Beauty in the Ordinary

This is not about being brilliant, or extraordinary, it's not about wanting to be famous, or making headlines, or trying to impress...this about sharing a 'gift' each day with the lift the spirit of people when they read this blog, to show them the beauty in the ordinary.
"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." Raold Dahl

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I think I can safely say that my repetoire of cooking is
fairly wide.

I've made Indian dishes...

Thai dishes...

Japanese dishes...

Chinese dishes...

French dishes...

and, of course, Italian dishes.

But there is one italian dish that has always intimidated me,
to the point that I have never tried to make it...


Well, no more. 
I have found this recipe and I'm giving it a go this weekend!

Ricotta Gnocchetti with Tomato-Butter Sauce
Recipe adapted from Jenn Louis, Lincoln, Portland, OR
Ricotta Gnocchetti1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for the baking sheet
1 pound fresh ricotta cheese
¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for garnish
1 large egg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
Freshly ground nutmeg

Tomato-Butter Sauce
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
¼ yellow onion, thinly sliced (about ¼ cup)
2 garlic cloves, halved
1 small rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
Red-pepper flakes
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, cubed
1. Make the gnocchetti: Sprinkle a large baking sheet generously with flour and set aside. In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta with the Parmigiano-Reggiano, egg, butter and a pinch of nutmeg until combined. Add the flour and mix until just combined. (The dough should be slightly sticky and wet.)
2. Working with about ¼ cup portion of the dough on a lightly floured work surface, gently roll the dough into a log about ¼ inch in diameter. Cut the log crosswise into ½-inch pieces and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Cover the gnocchetti loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook.
3. Make the sauce: In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, rosemary, bay leaf and red-pepper flakes to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and lightly brown, about 5 minutes.
4. Add the tomatoes and butter and bring the sauce to a gentle simmer. Simmer, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 hour. Season with salt. Pour the sauce through a mesh strainer and discard the vegetables and herbs. Transfer the sauce to a large skillet and keep warm over low heat.
5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Working in batches, cook the gnocchetti until they float, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchetti to the skillet with the sauce. When all the gnocchetti are done, gently warm them in the sauce.
6. Divide the gnocchetti among 4 or 6 plates. Garnish with additional cheese and serve immediately. 

If anyone out there has an opinion on this recipe, or any tips to help make the process go more smoothly, I appreciate any and all advice.
Wish me luck!


  1. J all those dishes look mouth watering. I have never seen ricotta cheese, gnocchi looks good.

    1. Ricotta is sort of italian cottage cheese Molly, but has no casein. A large number of north american brands are made from cows milk, but I try to find sheeps milk when I can... luckily we have a good italian supermarket not too far away.

  2. Gnocchi from scratch, wow, you are an adventurous last.

    I have tried quite a few of your recipes and they have all been delicious. I would be afraid to try this one though. Good luck, I am sure with your talent as a good cook, it will be perfect.

    1. Nothing ventured, nothing gained Sock' just can't be afraid to chuck it all in the bin and phone for a pizza!

  3. I make plain-old-ordinary gnocchi, which I serve with a very olive-oily green pasto. This looks much more exciting.

    1. Would love your recipe Cro...I may be over-reaching here!

  4. Hi Jacqueline, This recipe looks amazing...being Italian I can tell you it is not the easiest pasta to make, so you are a champ to attempt it! I make potato gnocchi, my Mom's recipe which is pretty straight forward...I have made them with a gorganzola cream sauce which is delicious and would love to share with you.... I will be in touch soon! N.xo

    1. Ill let you know how this one goes Nella...would love your recipe - thank you.

  5. Thank you for posting this. It’s exactly what I was looking for!

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  6. Looking forward to knowing how it turns out. It brings back memories of my best friend's 100% Italian mother making gnocchi in the kitchen while we sat and talked. She piched off the dough between her index finger and thumb; all the little gnocchis had one flat edge. Aside from how delicious, that's all I remember of Granny's method.

    1. I think, traditionally gnocchi is made from potato...don't know if this recipe (made from ricotta) will be firm enough to pinch off the gnocchi, but I'll certainly give it a try!
      Thanks for signing on Joanne.

  7. Hello Jacqueline
    What an accomplished cook you are. I am most impressed.
    I have not tried gnocchi, so no advice forthcoming from this blogger.
    Have a glorious weekend
    Helen xx

  8. Cooking is just my way of expressing my version of creativity. Fortunately too, it's something my family share.
    Have a wonderful weekend too Helen.


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