I often enter contests on food52.com. food52 is a website with a weekly cooking challenge, and the winners are published in a cookbook at the end of the year. This past week's challenge was fresh ricotta. I decided to make ricotta gnocchi. I found an easy-sounding Mark Bittman recipe in the New York times which basically involved mixing up flour, eggs, ricotta, and salt, and dropping spoonfuls into boiling water until they float. The result was more malfatti than gnocchi-- malfatti means "misshapen", and these were like drop biscuits.
For the sauce, I wanted to use these terrific pistachio meats we bought at the farmer's market in Ojai last week. I've used pistachio with yogurt before with some success, and I thought I'd do a brothy pistachio-yogurt sauce. I had kibbeh in a brothy yogurt sauce at Skaf's, an Armenian Lebanese restaurant in Glendale a while back, and it was a nice, slighly sour sauce.
I wanted to add other flavors, and I originaly thought of making a roasted red pepper and sundried tomato sauce that could be swirled in, but I ended up just putting everything in the food processor and mixing it all together. It came out very tasty. Here's the recipe:
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 10 ounces fresh ricotta
- 2 eggs, beaten
- salt and pepper
Pistachio and Roasted Pepper Sauce:
- 1 red bell pepper, roasted, skin removed
- 1 small onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
- 1/3 cup pistachio meats
- 1 cup mint leaves, loosely packed
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- black pepper and salt
- 1/2 lemon
- In a large bowl, mix malfatti ingredients until the dough stays together. Add flour if needed.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and drop in rounded tablespoonfuls of dough one, being careful not to crowd the pan. When the malfatti are done, they rise to the top. Remove them to plates with a slotted spoon.
- In a pan, cook garlic and onion in butter until soft. Add garlic, onion, half of the mint, the juice of the lemon, and the rest of the ingredients to a food processor and purée. Season to taste.
- Finely chop remaining mint. Smother malfatti in sauce and garnish with fresh mint to serve.