Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Snow day dreams

So I'm dreaming of summer a bit today.  It's snowy and cold here and while sledding was fun this morning snow is a hassle!  How many calories do you burn getting snow pants, coats, hats, mittens, socks, boots and scarves on two kids and yourself?  By the time we get everyone bundled and supplied with extra mittens I'm ready to call it a day!

Thankfully, contrary to popular belief Colorado is not all cold and snow.  This week it looks like the snow will stick around but soon enough I'm sure it will be pleasant again.  At least it better be.  And in the mean time I'll dream of summer and the fun we had in North Carolina. 

We did a lot of cooking while we were there this summer.  One of the things I'm anxious to make again are these gnocchi that Aunt Marie taught us how to make.  These are light and yummy gnocchi.  Tender bites of deliciousness. This made a really big batch because we were having lots of company but you could easily halve the recipe.

Ricotta Gnocchi
32 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
dash nutmeg
extra flour for dusting
extra salt for seasoning water

At least a couple hours before you want to cook or up to a day ahead, drain ricotta cheese in strainer lined with paper towels.  In a large bowl, gently mix drained ricotta, eggs, flour, salt and nutmeg.  Refrigerate for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, prepare a cutting board with flour and a sharp knife for cutting dough.  Boil a large pot of salted water.  Break of workable size chunks of dough.  If the dough is too sticky to work with add more flour in small amounts at a time until it is just workable.  Roll into logs thumb thick and cut in bite size chunks.  Prepare about a quarter of the dough and then gently add gnocchi to boiling water, stir so that they don't stick together.  Boil for two minutes once the gnocchi have popped back the surface of the water.  While they boil prepare the next batch.  Scoop out of water and set in colander to drain.  We needed to rinse ours so they didn't stick together.  Repeat with dough making sure the water comes back to a boil between batches.

We served ours with a simple tomato sauce of fresh tomatoes simmered with garlic, onions, salt and a little butter and olive oil, lightly dressed greens, a chewy ciabatta garlic bread and extra Parmesan cheese.  Seriously good food.  Mmm, who is hungry?!

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