Spring in Colorado has no shortage of beautiful vegetables and herbs, especially after all of this rain! Asparagus, peas, mushrooms, chives, and their bright purple blossoms all begin staking their claim in dishes across the city. This is one of our favorite seasons for local ingredients, and we want to share our favorite spring dish that you can learn in our Italy cooking class— Ricotta Gnocchi Primavera!
Ricotta Gnocchi Primavera: 4-6 Servings
For the Ricotta Gnocchi:
1 cup of All Purpose Flour
1 tsp of Salt
1 cup of Ricotta Cheese
3/4 cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese
3 Egg yolks
Pot of boiling water. Add salt; it should taste like the ocean! Measure dry ingredients in a mixing bowl 1 cup of flour and 1 tsp of salt, whisk to combine.
In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup of Ricotta, 3/4 cup of parmesan cheese, and three egg yolks together until smooth using a whisk or spoon.
Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix by hand until it forms a dough ball. Be careful NOT to over-mix. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and set aside for 30 min.
Once the dough has had time to rest, divide the dough into four equal parts and roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface by hand to make an even “log” about as thick as your thumb.
Cut dough into equal 1-inch pieces about the width of your thumb.
Once all the dough is cut, drop the dough carefully into the hot water and gently stir to separate the dough. After about 3-5 minutes, the dough should start to float to the surface. Using a strainer or slotted spoon, remove the gnocchi from the hot water and set it onto a pan.
In a sauté pan or large skillet, melt one stick or 8 oz of butter in the pan on medium-high heat. Add gnocchi to the pan and brown on both sides. Set aside.
For the Primavera:
1 package of prosciutto, thinly sliced or torn
3 cloves of garlic
1 shallot thinly sliced
1 lb asparagus ends trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch rounds, leaving florets intact
1lb any combination of mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/4 cup of peas (fresh, frozen, or snap)
1/4 cup of thinly sliced radishes (optional)
Zest of one lemon & juice reserved
Chives, tarragon, mint, parsley, or any combination
Chive blossoms for garnish
1 stick of unsalted butter
1/2 -1 cup grated Parmesan
Salt, pepper & red pepper flakes
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup water that gnocchi was cooked in, reserved
Bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil.
Grab a large bowl and prepare an ice bath.
Once water is boiling, blanch your peas, asparagus & radishes, and then set them in the ice bath until cool. Place veggies in a towel to dry.
Cook gnocchi according to the directions above and set aside.
In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of butter & oil and sauté shallots until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add blanched asparagus and cook for about 2 minutes, then add a pinch of salt and the lemon juice (or white wine if you prefer) and cook until it evaporates.
Add prosciutto and crisp up, then add mushrooms and cook until soft.
Add gnocchi and cook until they form a nice crust.
Add 1/2 cup of pasta water, cream, remaining butter, peas, and Parmesan. Reduce into a nice sauce (this will only take a few minutes to reduce). Add salt, pepper & red pepper to taste.
Garnish with herbs, chive blossoms, lemon zest & radishes and serve!