Monday, April 23, 2012

Ricotta Gnocchi

Being back to normal life is so nice! After every day for a whole week being primarily about planning a toddler party, it's nice to just worry about the every-day things, like making supper, and doing yardwork.
Sunday night I was kind of hitting that 'normal' stage again. Matt had to stay home from church (which is at 3 p.m. for us) because he wasn't feeling great and I left one of the kids with him and the other with my Mom while I went and lead worship. As soon as church was over I rushed home to take care of my family, and make them some food. Everyone was getting pretty hungry so I wanted something quick, but I didn't have a load of things in my fridge, but I did have some ricotta that needed to be used up.
So, I ran to Pinterest for help and I was pleased to find a recipe for Ricotta Gnocchi from Budget Bytes.
If you remember, I adore Budget Bytes. Every recipe I've tried out of there has been fabulous and surprisingly quick. So I decided to undertake the task and make gnocchi for the first time.
The recipe was very simple: Container of ricotta, egg, tsp of oil, salt and pepper, and about 2 cups of flour. My ricotta container wasn't full but I used it up and watched how much flour I put in. Literally I just had to stir everything together. Then you roll it out into ropes, cut it up into tiny bits and boil it for a few minutes. I realized as I was making this that the only time I've ever had gnocchi is when I've stolen a bite of some of Matt's at a restaurant, so I wasn't sure how it would taste. Since I wasn't sure what gnocchi would taste like, I wasn't sure what to put on top of it. Budget Bytes recommended browned butter and garlic, so I followed suit and got the butter melting while the gnocchi was boiling. As soon as all those little morsels were floating, my butter and garlic were ready. I kept my pan on high, tossed those bad-boys in, and within a couple of minutes they were crisped and yummy looking. I sprinkled some grated parm on top and served with my fingers crossed!
The result? AMAZING!
Matt ate about 3 times as much as I did; it filled me up fast, and when I couldn't finish my bowl I figured we'd have leftovers. Oh boy was I proved wrong. I was worried that the browned butter and garlic wouldn't be enough flavor, but they were perfect. I was also a little wary about the texture too, not really knowing what to expect, but it was more bready than I thought, and less pasta-like than I was concerned. Oh, and apparently you can make and freeze them, so a quick meal can be made even quicker. But considering it only took me half an hour from when I pulled the ingredients out, to when I set the finished meal on the table, I think unless I'm making a huge batch, I wouldn't bother making these ahead. I should say, rather, that I wouldn't bother making these ahead for myself, because I'm definitely adding these to my freezer-meal menu for friends who have babies or are sick.
I'd like to say that this first experience with gnocchi has encouraged me to try more varieties, but, truth be told, I loved this one so much, I don't know when I'll ever try another!
Today was filled with unforeseen productivity, from checking a load of things off of my own To Do list, to getting some Lillies of the Valley planted in my yard, to voting in the provincial election, and even making new plans for a kitchen reno (opening up the wall dividing the kitchen and the living room and adding another wall of counter tops!). Even when I thought I ran out of time to be productive after Matt got home from work, I gave the baby a bath after supper and still had time to go outside with Matt and rake out our front flower beds! I just hope tomorrow will be a similar day!
Mrs. VanderLeek ;)

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