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Recipe

Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi

Servings: 4

Light and lemony, this pasta would make a great first course or a light supper served with a salad. If you’re very ambitious, serve the gnocchi as a side with roast chicken or lamb chops.

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 medium lemons
  • 5-1/2 oz. (1-1/4 cups) all-purpose flour; more as needed
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 oz. (about 1 cup) whole-milk ricotta
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 large shallot, finely diced
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano, for serving

Preparation

  • Finely zest the lemons using a rasp-style grater to get 2 Tbs. zest, then mince the zest with a chef’s knife. Juice half of 1 lemon and cut the other half into wedges for serving. (Or use an unzested lemon if you want prettier-looking wedges.)
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, 1 heaping tsp. of the lemon zest, and a pinch of salt. Use your fingers to help disperse the zest into the flour. Add the ricotta and egg, and mix until a dough starts to form. (If the dough is very sticky, add up to an additional 2 Tbs. flour.)
  • Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment and sprinkle lightly with flour. Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Turn the dough onto the work surface, and knead briefly until soft and smooth, but still a little sticky.
  • Lightly reflour the work surface. Turn the dough onto the flour and gently flatten by hand or with a rolling pin until about 3/4 inch thick. If the dough is sticky, lightly dust the top with flour.
  • With a floured bench scraper or a knife, cut the dough into strips from 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide. With your hands, roll and lengthen the strips until about 1/2 inch in diameter. Cut the logs into 3/4-inch pieces.
  • Arrange the gnocchi in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets, making sure they don’t touch. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 hours. If you want to hold them longer, freeze until hard, transfer to a zip-top freezer bag, and keep frozen for up to 1 month; do not defrost before cooking.
  • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 2 Tbs. of the butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is tender and becoming translucent, about 2 minutes. Add 1 Tbs. of the lemon juice, the remaining lemon zest, and the thyme, and cook, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
  • Reduce the heat so the water is simmering. Add the gnocchi and cook, stirring once, until they float to the surface, 1 to 3 minutes.
  • While the gnocchi cook, transfer about 1/4 cup of the cooking water to the skillet. Bring to a simmer, and whisk in the remaining 2 Tbs. butter. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi to the sauce, and toss gently to coat. Season to taste with salt, and serve topped with grated cheese and a lemon wedge on the side.

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