A while ago, I made these ricotta gnocchi for the blog. I actually make them all the time; I love a meal that you can have on the table within a matter of minutes. The original recipe calls for plain flour but I’d been wondering for a while whether it would be possible to change it up a little and swap in some different flours. The answer I came to is, sort of.
In order to keep the gnocchi light and fluffy, you do need to use mainly plain flour. Using whole grains, or any other type of flour, produces a much denser result and really quite an unpleasant bite. After many experiments and a whole lot of gnocchi-eating, I think the recipe below has the perfect balance. The gnocchi maintain their pillow-like texture but there’s a hint of nuttiness and wholesomeness from the buckwheat flour. Deb first introduced Marcella Hazan’s tomato, butter and onion sauce to me. I knock up a batch most weeks. Sometimes, however, I’m too lazy to chop an onion in half as required by the recipe. I can report, however, that just simmering a tin of chopped tomatoes and a small knob of butter makes a pretty stellar sauce.
For the sauce:
- 1 x 400g (8 oz) tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 200g (8 oz, 1 cup)ricotta
- 2 egg yolks
- A pinch of nutmeg
- A pinch of black pepper
- 100g (3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon)plain/all purpose flour
- 65g (1/2 cup)buckwheat flour
- To make the sauce, simmer together the tomatoes and the butter in a large pan for 30 min or so until the tomatoes have broken down. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- To make the gnocchi, mix all the ingredients into a dough with your hands but don’t overwork the mixture (no more than 5 minutes of kneading).
- Separate your dough into two balls and roll each into a sausage shape on a lightly floured worktop.
- Cut into gnocci-sized pieces and cook in a pan of boiling salted water. They should float to the top once they are cooked.
- Add the gnocchi to the sauce and serve immediately.