I adore ricotta gnocchi, moreso than potato gnocchi, for the simple reason that it lends itself well to so many different preparations — most of which are vegetarian. It all depends on what’s available at the market or in my pantry.
Click here for a demo on ricotta gnocchi. This is a straight-up adaptation of Suzanne Goins’ recipe from Sunday Suppers at Lucques. I’ve made replicated her method several times — it’s foolproof and the results are well worth the effort.
Ricotta gnocchi with Sungold cherry tomatoes and shiitake mushrooms
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Here, soft pillowy gnocchi are married with sweet tomatoes and piquant mushrooms in a buttery herb sauce. It’s perfect for a summer supper. If you don’t want to make the gnocchi, you can substitute penne, farfalle or fusilli instead.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large garlic clove, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 lb. shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
1/2 cup Sungold cherry tomatoes, halved (leave a few whole)
a sprig of thyme, chopped
a handful of Italian parsley, chopped
freshly milled black pepper
pecorino Romano cheese
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute, or until they take on a little color. Add mushrooms and thyme; sauté until they soften, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes to the pan and lower heat to medium-low. Watch carefully, stirring occasionally. If the tomatoes begin to exude their juice, remove pan from heat to slow down the cooking process. You don’t want to cook them too much — just enough to gently warm them.
Ideally your gnocchi should be ready by this point. Add gnocchi directly to the skillet. Stir in 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and the parsley. Taste for salt and pepper, then serve at once, passing cheese at the table.
Time: 1 hour, including prep (for both the sauce and the gnocchi dough). Using Suzanne’s method, draining the ricotta will take approximately 12 to 24 hours prior to making this dish.