Cranberry Ricotta Gnocchi

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As soon as my Thanksgiving Taste of Home magazine arrived, I immediately began looking through it for recipes. Since I wasn't a fan of Thanksgiving foods for so many years, I'm playing a bit of catch up trying to make and try everything I missed out on for so long.

The magazine didn't disappoint and provided me with two recipes I knew I needed to make right away if I wanted to serve them on Thanksgiving. I still don't even know what our plans our for Thanksgiving, but I planned out a menu anyway. (I'll post that later this week if you're interested)

Gnocchi was something that I tried for the first time this year. To be honest, I'd never heard of it before. Last year I had two coworkers talk about getting it from a restaurant that was near where they lived. I finally looked it up and saw that it was just pasta made with potatoes. Duh, Nichole. So when I began following the Closet Cooking blog and found his super easy recipe for gnocchi, I had to make it!

Tom and I instantly fell in love with it, my aunt watched intently as I made it for her and even my picky mother ate it. I consider that pretty successful. I was a bit hesitant with this recipe though since it uses ricotta cheese instead of potatoes and I'm not a huge ricotta fan.

Cranberry Ricotta Gnocchi with Brown Butter Sauce
Slightly Adapted from: Taste of Home, November 2011 
Servings: 6-8 people
Printer Friendly 

Ingredients:
Gnocchi:
    • 2 cups ricotta cheese
    • 1 cup flour
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 3/4 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
    Brown Butter Sauce:
    • 1 stick unsalted butter
    • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
    • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped 
    • 2 tbs. sage
    • salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
1. Fill a large pot halfway with water. Heat over medium.
2. In a large bowl, combine all of the gnocchi ingredients until it forms into a ball. Lightly flour a surface and roll the dough through the flour. Knead 12 times. Separate the dough into 3-5 equally sized pieces. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
3. On a floured surface, roll the dough into 1" logs. Cut into 3/4 inch pieces. Use a fork to lightly press down on the dough, making indentations.
4. Bring the water to a boil. Place a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet. Top the cooling rack with paper towels or a clean dish towel.
5. Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water in batches and transfer with a slotted spoon to the cooling rack once the gnocchi floats to the top, 30-60 seconds. Repeat until all of the gnocchi are cooked. 
6. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes. Add the sage, salt and pepper and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
7. Add in the cranberries and walnuts and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the first batch of gnocchi and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the gnocchi are lightly browned. Repeat with remaining batches of gnocchi and serve immediately.

*If you want to make the gnocchi ahead of time, stop at Step 3. Place the gnocchi on a baking sheet and freeze 1-2 hours. Transfer the gnocchi into a freezer bag.

My hesitation wasn't warranted at all. Tom ate two little gnocchi bites and told me that it was absolutely wonderful and I could make this recipe again as many times as I wanted. Rarely do I ever make something he likes THAT much. Also, as you can see, the walnuts are optional. :-)

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