Gnocchi ought to be like soft little pillows of pasta eager to soak up whatever sauce we throw at it, yet so often it can turn out chewy and disappointing. Try this gnocchi made with ricotta instead of potatoes – it’s a dream come true every time. Nici calls it her ‘knock-out gnocchi’.
1 cup fresh ricotta
1 cup plain flour + extra as needed
2/3 cup grated parmesan
Small handful each parsley and basil, chopped
1 tsp sea salt
3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
200g cherry tomatoes (can used canned tomatoes)
Pinch chilli flakes
Grated parmesan to serve
Squeeze of lemon juice to serve
Mix the gnocchi ingredients together in a big bowl to form a soft, just-sticky dough. Don’t over mix. Turn out onto a well-floured surface. Divide dough into three portions, then roll each into a 3cm-thick log. Cut into 2cm lengths, dusting with flour as you go. Set aside while you cook tomatoes for the topping.
Heat oil in a large pan and add garlic. Cook for 30 seconds then add remaining ingredients and cook until tomatoes soften and become juicy. Turn off heat.
Cook gnocchi in a large pot of well-salted water. Do this in batches, cooking for 4-5 minutes only (they will sink them rise to the surface), removing the gnocchi with a slotted spoon and transferring them directly to the pan with the tomatoes.
Toss gnocchi in pan juices and serve with grated parmesan, a squeeze of lemon juice and basil leaves. Serve with a salad if you wish.