Handmade Ricotta Gnocchi with Shiitake Mushrooms in Brown Butter Sage Sauce

By • December 2, 2015 7 Comments

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Author Notes: This gnocchi recipe has become a household favorite. It's easy to make, the gnocchi turn out fluffy every time and taste like you're at a cozy Italian Trattoria overlooking the sunny hills of Tuscany. And as a bonus, you only need about 3/4 cup of flour for the entire recipe, making it quite lower in carbs than regular pasta. Which is really good, because the butter definitely makes up for the missing calories ;)
Note: how much flour you need really depends on the climate. 1/2 a cup is what I usually use, but sometimes I need a bit more. Just add enough to be able to shape the dough into a ball, it is ok if it's sticky...it will firm up in the fridge.
Jenya | BlueGalley


Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 cup good quality Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/2 cup flour, plus 2 or more tbs for dusting
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 & 1/3 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 to 10 ounces Shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 10 to 15 sage leaves, coarsely chopped or left whole if small
  • kosher salt (or Maldon) to taste
  1. Grate the parmesan, chop the parsley, place both in a bowl together and set aside. Scoop the cup of ricotta into a medium bowl and use a large fork to smooth out any lumps. Sprinkle the flour on top and with the fork mix together until mixture is lumpy. Add the 3 egg yolks and gently incorporate into the flour / ricotta mixture. Sprinkle the black pepper over, add the parmesan and parsley, and stir everything together until dough comes together.
  2. Turn out the dough on to a slightly floured surface and knead for a minute or two until it easily comes together into a ball. If the dough is too sticky, add a bit more flour, but try to add as little as possible. The dough should be slightly sticky, which helps make the gnocchi extra fluffy. Place the ball of dough into a bowl (can use the same one) and let it sit in the fridge for 45 minutes to an hour at least. Note: dough can be made the day before and allowed to sit in fridge overnight.
  3. Remove gnocchi from the fridge, flatten ball slightly and cut the dough into 4 even portions. Lightly flour a large tray or baking sheet that can hold gnocchi in a single layer and set aside. On a lightly floured cuttable surface, roll each portion into a long “rope”. I usually cut the rope in half and continue to roll each half further until about 1/2 an inch thick. So 4 portions, should render 8 equal length and width ropes. Use a cutter or pastry scraper to cut each rope (just line them up and cut together) into about 1 inch long pieces. Move the gnocchi to the prepared tray and place in fridge while you make the sauce
  4. Preheat oven to 350. Set a large pot of salted water on high heat and bring to a boil. Place a small saucepan over medium heat and add the butter, cook until it turns a golden brown and oozes a nutty aroma. It will bubble vigorously at first and then settle and become one of the greatest things on earth: brown butter! While it cooks, use a spoon to skim white foam off the top and edges. You don’t have to get all of it, but as much as you can. Once the butter is slightly brown (about 4 minutes after it melts) add the sage leaves and cook another 2 minutes. Lower heat if necessary to not burn the butter. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Wipe the shiitake mushrooms with a wet paper towel, remove any large stems and slice into strips 1/4 inch thick. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium heat with the crushed garlic cloves. Remove garlic when after it turns golden and discard. Add the mushrooms, cook on medium high heat to crisp slightly, stirring often. Lower heat after 3 minutes to low. Meanwhile, add the gnocchi in 2 batches not to overcrowd to the boiling water. Cook a few minutes, until all the gnocchi have floated up to the surface.
  6. Add the brown butter and sage to the mushrooms and stir to combine. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi directly to the sauce as they finish cooking. Stir gnocchi with the butter and mushrooms very gently until coated with sauce. Taste and season with salt (Maldon if possible) and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

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