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Re ricotta gnocchi

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Re ricotta gnocchi

by Jenise » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:04 pm

While in Los Angeles and dining at a very serious and wonderful Italian restaurant called Officine Brera, I ordered ricotta gnocchi on veal sugo. OMG. I've never had ricotta gnocchi before; tried to make some once and they were a dismal failure. I never knew why they didn't work, but they didn't, and I never tried again.

Now that I know what they SHOULD be, I'm dying to try again. This was an incredible dish, and probably the best thing I ate in a week full of amazing food.

They were texturally different from anything I've had before called gnocchi. And differently shaped. About 3 inches long by 1 inch in girth, they were quenelle shaped and had a soft but smooth skin that indicated, most likely, that some rising had been involved in the cook. The surface was finer than a Chinese bao, but similar. Must figure this out.

Any other fans?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Christina Georgina

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Re: Re ricotta gnocchi

by Christina Georgina » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:13 am

Have not had anything with a smooth skin. Could they have been formed in a fine rice flour? Processed ricotta to break up the curd? This may or may not help:
I make the classic shape and they are always tender and light little pillows. Start with a fine texture whole milk ricotta, let it sit in a filter paper cone to wick excess whey so you don't have to add a lot of flour. If my batch is very moist I let it sit overnight in the fridge. 1# ricotta, 1 egg , 1/2 to 2/3 cup grated Parm, salt, enough flour to bring it together to hold a shape but still soft. This varies depending on the texture and moisture of the ricotta. Usually less than 3/4 cup flour. I dust it in through a sieve coating the surface slightly, then mix it in batches but not over mixing to get any gluten development. Since the flour absorbs moisture slowly don't be tempted to keep adding. It will dry up a bit with time.
You should need only a fine dust of flour on your hand so it doesn't stick. If it sticks, add more. If it releases you are done. If unsure, drop a few in near boiling water to test cohesion

I've never thought of using rice flour but I will try it next time. Also never processed the curd because what I get is pretty fine and soft. Size gets bigger when I'm in a hurry.....
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Re: Re ricotta gnocchi

by Jenise » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:41 am

Christina Georgina wrote:Have not had anything with a smooth skin. Could they have been formed in a fine rice flour? Processed ricotta to break up the curd? This may or may not help:
I make the classic shape and they are always tender and light little pillows. Start with a fine texture whole milk ricotta, let it sit in a filter paper cone to wick excess whey so you don't have to add a lot of flour. If my batch is very moist I let it sit overnight in the fridge. 1# ricotta, 1 egg , 1/2 to 2/3 cup grated Parm, salt, enough flour to bring it together to hold a shape but still soft. This varies depending on the texture and moisture of the ricotta. Usually less than 3/4 cup flour. I dust it in through a sieve coating the surface slightly, then mix it in batches but not over mixing to get any gluten development. Since the flour absorbs moisture slowly don't be tempted to keep adding. It will dry up a bit with time.
You should need only a fine dust of flour on your hand so it doesn't stick. If it sticks, add more. If it releases you are done. If unsure, drop a few in near boiling water to test cohesion

I've never thought of using rice flour but I will try it next time. Also never processed the curd because what I get is pretty fine and soft. Size gets bigger when I'm in a hurry.....


Rice flour's an interesting thought, and all I can say is: maybe? A fine cake flour at the very least. VERY pillowy. I even wonder if they weren't steamed vs. cooked in full immersion--the uniformity of shape and delicately taut surface like a balloon, which they understood was worth featuring as the gnocchis were unsauced and merely set atop the sugo, seems impossible to get any other way. Incredible mouthfeel. I so wish I'd taken a picture--a bit ago I looked at the ricotta gnocchi recipe on Serious Eats, which were lumpy little balls. No doubt delicious, but visually not refined like what I'm describing.

Another incredible dish at this restaurant was the risotto Ines ordered. A Milanese (with roasted bone marrow) texturally miraculous and unlike anything you expect to be served in a restaurant where most good cooks know better than to order a risotto, all of which was pointed out in the the review in the Los Angeles Times and that's why Ines ordered it. Just killer food.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Re ricotta gnocchi

by Rahsaan » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:06 pm

Jenise wrote:
Any other fans?


Never tried to make them at home, but one of the local pasta makers offers ricotta gnocchi and they are a favorite of ours. So light and melt-in-the-mouth good!
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Re: Re ricotta gnocchi

by Ted Richards » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:04 pm

I make them from time to time. I'm obviously not doing something right, though, as they generally turn out to be amorphous blobs, rather than beautifully shaped ovoids. They're soft and tasty, though, so I don't worry about it. They're great with Marcella Hazan's tomato sauce!
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Re: Re ricotta gnocchi

by Greg H » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:42 pm

When making fresh pasta, I use rice flour to dust the surface as I manipulate the dough in an effort to keep the pasta lighter.
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Re: Re ricotta gnocchi

by Christina Georgina » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:17 pm

Thinking more about this....could they have been extruded and then left exposed to cold temp to firm up the surface before cooking?
Very interesting. Might there be a picture on the restaurant web page ?

No, not uniform enough to think extrusion. More like quenelle shapes. I actually looked for pics of the dish and saw one or two that might or probably were it, but both were lumpier on the surface than what I remember in front of me the other night. However the pics I saw were right as far as being snow white--def no egg yolk in there.
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Re: Re ricotta gnocchi

by Jenise » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:44 pm

OH LOOKIE! Just checked my phone cam for something else and realized that I *DID* photograph the gnocchi at Officine Brera. You can see the texture and shape I described.

RicottaGnocchi.jpg
Ricotta Gnocchi
RicottaGnocchi.jpg (39.93 KiB) Viewed 341 times
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Re: Re ricotta gnocchi

by Christina Georgina » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:08 pm

I would say gnocchi on steroids! Definitely more quenelle ish than gnocchi ish. Looks like herbs in the dough and very thinly shaved Parm on top ?
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Re: Re ricotta gnocchi

by Jenise » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:33 pm

Christina Georgina wrote:I would say gnocchi on steroids! Definitely more quenelle ish than gnocchi ish. Looks like herbs in the dough and very thinly shaved Parm on top ?


Exactly. But can you see how smooth they are?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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