Spelt Ricotta Gnocchi for My Love

Whenever I ask My Love what he wants for dinner he shouts “GNOCCHI” accompanied by a fist pump. 

This happens most days.

Unfortunately until he can keep me in the manor to which I would like to become accustomed (house in Carlton, faffing about teaching people about wine and regular brunching) I don’t have the time to hand roll gnocchi that often.

But when I do, it’s marvelous.

I make gnocchi using ricotta, a slightly less carby way of serving pillowy little parcels of yum. Plus cheese. Extra cheese cannot be sniffed at.

I use a recipe from one of Donna Hay’s very early magazines and mix it up with different toppings. Today I am sharing one of my all-time favourites.

Spelt ricotta gnocchi with roast pumpkin, brown butter and crispy rosemary

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Light cheesy pillows of gnocchi, topped with caramelised roast pumpkin and rosemary that has been crisped in brown butter.

How good is brown butter!

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I have started playing about with alternatives to wheat. Spelt is lower in gluten (though not gluten-free), and higher in protein, vitamins and minerals. I am not gluten-intolerant but have the sort of medical history that means I am slightly more likely to develop Coeliac disease than the average bear. For this reason, I try to save my wheat consumption for cake and pizza. Spelt can easily be substituted for plain flour if you prefer wheat.

The secret to making gnocchi with spelt is to make sure you give it time to set. The lower levels of gluten mean the dough is not as elastic, so a little time spent in the fridge allows the flour to absorb moisture and plump up so that your gnocchi doesn’t fall apart during boiling. The result is a gorgeous, slightly nutty flavour in your cheesy gnocchi.

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When you have the time to make a batch of gnocchi it feels gloriously traditional; mixing the dough by hand, cutting it into pieces and a gentle roll along the back of a fork to give you ridges. This is wholefood at its best.

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To drink?

A lightly-oaked Chardonnay is a beautiful match with the nutty brown butter and cheesy gnocchi. Try to get something from a cool climate so that there is some crisp acidity to wash away the richness of the butter dressing – in Australia think Tasmania or Yarra Valley, in America think Oregon, in France think white Burgundy.

What do you love to make from scratch when you have the time?

Spelt Ricotta Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Roast Pumpkin
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Total Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr
For the gnocchi
  1. 500g fresh ricotta (preferably from the deli section rather than the wetter stuff in tubs)
  2. 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  3. 2 eggs lightly beaten
  4. Salt and Pepper
  5. 1 cup spelt flour plus extra for dusting your board
For the topping
  1. 400g pumpkin
  2. 2 Tbsp olive oil
  3. 50g butter
  4. 2 sprigs rosemary
  5. Sprinkle of parmesan
For the gnocchi
  1. Lightly beat eggs
  2. Place ricotta, eggs, and parmesan in a bowl and mix until well combined
  3. Add a sprinkle of salt and a little cracked pepper (optional)
  4. Add spelt flour and mix or knead until combined
  5. Roll handfuls of mixture into long sausage shapes about an inch in diameter on a floured board
  6. Cut gnocchi into pieces
  7. Roll each gnocchi along the back prongs of a fork (optional)
  8. Place gnocchi on lined baking trays and rest in the fridge for at least one hour.
  9. When ready to cook the gnocchi, bring a large deep saucepan of water to the boil.
  10. Place about half the gnocchi in the saucepan; dropping one piece in at a time to ensure they form a single layer on the bottom of the pan. Usually the temperature drops so put a saucepan lid on top and return to the boil.
  11. Gnocchi are ready when they rise to the top of the pan, remove with a slotted spoon as they rise and keep warm.
  12. Repeat for the second half of the gnocchi.
Toppings
  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. Peel pumpkin and cut into large, slender wedge shapes
  3. Toss through olive oil and bake for 40 minutes or until caramelised and tender
  4. Just before cooking the gnocchi, place butter in a small saucepan and melt over a low to medium heat.
  5. Allow butter to boil, stirring occasionally to keep colour even. Continue cooking until butter smells nutty and is just browned (it will continue to cook).
  6. Remove from heat and add rosemary leaves, they will fry and crisp up.
  7. Set aside until gnocchi is ready.
To assemble
  1. Spoon gnocchi into bowls, place pumpkin on top, drizzle over browned rosemary butter and sprinkle with parmesan.
Notes
  1. It takes about 15 minutes to cook both batches of gnocchi, so have the pumpkin roasted and the butter browned ready to go.
  2. After removing the gnocchi from the water with a slotted spoon I place it in a colander (over a tray) with a saucepan lid on top to allow excess water to drain and to keep it warm.
Adapted from Donna Hay
Adapted from Donna Hay
Champagne and Chips http://www.champagneandchips.com/

 

34 comments on Spelt Ricotta Gnocchi for My Love

  1. Rosie Rockets
    April 17, 2015 at 3:11 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh wow this looks amazing. Never made gnocchi because I’m lazy but I love the idea of using ricotta – YUM!

    Reply
    • Nicole Bilson
      April 19, 2015 at 8:18 pm (2 years ago)

      I’m usually pretty lazy too but this is one seriously satisfying dish if you can find the time.

      Reply
  2. Giulia Porro
    April 17, 2015 at 6:22 pm (2 years ago)

    Yum, theSe must be tried! I usually make mine with potatoes, and I’m keen to start experimenting with different flours as well! Xx

    Reply
    • Nicole Bilson
      April 19, 2015 at 8:16 pm (2 years ago)

      I have never actually made potato gnocchi but I love eating it out. I like how these are a bit lighter.

      Reply
  3. Jess
    April 17, 2015 at 6:52 pm (2 years ago)

    I love gnocchi but I am often too lazy to cook it! This looks so great, how good is brown butter?!? Maybe some blue cheese would go well?

    Reply
    • Nicole Bilson
      April 19, 2015 at 8:15 pm (2 years ago)

      That would be amazing in a topping- double cheese gnocchi- why not? 🙂

      Reply
  4. debspots
    April 17, 2015 at 9:03 pm (2 years ago)

    These look amazing! I will have to make them when I have a kitchen!

    Reply
    • Nicole Bilson
      April 19, 2015 at 8:14 pm (2 years ago)

      Your list of things to make when you have a kitchen must be enormous. You are doing mighty well in the meantime though 🙂

      Reply
  5. Lily Lau
    April 18, 2015 at 2:38 am (2 years ago)

    Can’t we all be your love too? This looks heavenly! 😀

    Reply
  6. Rebecca@Figs and Pigs
    April 18, 2015 at 5:06 am (2 years ago)

    Looks so tasty I’m definitely going to try ricotta in gnocchi it sounds wonderful.

    Reply
    • Nicole Bilson
      April 19, 2015 at 8:12 pm (2 years ago)

      i look forward to seeing your take on it 🙂

      Reply
  7. Emma
    April 18, 2015 at 8:24 am (2 years ago)

    I’m with your fella, gnocchi really is the best thing although sadly I don’t make it often and I really should. Ricotta and spelt flour I imagine would make the lightest of dumplings.

    Also brown butter = awesome (and pretty much goes with everything)!

    Reply
    • Nicole Bilson
      April 19, 2015 at 8:06 pm (2 years ago)

      Brown butter is the bomb 🙂
      I don’t make gnocchi nearly often enough either. After faffing about with food styling on my days off I usually jus make really simple boring dinners. Bit sad really .

      Reply
  8. Willunga Wino
    April 18, 2015 at 9:45 pm (2 years ago)

    That just looks so tasty! My best gnocchi trick is to make a massive batch, then freeze what I don’t eat fresh for those lazy nights. Wish I had some left for tonight!

    Reply
    • Nicole Bilson
      April 19, 2015 at 7:58 pm (2 years ago)

      I did that this time. However, you definitely need a glass of wine to help with the rolling of the second half of an enormous batch 🙂

      Reply
  9. Veggie Mama
    April 19, 2015 at 11:03 am (2 years ago)

    Oh I need this immediately if not sooner!

    And every time I’m going through Carlton, I always think I could totally live there. So pretty!

    Reply
    • Nicole Bilson
      April 19, 2015 at 7:54 pm (2 years ago)

      It’s pretty delicious.

      Carlton is so damn lovely. A shack in Carlton is my version of a dream home – just need to raise a cool mill 🙂

      Reply
  10. Jessica @ Sweet Menu
    April 20, 2015 at 8:06 am (2 years ago)

    WOW! I love this idea. I am a huge gnocchi fan but ricotta gnocchi? Sounds absolutely amazing. I need to try this!

    Reply
    • Nicole Bilson
      April 20, 2015 at 9:52 pm (2 years ago)

      I am also a huge gnocchi fan and this is my favourite- big words 🙂

      Reply
  11. Nat @NatalieCarterTalksFitness
    April 20, 2015 at 10:59 am (2 years ago)

    So glad I stumbled on this! Looks amazing. Definitely giving this a go, can’t wait to try it with the ricotta

    Reply
    • Nicole Bilson
      April 20, 2015 at 9:52 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Nat. It’s pretty tasty 🙂

      Reply
  12. bakeplaysmile
    April 22, 2015 at 10:03 am (2 years ago)

    Oh wow! I love this lighter version and the toppings sound great! I saw a gnocchi recipe made from sweet potato the other day that looked delicious too!

    Reply
    • Nicole Bilson
      April 27, 2015 at 11:54 pm (2 years ago)

      I have been meaning to try a sweet potato one too but I always find myself drawn back to this.

      Reply
  13. Malinda (@MBPaperPackages)
    April 22, 2015 at 10:42 am (2 years ago)

    I love hand making gnocchi though I haven’t used spelt for it before. Looks delicious, no wonder he always asks for it.

    Reply
    • Nicole Bilson
      April 27, 2015 at 11:54 pm (2 years ago)

      Real flour is much easier but I enjoy playing around with alternative (healthier?) options too.

      Reply
  14. nagimaehashi
    April 22, 2015 at 12:04 pm (2 years ago)

    It seems like such a coincidence that I saw this recipe because the other night, I was watching MKR and one of the teams make ricotta gnocchi and I was thinking I must try it….and here you are with a recipe! THANKS!

    Reply
    • Nicole Bilson
      April 22, 2015 at 9:05 pm (2 years ago)

      Wow, that is definitely a coincidence. I don’t watch MKR at all (more a Masterchef girl, if anything) 🙂

      Reply
  15. thehungrymum
    April 26, 2015 at 7:38 pm (2 years ago)

    Brown butter is all kinds of wow. I could gulp down a bowl of this any time- your man has great taste 😉

    Reply
    • Nicole Bilson
      April 27, 2015 at 11:58 pm (2 years ago)

      I am going a bit brown butter mad lately 🙂

      Reply
  16. Lauren @ Create Bake Make
    May 8, 2015 at 7:27 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh my goodness, this looks amazing! I want to make this now!

    Reply
  17. Zamamabakes
    May 8, 2015 at 11:33 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh I feel like I have just walked through a little Italian restaurant, I can almost smell your gnocchi Nicole. I’ll have to get Zadada on board one weekend soon and we can have a wine and gnocchi making afternoon/night. It looks so good, loving this flavour combo too!
    Have a gorgeous weekend lovely xx

    Reply
    • Nicole Bilson
      May 14, 2015 at 9:55 pm (2 years ago)

      That sounds like such a lovely afternoon, wine and gnocchi 🙂

      Reply
  18. bakeplaysmile
    May 10, 2015 at 4:14 pm (2 years ago)

    I’m so glad you linked this recipe up because I’ve been meaning to make it and now you’ve reminded me!! Thanks for linking up with our Fabulous Foodie Fridays party! xx

    Reply

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