Tuesday, April 12

Ricotta and Beetroot Gnocchi



When I was a little girl, I was not exposed to many vegetables outside of canned corn, canned green beans, mashed potatoes, and frozen broccoli or cauliflower topped with cheddar cheese sauce. I was a horribly picky kid raised by two picky adults. I ate many meals that consisted of canned soup, Top Ramen, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches..... and Kiddie Cuisines. Anyone else remember those atrocious TV dinners marketed towards kids? They always included a microwaved brownie, that had a few stray pieces of corn in the centers. Yeah I loved the heck out of those.

Probably the only unprocessed, healthy food that I LOVED as a kid, was beetroot. My mom always called them "nature's candy" and would boil the crap out of them, and then serve them to me with a bit of salt.... and I loved them.  Today beets are my favorite food,  and I love them prepared any which way. Whether it be a raw beet salad, roasted in olive oil and sea salt, or pureed into a dough, beets are indeed nature's candy.


I am especially fond of using beet root puree in pasta recipes. It gives the dough such an amazing bright, spring color.  This recipe tastes light and refreshing,  is easy to prepare, and is the perfect comfort dish for any spring dinner! 








Ricotta and Beetroot Gnocchi 
Ingredients: 
1 lb of roasted beetroot, peeled
1 tbs lemon juice
1 cup or whole milk ricotta cheese
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp kosher salt
up to 2.5 cups of unbleached all purpose flour (additional flour for rolling)

For the sauce:
3/4 cup butter, browned
The juice of one lemon
1 tbs lemon zest
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Salt and pepper to taste

Microgreens for garnish

Directions:
Add beets, lemon juice, ricotta, nutmeg, 1 tsp salt to a food processor. Blend until smooth.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, add the beet mixture, and mix on medium speed, adding flour 1/4 cup at a time.  Once the dough has come together and is smooth, and only slightly sticky, remove it from the mixer and allow to rest, covered for about 1 hour on the counter. ( I leave it in the mixing bowl)

Divide dough into 3-4 pieces, and start to roll them on a floured surface to form long logs about 1 inch in diameter.

Cut the dough into 1/2 inch pieces. Roll down a gnocchi board or fork to create the traditional gnocchi shape (optional).

Allow the gnocchi to dry for about 1 hour on a lightly floured surface.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, add gnocchi a few pieces at a time. Boil until they float to the top, about 1-2 minutes.

Drain the gnocchi,  and toss with browned butter, lemon juice, zest, garlic and walnuts. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with fresh greens.





23 comments:

  1. Perfection. Your recipes keep getting better and better my friend. A couple sidenotes...your outfit is on point, complete with nails! Beats my yoga pants/sweatshirt ensemble! And you bought me back to 1987 with mentioning that microwaved brownie - or the cobbler...do you remember that? The things we used to consume!

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    Replies
    1. my kids don't even know what a TV dinner is! I feel like I should buy them each one, and see what they think. Something tells me they won't eat any of it haha.

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  2. Replies
    1. If you want an easier dinner idea, I would suggest hitting up the frozen food isle at your local grocery store.

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    2. have you tried the recipe? How do you know it's too hard?

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  3. Simply beautiful! I have never made homemade gnocchi, but you've inspired me to try it!

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  4. These are seriously gorgeous! I have never made gnocchi..or even had it! (I KNOW) But I need to try this ..love that color!

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    Replies
    1. Ummmm you need to try it!! It's my favorite type of pasta... (Or dumpling really)

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  5. Wow, the color is fantastic!!! I'm a gnocchi maker virgin too though :(

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    1. I love beet pasta for the color! And oh my god. Make some Gnocchi!

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  6. Your photos are ON POINT! This sounds amazing. And not hard.

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  7. These colors are stunning!! And anytime you can add beet to a meal is fine by me!

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  8. Haven't thought of using beets before in gnocchi but this is something I would definitely want a try-the color is beautiful!!

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  9. What an incredibly gorgeous dish. The color in that gnocchi!

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  10. I love the vibrant huge the beetroot gives to these gnocchi. This whole dish looks like nature's candy indeed! I'm mesmerized by watching you roll them out too!

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  11. I don't have any beer root, or a food processor... I do have an electric mixture! Could I make this recipe without either!? I am new to cooking but I know my dad loves this type of paste!
    Thank you for answering my questions.

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    Replies
    1. Well it is beet root gnocchi, so if you don't have that, you can't really make the dish. You can try subbing a mashed sweet potato in place if you want to give it a whirl. As for the food processor, beets are not easy to mash, which is why I have to process it. But if you tried using something like sweet potato, you can do that by hand using a fork if you wanted.

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