Make Ahead

Ricotta-Feta Gnocchi Tossed in Maple-Brown-Butter and Sweet Peas Sauce

March 26, 2012
2 Ratings
Author Notes

Try this mouthwatering ricotta gnocchi; it is easy, authentic and delicious! My Mom used to make them often for breakfast. In Russia Ricotta Gnocchi are called “Lazy Dumplings” and made with Farmer’s Cheese. They are light and tender velvet-like cushions to your bite and are equally delicious just cooked and then browned in butter or tossed in sour cream, mixed in fresh tomatoes sauce, served with mushrooms or with caramelized onions. Today I made them in a combination of Ricotta and salty feta, which is paring nicely with the sweetness of Maple Syrup and nuttiness of brown butter. I added the sweet peas to celebrate the beginning of spring, lemon juice and zest for freshness. The beautiful photos #4, #5, #6 were taking by Dabblings, who tested and reviewed this recipe. —Kukla

Test Kitchen Notes

You know you have a winning dish on your table when every one from the parents, a 12 year old, a picky 4 year old to a 2 year old scoff it up. I made Kukla's Gnocchi Ricotta-Feta Gnocchi Tossed in a Maple-Brown-Butter and Sweet Peas Sauce for my family of 5 for dinner and it disappeared with a chorus of “mmmm's”. What could be better than pillow soft gnocchi and a buttery maple sauce scented with thyme and lemon? Both easy to make and special enough to wow some company, this meal will be gracing our table again. —Dabblings

  • Serves 4
  • For the Gnocchi
  • • 1 cup (8 ounces) whole milk ricotta, homemade or purchased, drained for at list 4 hours or overnight
  • • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) best quality French or Greek feta
  • • 2 extra- large egg yolks
  • • 3/4 cup "00" flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
  • • 2 tablespoons semolina (which is used for cooking Cream of Wheat, not flour)
  • • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • • Coarse salt and finely ground black or white pepper
  • • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • For the Maple-Brown-Butter
  • • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (preferably grade B)
  • • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • • 1 cup sweet green peas, fresh or frozen and thawed
  • • About 2 teaspoons lemon zest, for serving
  • • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, for serving
  • • Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
In This Recipe
  1. For the Gnocchi
  2. To make the Gnocchi: In a large bowl, using a large fork, mix well ricotta and feta until smooth; add egg yolks, lemon zest, salt and pepper, mix until combined. Sift flour over the mixture; sprinkle semolina and using a rubber spatula gently fold together.
  3. Turn mixture out onto a lightly floured work surface. Lightly knead just until dough comes together (do not overwork dough).
  4. Divide the dough into 4 pieces, and roll into 1/2-inch-thick ropes on a floured surface. Cut each rope into 1/2-inch pieces, deep your finger tip in flour and make an indentation in each gnocchi. Place on a lightly floured baking sheet; cover with a kitchen towel. Transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.
  1. For the Maple-Brown-Butter
  2. To make the Maple-Brown-Butter: In a small saucepan, heat butter over medium heat, swirling pan occasionally, until golden brown and most of the foam has subsided, 8 to 10 minutes. Immediately strain into a small bowl.
  3. In a clean saucepan, bring maple syrup, salt and the thyme sprig to a boil over medium-high and cook 2 minutes; then discard thyme sprig, add brown butter and mix in lemon juice and peas. Cover and keep warm over a pot of simmering water.
  4. To serve: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, shake off excess flour from the gnocchi and add to boiling water. When they plump up and float to surface, lower the heat and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Drain, shake off excess water and toss with the Maple-Brown-Butter and Peas Sauce in a large bowl.
  5. Transfer to a warmed platter or individual bowls, sprinkle with thyme leaves, lemon zest and grate Parmigiano Reggiano over the top. Serve immediately.

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