Marrying a girl from Wisconsin has many immediate benefits. You automatically get to become a legitimate fan of the winning-est franchise in NFL history; you don't need an excuse to drink beer before noon; and you don't need to apologize to anyone for your insatiable love of cheese. Sure I could tell you all of the other reasons I married a girl from Wisconsin, but I'd rather win the day on beer and cheese alone. Crack open a bottle of your favourite brew and get a load of the cheesy goodness of this recipe for homemade Parmesan Gnocchi. It's not difficult at all. In fact, if you want to save yourself some time I won't even be offended if you buy store bought gnocchi and jump to the steps for the lemon, butter and sage sauce alone. It's worth it.
The lemon lends a wonderful counterpoint to the fluffy gnocchi and buttery Parmesan sauce while bringing a delightful aromatic component with the sauteed fresh basil and shallots. Simple flavours; simple instructions; marvelous results. The way every recipe should be!
For the gnocchi:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Zest of 1 lemon, grated
1 cup Ricotta cheese, drained
For the sauce:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 shallot, thinly sliced
12 sage leaves
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
12 fresh parsley leaves
Make the gnocchi: Combine flour, Parmesan cheese and lemon zest in bowl. Add Ricotta cheese and egg. Mix well with wooden spoon or your fingers until dough just comes together. Do not overwork or dough can toughen.
Scrape dough onto a well-floured surface and form into a roll. Cut dough into fourths, using bench scraper or knife. Gently roll each piece into foot-long ropes, about an inch in diameter, flouring as needed to prevent dough from sticking to surface. Place dough ropes on lightly floured platter or sheet pan; refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to two hours, uncovered, to rest.
Place ropes on floured surface; cut into 1/2-inch pieces with scraper or knife.
Finish the dish: Heat butter over medium-high heat in
sauté pan large enough to accommodate all gnocchi without crowding.
When butter foams, add gnocchi—do not crowd—and cook, turning as necessary, until brown and crisped on all sides, 5-6 minutes. When gnocchi are almost cooked, lower heat to medium and add shallot and sage leaves. Cook briefly to release flavors; then add garlic, lemon juice and water. Cook briefly, allowing sauce to emulsify and thicken a bit. Add 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese and parsley leaves. Toss to coat gnocchi.
Spoon gnocchi and sauce into shallow bowls. Serve immediately.