This is my first time making homemade hand shaped pasta. This is awesome for so many reasons. Two of which are: 1) it’s really easy and totally not hard at all 2) you don’t need a pasta maker for this! On Saturday, my friend Jen and I attended a Hand Shaped Pasta Making Class here in Seattle at Cuoco. The class was so much fun. I highly recommend this class to anyone here in Seattle who has the interest and loves pasta. We were welcomed with Prosecco and a Nettle soup with breadcrumbs. Delicious! And what a delight to enjoy first thing on a Saturday morning.
In our pasta class, our lovely teacher, Rebecca, showed us how to make farfalle, garganelli and ricotta cavatelli or Ricotta Gnocchi. I really loved this hands-on class because it cast away any fear I might have had with making pasta from scratch. It definitely takes more time and I won’t be doing this on a regular basis (we eat pasta at least one or twice a week) but now I know how much time goes into it and that the process is not hard at all; just time consuming. And with the hand shaped pasta, some practice is needed.
The best part of the class, after we got to get our hands dirty and make pasta ourselves, was actually tasting the pasta. And we got to take home the pasta we made in class. Here’s my Ricotta Gnocchi! I’m ushering in Spring with this dish. I really love the fresh ingredients and simplicity of this dish. I made a sage butter sauce for gnocchi before but I love that this dish is really just bringing together fresh vegetables/ingredients and simply using olive oil, salt, pepper and parmigiano-reggiano for its flavor. This was a bit of “let’s throw almost all of the vegetables I have in the fridge in here” but what I love about this is that you can use whatever you have or what is in season. This dish is a little rustic, simple and delicious. I hope you enjoy!
- 1 lb. whole milk ricotta cheese
- 2 large eggs
- about 2 cups (or 9 oz.) all-purpose flour, plus more for the dough and kneading
- 1 teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well using a rubber spatula, rubber dough scraper or your hands. Knead/mix the dough for about 2-3 minutes. The dough should be somewhat wet and sticky. The dough should come together within a few minutes; be careful not to overwork the dough.
- Transfer the dough onto a well-floured work surface then using your hands, bring it together and shape into a round mound. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to one hour.
- When ready, unwrap the dough (sprinkle on a little flour to help you work with the dough if needed) and cut the dough into 3-4 pieces and then roll each piece into 12-inch long ropes or as long as you can get it (about ¾-inch thick). While rolling, if needed, add a little extra flour to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands or your work surface.
- Using a bench scraper or knife, cut the ropes into little squares (about 1 inch wide). If a gnocchi design is desired, take a piece of gnocchi dough and make a dent into the middle of the dough with your two fingers (index finger and middle finger). Then, using the back of a fork, roll the dough piece off the back of the fork to create lines in the gnocchi, while keeping the curved shape of the pasta.
- When finished, transfer the gnocchi to a baking sheet with flour and shake the sheet so that the flour lightly coats each piece. At this point, you can either cook the gnocchi or freeze it. If freezing, place the baking sheet with gnocchi into freezer and freeze for about 2 hours until the gnocchi are hardened. Then, transfer the frozen gnocchi to a plastic container or resealable bag. When you are ready to cook the gnocchi, simply remove from the freezer and continue with the directions below.
- about 2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
- 2-3 cloves fresh garlic, minced or finely chopped
- onions; chopped
- mushrooms (like cremini or baby portobellos); sliced
- asparagus tips
- zucchini; chopped
- sweet cherry tomatoes; halved
- a few handfuls of fresh spinach
- salt and pepper
- Ricotta gnocchi
- Pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- In a large pan or wok, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. After a minute or two, add your garlic and stir. After another couple minutes, add all of your vegetables except the spinach. Season with salt and pepper and saute for about 3-4 minutes.
- While the vegetables are cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ricotta gnocchi and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes or until the gnocchi begin to float. Using a slotted spoon, remove the gnocchi and set aside.
- Going back to the vegetables, add the spinach and mix and cook for another minute or two until the spinach begins to wilt. When the spinach is ready, add your cooked gnocchi, toss gently and season more with salt and pepper if needed.
- To serve: plate the gnocchi with the vegetables and garnish generously with freshly grated Pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Serve immediately.
Inspired by the pasta we ate after class at Cuoco.