A big, edible playdough project–that’s how I think about making gnocchi with the kids. In this recipe, using ricotta cheese in place of potato makes the gnocchi especially easy to work with, so the kids can get involved with rolling out the dough and shaping it. The ricotta also results in tender, light dumplings that are fun for the kids to eat.
- 1 large egg
- 1 pound fresh ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 to 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed for rolling out.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, ricotta, cheese, salt, and pepper until well blended. Sprinkle the flour over the ricotta mixture and, using a wooden spoon, stir until just combined and a soft dough is formed. Finish mixing the dough with your hands, adding additional flour as needed so the dough is not too sticky. Don’t over-mix!
Divide the dough into 6 pieces. On a lightly floured surface and using floured hands, gently roll each piece into a long rope about 1-inch in diameter. Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces and roll into small balls using the palms of your hands. Set aside on a parchment lined baking sheet.
To cook, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Gently lower the gnocchi into the boiling water (with slotted spoon or bamboo skimmer). When the gnocchi float to the top, after about 2 minutes, cook them for 2 minutes longer and then remove with a slotted spoon to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Serve with your favorite sauce.
–Jennifer Clair is an always hungry chef-instructor, mother of two, and founder of Home Cooking New York, which offers in-home and public cooking classes for both kids and adults in NYC.