What's Going on Today: Enjoying Memorial Day weekend on Martha's Vineyard.
Naptime Goals: Whip up some Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi during naptime, pop it in the fridge until dinner. Read magazines in the sun.
Tonight's Menu: Ricotta Gnocchi with butter and cheese, green salad, fish on the grill.
Parenting Lesson of the Day: Fresh air + sun = happy children.
Memorial Day on the Vineyard was relaxed and low-key, just the way we like it. The weather was so nice that we didn't really want to spend any time indoors, even during naptime. In order to maximize our time at the beach, I mostly concentrated on prepping food after my daughter's bedtime and, for dinner, I stuck to recipes that could be completed in a relatively short time-frame.
Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi is exactly one of these dishes. I make it a lot and really should have told you about it before now. To prepare the gnocchi I simply mix the four ingredients in a bowl, form the logs and cut out the dumplings during naptime. Then I place them in plastic container and leave them, covered, in the fridge until dinner. Cooking them is amazingly easy and efficient. Bring salted water to a boil, add the gnocchi and cook them until they rise to the surface. This takes about five minutes, which is just enough time to make some browned butter with sage and get the Parmesan cheese out of the fridge.
Combined with our favorite fish from the grill and a green salad, our gnocchi rounded out a gorgeous dinner. It was also a hit with our daughter, ever the fan of anything with browned butter. Rest assured, gnocchi is not the only homemade thing I cooked over the weekend. In fact, I did an entire film about another dinner I made and will be writing about that on Thursday. Not surprisingly, the meal was also centered around some amazingly fresh seafood. I swear, there is nothing like a trip to The Net Result, our local Vineyard fish store, to signal the beginning of summer.
P.S. While you're waiting for the next post, pop over to my blog on The Family Kitchen at Babble for the chance to win a trio of Tessa Kiros books! (The contest runs for one week.)
Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi
adapted from Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros
2 c. good quality ricotta cheese
3 T. finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 c. all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil.
2. While the water is heating up, mix together the ricotta, Parmesan, flour and salt in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon.
3. Lightly flour your hands and roll out the dough into thin sausages about 1/4" thick. Be careful not to add too much flour on your hands or the surface of the counter or the gnocchi will get tough.
4. Cut gnocchi with a sharp knife into pieces about 3/4" long. Drop into boiling water and cook for about 45 seconds, or until they float to the surface. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and place in serving bowls. Serve with pesto, tomato sauce or browned butter sauce.
Naptime Recipe Variations and Ideas: Gnocchi tastes great with many different toppings. I recommend Perfect Pesto, Tomato Pesto, Fresh Tomato Sauce, Butter and Cheese or any kind of light butter and herb sauce.
Naptime Stopwatch: Preparing the dumplings takes 10 minutes, cooking them in boiling water takes 5.
Naptime Reviews: This is a wonderful dish for both adults and children. It is soft and easy to chew for toddler and goes well with almost any topping they might like.