Zucchini season is in full swing and it is both plentiful and cheap so I have been taking full advantage of it by using it in plenty of recipes both old and new! This zucchini ricotta gnocchi is one of the new recipes that I have tried this year and I could not wait to share it with you! Gnocchi are Italian soft dumplings that are typically made with either potato or ricotta along with flour, eggs and cheese and it is often served like pasta in a sauce. One of my favourite variations of gnocchi in the fall is a pumpkin gnocchi and I could not help but wonder about a summer zucchini version.
I wanted the zucchini gnocchi to be nice and light so I decided to go with a ricotta base rather than a potato one and this had the added benefit of making things easier since you do not have to start by cooking the potatoes. The one problem that I foresaw was that zucchini contains a lot of water and that meant that you would need to use more flour and that meant the gnocchi would be heavier so I started things off by salting the shredded zucchini and squeezing out as much liquid as possible. To give the gnocchi even more summery flavour I added a fresh basil and a touch of lemon zest.
Although it take a bit of work, gnocchi is actually pretty easy to make. Once the gnocchi dough is mixed all you need to do is roll it out, cut it into small pieces, roll the pieces over a fork or gnocchi board for texture and then boil it before tossing it in your favourite sauce.
I cannot believe how wonderfully good this zucchini ricotta gnocchi is! It is so light and fluffy and full of summery flavours! In all honesty I could not stop eating it after it was cooked, before it even made it into the sauce! You could easily serve this gnocchi in a simple sauce like butter and parmesan but check back tomorrow to see what I served it in.
Zucchini Ricotta Gnocchi
Prep Time: 30 minutes Drain Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 1 hour Servings: 4
A fresh light and summery zucchini ricotta gnocchi with fresh basil and a hint of lemon.
- 4 cups zucchini, grated
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/4 cup loosely packed basil, sliced (optional)
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups ricotta
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup pecorino or parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup flour
- Mix the zucchini and salt, let drain in a colander for 20 minutes, place in tea towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
- Mix the zucchini, basil, lemon, ricotta, egg, cheese and pepper and then mix in enough flour to form a dough that is not too sticky to work with.
- Divide the dough, roll into 1 inch thick strings, slice into 1 inch pieces and roll over gnocchi board or fork using enough flour that the dough does not stick to everything.
- Cook the gnocchi in boiling water until it floats, remove and enjoy in your favourite sauce.
Note: The trick to a nice light a fluffy gnocchi is to use as little flour as you can but the less flour that you use the more sticky the dough is and the harder it is to work with. Another problem with adding too little flour is that the gnocchi may fall apart when cooked. It is a good idea to test the gnocchi by cooking a couple, pulling them out as soon as they float in the boiling water, to make sure that they are holding together. The amount of moisture left in your zucchini and the different amounts of moisture in different batches of ricotta makes it difficult to pinpoint the exact amount of flour required for each batch of gnocchi so it is best to start with a little and keep adding until the dough gets tot he right consistency.