The basis for Niki Segnit’s cookbook, Lateral Cooking: One Dish Leads to Another, is she gives you starting points and connected recipes called continuums. There are 12 continuums in the book. In the Cornbread, Polenta, Gnocchi chapter you start with a basic cornbread recipe that will eventually lead you to gnocchi.
Instead of potato these gnocchi are made with ricotta.
- 1 cup Whole milk ricotta
- 1/3 cup All-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup Finely grated Parmesan
- 1 Egg beaten
- Grating of nutmeg
- Fine semolina or rice flour for dusting
- Drain the ricotta for at least 30 minutes or, preferably, overnight in the fridge.
- Spread out the ricotta on a plate, then evenly sprinkle over the flour, Parmesan, egg, and nutmeg, and quickly form into a soft, wet dough. As for potato gnocchi, you want to handle the dough as little as possible.
- Flour your hands. Roll about 2 tsp of the mixture into a cork shape or a ball, drop it onto a plate of flour, and dust with a fine veil of the semolina or rice flour. If the mixture seems too wet to roll, try dropping a dollop of mixture onto a lightly floured plate, and using a fork rather than your hands to fashion it into a shape.
- Bring some salted water to the boil in a large saucepan and submerge your first gnoccho. It should hold together and bob up to the surface after about a minute. Leave it to simmer for a minute more, before lifting it out with a strainer or slotted spoon and testing it for texture. If it passes, form the rest of the mix into your chosen shapes. If it falls apart, add a little more flour and test again. The idea is to get the ricotta mix to cohere with as little flour as possible.
- Cook your gnocchi in batches. If you’re not serving them immediately, or tossing them straight into a pan of sauce, keep the cooked and drained gnocchi warm in a covered dish in the oven at 200°F. You may find that having two pans of simmering water on the go makes this less laborious.