Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ricotta Gnocci with Spring Vegetables

Remember last summer, when my old man of a husband hurt his back and I spent the better part of a month making fun of him for being a baby? Well, turns out that karma is a bitch... a serious one, because this ginger has been stranded on the couch with a hurt back for the past two weeks! I know, I know... what a crazy thing to happen to such a young and able girl. But, it did happen and the absolute worst part has been trying to stay off my feet!

Usually, when I am sick or stuck at home, I take advantage of my free time by trying out new recipes, baking, and doing other fun things that require me to be on my toes. So, you can imagine that being stuck on the couch with doctor's orders to stay off my feet and out of the kitchen, has been nothing less than miserable. And a big, huge pain in the ass. Sometimes literally. Thankfully, rules are meant to be broken (for 30 minutes or less... while medicated). So, with my hubby home for lunch today, I figured I would whip a little something up... God knows he deserves it for putting up with my whining and constant begging for back massages. 

With spring being one of my favorite times for produce, I figured I would throw together something using some fresh, seasonal veggies. I love citrus, asparagus, and green peas... all of which were absolutely perfect tossed with some fresh, homemade ricotta gnocchi! The lemon zest made for a bright, springy pasta perfect with a glass of white wine! Hey, I gotta keep myself in good spirits somehow, right? (Did I mentioned medicated?)

Ricotta Gnocci with Spring Vegetables

4 cups ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup all purpose flour
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 cup green peas (if frozen, thawed)
1/4 cup butter
2 tbsp olive oil
Chopped fresh chives
Finely grated lemon zest
Grated parmesan 
Salt and freshly cracked pepper



  • Line a baking dish with 3 layers of paper towels; spoon ricotta onto paper towels and let sit 20 minutes (if the ricotta is too wet, the dough won’t hold together).
  • Combine ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, and salt in a food processor; season with pepper and process until smooth. Add flour and pulse just to combine (mixture should be smooth and fairly wet). Transfer gnocchi mixture to a pastry bag fitted with ½” round tip or a large resealable plastic bag.
  • Gnocchi mixture can be made 1 day ahead. Cover pastry tip and chill.


  • Cook asparagus in a large pot of boiling salted water until bright green and crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Using tongs or a mesh strainer, transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool; drain. Slice asparagus on the diagonal into bite-size pieces, leaving tips intact.
  • Reduce heat so water is simmering. If using a resealable plastic bag for gnocchi mixture, cut a ½” opening in bottom of bag. Working in 3 batches, pipe dough into pot, cutting off 1” lengths with a paring knife and letting dough drop into water. Cook until doubled in size, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to a lightly oiled baking sheet. Reserve ¼ cup cooking liquid.
  • Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, tossing occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes; set aside.
  • Add gnocchi, asparagus, peas, butter, and reserved cooking liquid to skillet. Cook, tossing gently, until vegetables are warm and sauce has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with chives, Parmesan, and lemon zest.

    Recipe adapted from Bon Apetit.

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