Divine intervention made me do it. I swear.
That’s what I’m going to say when asked why I decided to make gnocchi when I should have been studying for my exam. Especially given my track record with gnocchi. Which is to say that the first and only batch of potato gnocchi I’ve ever made. Took eight hours. And concluded with me (shockingly) covered in flour. And exhausted.
So what was going through my mind?
Like I said. Divine intervention. I had a feeling.
It was kind of as if some higher power had picked me up. Carried me to the kitchen. And put the container of ricotta in my hands.
And then whispered, “Come on. All the cool kids are doing it.”
I tried to reason with him.
I said. “You know. Actually. I think all the cool kids are learning about the four types of hypersensitivity reactions (anaphylactic, cytotoxic, immune complex-mediated, and cell-mediated) . And the three virulence factors that make Staph aureus such a bitch (enterotoxin, toxic shock syndrome toxin, and exfoliatin toxin).”
Somehow. He wasn’t buying it.
And so I had to give in. I mean, this wasn’t peer pressure. I can handle peer pressure. I handle peer pressure every weekend when I decide not to drink my liver into an early grave. No. This was divine intervention pressure.
I didn’t stand a chance.
On the bright side, it means I’m two weeks early for the next Symon Sundays round-up. Talk about being on top of things!
On the other bright side, it means that I got to eat this yesterday. And, to be fair. I needed a dish this good to be the one bright spot in a day otherwise occluded with B cells, T cells, and dendritic cells.
It’s all about the little things. And sometimes those little things are crispy fried puffs of ricotta.
Yeah. Sometimes they really are.
Symon likens this dish to a celebration of spring. Yes, I know just two days ago I was insisting that we celebrate summer. I take it back. Let’s celebrate spring.
His original recipe calls for morel mushrooms and spring peas. Well. Let me tell you something about morel mushrooms. They are elusive. And when I finally found some, dried. They were twelve dollars. For three mushrooms. And three mushrooms do not a mushroom sauce make.
So. Since I could not fathom spending more than twelve dollars on mushrooms. (Let’s be real. I could fathom it. But I couldn’t justify it.) I abandoned ship. Used some nice green beans that I had in my fridge. And I have to say. Between the lemony, parmesan-infused brown butter sauce. The pillows of ricotta. And the green bean/pea mixture. I was happy. Very happy.
Bonus – these only took one hour to make. Take that potato gnocchi. Take. That.
Crispy Gnocchi with Green Beans and Peas
Serves 4, adapted from Live To Cook
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup part-skim ricotta, drained overnight
1 large egg
1. For the gnocchi dough, combine the flour, parmesan, lemon zest and salt in a bowl. Add in the ricotta and egg, mixing with a wooden spoon until just combined.
2. Pat the dough into a square and cut into three equal pieces. Roll each piece into a foot long rope, flouring as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to everything. Place the dough ropes onto a lightly floured plate or rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered for 5 minutes to 2 hours. I refrigerated for about 1 hour.
3. After the dough as rested, cut each rope into 1/2-inch pieces with a knife. Set aside.
4 tbsp butter (Symon calls for eight)
1 lb string beans (or 12 medium morels)
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
12 fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup frozen peas (Symon calls for fresh)
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1. Put two tbsp of butter in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. When the butter foams, add the string beans and saute, until they begin to soften. About 7 minutes. Add the shallot and saute, seasoning with a pinch of salt. Add the garlic and parsley, then reduce the heat to medium. Add the lemon juice and peas, sauteing just until the peas are heated through. Turn the heat off and set aside.
2. Heat 2 tbsp of the butter over medium-high heat in another, larger saute pan. When the butter becomes brown and fragrant, add the gnocchi to the pan and cook. Turn as necessary until they are brown and crisp on all sides. They may seem like they are sticking to the pan at first but that means they haven’t crisped sufficiently yet. Once they are crisp, they will easily be turned. This was probably the hardest part for me. Getting them to turn without them falling apart.
3. Pour in the morel and pea sauce, turning to coat. Add the parmesan cheese and 2 tbsp water. Allow the sauce ingredients to emulsify and form a silken coating, 1-2 minutes. Serve.
Also. A few things. Eats Well With Others is featured on Recipe4Living this week! This site is a great resource for finding recipes when you just don’t know what to cook! I will also be hosting a guest post on the Marx Foods site that will go up today at 9AM (EST)! Be sure to check it out.