchi
- Kosher salt, for the pot
- 1½ pounds fresh ricotta, drained
- 2 cups grated Grana Padano
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling the gnocchi
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Pinch freshly ground white pepper
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- for finishing the gnocchi
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 whole fresh sage leaves
- ¼ cup freshly grated Grana Padano
Bring a large, wide pot of salted water to a boil to cook the gnocchi. In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients for the gnocchi to make a smooth dough.
Heat a large, wide skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter. When the butter is melted, add the sage. Let the sage sizzle a few minutes to flavor the butter, then keep sauce warm while you make the gnocchi.
To make the gnocchi:
Spread some flour on a rimmed baking sheet or plate. Dust your hands with flour, and on a smooth surface roll the dough into -½–inch by -2–inch–long logs. Cut the log into ½-inch gnocchi, flour, and shape them by rolling on a gnocchi board. Drop the gnocchi into the flour, and dust lightly.
Cook the gnocchi in simmering water until cooked through (you will have to do this in batches—don’t crowd the pot), about 2 to 3 minutes of simmering after they float to the surface. Remove gnocchi with a slotted spoon or spider, and gently add to the sage butter. Let them sit undisturbed while you cook the remaining gnocchi. Once all of the gnocchi are in the pan, let them sit for a couple minutes to firm up, then reheat over low heat, to coat the gnocchi in the sage butter.
Remove the skillet from the heat, sprinkle with the grated cheese, and serve.
One can shape gnocchi by rolling them on the tines of a fork but the gnocchi board, a small handheld ridged wooden board, is much easier. It is found in most kitchen supply stores and it is inexpensive, a nice tool to have in your kitchen.