Chef John's Basil Ricotta Gnocchi
Briefly blanch basil leaves in simmering water, about 20 seconds. Transfer immediately to a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking. Drain on towels. Place basil in bowl of a blender. Add eggs. Blend until basil is blended in and mixture achieves an even green color with flecks of basil.Advertisement
Place ricotta in a mixing bowl. Add basil/egg mixture, salt, cayenne, Parmesan cheese, and flour. Thoroughly mix together using a spatula; whisk mixture to ensure ingredient are evenly blended. Cover and refrigerate until chilled and firm, about 2 hours.
Scoop out a small portion of dough using a teaspoon. Using a second spoon, shape into a rounded oval. Repeat until you have enough gnocchi for a batch, about 6 or so.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer. Drop shaped gnocchi in batches into pot as you form them. After a minute or so they will rise to the surface. Continue simmering until they spring back to the touch when you remove one from the water to test it, 2 to 3 more minutes. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Optional step: Melt butter in a skillet until bubbling. Add cooked gnocchi and brown on each side. Serve with a dusting of grated Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of the butter from the pan.
You can serve with any of your favorite pasta sauces for a main dish, or served "as is," they make a stellar side dish or first course.
My fancy basket ricotta tends to be low-moisture, so if you're using the much wetter supermarket brands, be sure to drain in a strainer in the fridge for a few hours to allow the excess water to drip out.
To check seasoning, cook a test piece of dough in salted water. Add more salt if needed.