Saturday, October 1, 2011
Ricotta Gnocchi with Tomato Pesto
Welcome to a brand new season of I Heart Cooking Clubs where we are now cooking and baking recipes from chef Tessa Kiros! I have to be completely honest and say I'd never heard of Tessa until she was on the poll for picking the next chef, where had I been? Although Tessa (as far as I know) does not host a cooking show on TV, she is the author of numerous books featuring different cuisines that are close to her heart.
As I flipped through the pages of her cookbook, Apples for Jam, I was enchanted. So many beautiful photographs, drawings from her little girls, memories written for us to enjoy, and to top that all of, tons of recipes that sounded good! If this book is any indication of her others, looks like I'm going to have a lot of fun during this session of IHCC!
The recipe that first jumped out at me and said, "make me today!" was Ricotta Gnocchi with Tomato Pesto. I love gnocchi and had all of the ingredients on hand, and was extra happy to find a use for some of the last summer basil that I grew in my herb garden this past summer. We are about to have our first frost of the year, and I don't think I can take my herb garden inside, maybe though...not even sure if it would last if I tried to? I'm new to the whole herb gardening community -- anyway, here is the recipe...I have stuck with Tessa's ingredients exactly, but have shortened up the directions a touch, let me know if you have any questions.
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 scant cup all purpose flour
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, if you are making the tomato pesto, make sure it is ready before cooking the gnocchi. Mix together the ricotta, parmesan, flour, and a pinch of salt. With lightly floured hands, roll out into thin sausages (about 5/8 inch thick) -- cut with a sharp knife into little dumplings, about 3/4 inch long.
Drop into boiling water and cook until they float to the surface and are done. (Book says 45 seconds, I needed about double that, so 1 and 1/2 minutes) Lift out with slotted spoon and put into warmed serving bowls (I added a little butter to my bowl so they wouldn't stick together).
Serve with tomato pesto and grated parmesan.
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes (I used a can of san marzanos)
1/2 cup basil leaves, torn
4 tablespoons pine nuts
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a sauce pan with one of the garlic cloves.
When it sizzles, add the tomato and season with salt. Simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes until the tomato thickens and becomes smooth, crusing it up with a spoon from time to time.
Finely chop the other garlic clove and put it in a small processor with the basil leaves and pine nuts. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the remaining olive oil and the parmesan, pulse just long enough to combine. Stir into the tomato sauce and heat for 30 seconds. Remove whole garlic clove before serving. Use sauce to top the gnocchi.
And there you have it, my first Tessa Kiros recipe and it was a huge success! I made these for dinner with my daughter and she had so much fun helping roll and cut and drop these into the pot. She even enjoyed the tomato pesto, which surprised me since she is an avid tomato hater. Now my two boys, they were not fans of this dish, but it really didn't matter, I just made them something else. Nothing was going to spoil these delicious gnocchi and the special mommy daughter time we enjoyed while making them together :)