How to Make Ricotta Gnocchi

How to Make Ricotta Gnocchi--click for recipe from Spiced! Gnocchi is absolutely one of my favorite Italian foods.  Ever.  I’m pretty sure it was a daily staple when my wife and I traveled to Italy on our honeymoon a couple years back.  If you’ve never had good gnocchi, then you are missing out.  Like most pasta dishes, there are many different varieties of gnocchi, but flour, potato, and ricotta are among the more common types.  Gnocchi are often served with various red sauces or a simple brown butter and sage sauce.  Depending on my mood, I usually opt for red sauce or pesto…mainly because pesto makes everything better!

How to Make Ricotta Gnocchi--click for recipe from Spiced!

So the other day I noticed I had some leftover ricotta cheese in the refrigerator.  I didn’t have any immediate need for it, so rather than letting it go to waste, I decided to make some ricotta gnocchi.  This recipe is incredibly quick and simple to make and is almost foolproof…oh, and did I mention that it’s delicious, too?  You could come home after a long day at work and have dinner on the table in a little more than 30 minutes.  And you’d have time for a glass of wine, too.  (What is it about Italian food that seems to require a glass of wine?)

How to Make Ricotta Gnocchi--click for recipe from Spiced! One of my absolute favorite ways to serve this dish is to simply toss the ricotta gnocchi in pesto and then heat in a saute pan until warm.  Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and dinner is done!  But don’t forget to pour another glass of wine first.

How to Make Ricotta Gnocchi

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups ricotta cheese, drained
  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1.5 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together until well blended.
  2. Cover and let dough rest for about 30 minutes.
  3. While dough is resting, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  4. Roll dough into a log approximately 1" thick. Roll log in extra semolina flour to keep it from sticking.
  5. Cut log into ~1" pieces.
  6. Carefully place each gnocchi into the boiling water and cook until gnocchi float (just 1-2 minutes).
  7. Use a slotted spoon to gently transfer the cooked gnocchi into the pan with whatever sauce you prefer.

Notes

An easy way to drain ricotta cheese is to wrap it in cheesecloth and then place in a colander over a bowl in the refrigerator. Ideally, ricotta should drain for a couple of hours or as long as overnight. (Just do this before you go to bed, and your ricotta will be ready to go for dinner tomorrow...just keep it in the refrigerator!)

http://spicedblog.com/how-to-make-ricotta-gnocchi.html

French Onion Stuffed Potatoes

French Onion Stuffed Potatoes--click for recipe from Spiced! Now that Easter’s over, it’s time to get back to normal…which basically means no desserts for a while.  If you’ve been reading Spiced this past week, you know what I mean!  My wife and I have been enjoying Cadbury Creme Egg Milkshakes, Hot Cross Buns, Raspberry Kringle, and we still have a couple slices of Carrot Cake left.  While they were all delicious, I don’t want to see any desserts for at least a week or two.  Ok, maybe just today.  Either way, it’s time to focus on some savory food.  The weather is getting warmer, which means grilling season and fresh veggies and herbs from the garden!  I can’t wait!

We had some potatoes leftover from our Easter dinner, so I decided to have a bit of fun.  I’ve always enjoyed double-stuffed potatoes, so I set out to make a batch of those.  But then I decided to mix it up a bit, and I ended up creating these French Onion Stuffed Potatoes…they are amazing!  I basically used the ingredients for a delicious French Onion Soup, but I mixed them with mashed potatoes and then restuffed them into the potato skin.  Stuffed potatoes also freeze incredibly well, so make a large batch and then freeze the leftovers.  These will make an easy side dish for those nights when you get home from work late and don’t want to cook anything.

French Onion Stuffed Potatoes--click for recipe from Spiced! In my mind, stuffed potatoes are a classic comfort food.  And so is French Onion Soup.  So these French Onion Stuffed Potatoes are an ultimate form of comfort food.  And there is absolutely nothing difficult about making stuffed potatoes.  They do take a bit of time since the potatoes have to bake a couple of times, but  thats why you make extras to freeze for later!  I’ve included my recipe below, but with Stuffed Potatoes, the exact proportions are not all that important.  If you like cheese, throw some extra cheese in.  If you prefer vegetable instead of beef broth, then go with that.  Either way, you’ll have a delicious side dish for dinner!

French Onion Stuffed Potatoes

Yield: 8 Stuffed Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 4 large Russet Potatoes, rinsed and scrubbed
  • 1/2 medium red onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup beef broth
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk

Instructions

  1. Using a fork or sharp knife, pierce each potato about 10-12 times at regular intervals.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour, or until done.
  3. Meanwhile, saute the onions in olive oil on low heat until they turn translucent in color (~25-20 minutes)
  4. Once potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice each in half lengthwise with a sharp knife.
  5. Using a large spoon, carefully scrape out most of the potato into a large bowl. (Leave a little bit of potato near the skin just to provide structure and keep the skin from ripping.) Set skins aside.
  6. In the bowl with the potatoes, add the sauteed onions, beef broth, butter, 1/2 cup of cheese, and buttermilk. Mix well.
  7. Scoop the potato mixture back into each potato skin. Top with remaining 1/4 cup of cheese.
  8. Bake stuffed potatoes at 350 for about 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is fully melted.
  9. Serve warm or freeze.
http://spicedblog.com/french-onion-stuffed-potatoes.html

Carrot Cake with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting--click for recipe from Spiced! When I was a kid, I never liked carrot cake.  Well, to be honest, I never tried carrot cake.  I actually loved carrots, and I definitely ate my fair share of cake.  But I didn’t like the idea of carrots being in my cake.  I mean, who in the their right mind would ever put vegetables in a cake?  So I went many, many years without ever trying carrot cake.  Continue Reading »

Raspberry Almond Kringle

Raspberry Almond Kringle--click for recipe from Spiced!

When I was younger, a family friend would always send us a Danish kringle from Wisconsin every year for Christmas.  My sister and I loved this treat, and it soon became one of our favorite Christmas morning traditions!  I haven’t had a kringle in many years, but I still remember the taste like it was yesterday.  So, I decided to make a kringle for Easter brunch this year.  Continue Reading »