Make the most of ramp season with homemade Beet Ricotta Gnocchi with sauteed Ramps. These purple pillowy pockets of pasta are worth the messy kitchen and stained hands!
When Braden and I returned home from our trip to Italy last year we were obsessed with Italian food. More so than I am on a normal basis mind you. We sought out tiny shops in Brooklyn that imported groceries from Italy and became super picky about our pasta.
In my mind at the time, if I was going to have pasta I wanted it to be fresh and the best, so I figured it can’t be that hard I’ll just make it myself. I ran out and picked up a Pasta maker, ravioli stamps, 00 flour – seriously the whole 9 yards. Then I proceed to make pasta, only to learn it’s not really my forte. The first attempt failed. The second was okay and the first was decent. After that the pasta maker ended up tucked away in the back of my closet never to see the light of day again.
At least so I thought. . .
Insert ramp season and my overworking mind of what to do with them this year.
I had written down in my notepad of recipes for sometime that I wanted to try out beet ravioli with ramps. The sweet beets, ricotta cheese and pungent ramps sounded like the perfect combination to me. Plus I loved the contrast of the purple and green.
So I dusted off that machine and got to work. Only to realize that yet again I’m not really cut out to make pasta and perhaps my first try in over a year should not have been with a flavored dough.
A giant, sticky, beet stained mess was created.
Time to rethink this plan.
I refused to give up my idea of beets + ricotta + ramps, so instead I just rethought the way they would be put together.
I’ve made gnocchi plenty of times but it’s always with potatoes. Why it took me so long to make the ricotta variety I have no clue but it’s worth the wait. This dough comes together easily, it’s still sticky, still messy but what you end up with is tender, pillowy pockets of gnocchi. Not counting the time it takes to cook the beets – from start to finish of making the dough you can have dinner on the table in an hour.
There’s enough here to feed a big family, a very hungry couple or to freeze half for a delicious dinner on a lazy night.
Just a couple of tips I found while making the gnocchi:
– You can roll the dough into ropes and cut it into 1 inch pieces but use a lot of flour to keep it from sticking or you can pinch pieces off and just roll it in your hands. The second way takes just a little bit longer.
– For dough that’s slightly less sticky you can refrigerate the dough until it’s chilled. I found it easier to work with but again a lot of flour will be needed. Repeat after me, don’t be shy with the flour.
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