There’s no doubt about it, making gnocchi is a labor of love. It’s an easy task (toss the ingredients in a food processor and pulse the dough, chill it, roll it out into ropes that you slice into 1-inch pieces, mark them with the tines of a fork and then boil them). But it’s tedious. All those fluffy little dumplings! But these gluten free zucchini ricotta gnocchi have some major selling points…
First, you’re going to use up a whole lot of zucchini and yellow squash. If you’re anything like me and you’re greeted each morning by a veritable bumper crop of the stuff that seems to have sprung up overnight in your back yard, this is a very, very important thing. If you’re not like me and you live anywhere near me, I insist we meet in person so I can hand some over. I’m drowning. Send help.
Second, ricotta gnocchi is way, way easier than potato gnocchi (although I bet you could replace the ricotta cheese in this recipe with peeled, boiled and mashed potatoes and make potato zucchini gnocchi—if you’re dairy free try that and let us know how it goes!). For ricotta gnocchi, instead of preparing the potatoes, all you do is drain the ricotta cheese. Different ricotta cheese will have different levels of moisture. Typically, the higher the quality of cheese, the less moisture—although some lower quality versions have much, much less moisture because they have added starches. The more moisture you drain from your ricotta, the less additional flour you’ll need when you shape the little gems.
One final selling point: they’re light and fluffy and full of flavor—all without an oven. Now where are we going to meet for me to get you those zucchini?
*I squeeze the liquid out of grated zucchini and squash by placing it, about 1/4 cup at a time, in a tea towel, rolling up the towel and twisting it to squeeze out all of the liquid. You can use whatever combination of zucchini and yellow squash you would like, or all one or the other.
Make the dough. In the bowl of food processor fitted with the steel blade, place all of the gnocchi ingredients in the order in which they are listed. Pulse until the mixture begins to come together. Turn the food processor on high and process until the mixture is thick and well-combined. Turn it out onto a lightly floured flat surface, sprinkle lightly with more flour, and pat into a disk. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place the dough in the refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes.
Shape the dough. Once the dough has chilled, remove the plastic wrap and place on a lightly floured surface. Using a sharp knife or a bench scraper, cut off pieces of dough and roll them into rounds that are about 1 1/2-inches in diameter, sprinkling lightly with more flour to prevent sticking. Using the fingers of both hands and pushing away from your body, roll each round into a rope of dough about 6-inches long, and about 3/4-inch in diameter. Be careful not to push down on the dough, but rather roll it out. Sprinkle lightly with additional flour as necessary. Using a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut the ropes of dough into 1-inch long pieces. Mark the top of each piece with the floured tines of a fork to make ridges. Continue to flour the tines of the fork as necessary to prevent sticking.
To cook the gnocchi, drop them in batches in generously salted boiling water for about 3 minutes. The gnocchi will float after they have been boiling for about 2 minutes. Continue to boil for another minute before removing with a strainer and placing on a plate in a single layer, so they do not stick together. Do not overcook or the gnocchi will begin to fall apart. Drizzle lightly with olive oil to prevent sticking. Serve with tomato sauce, and fresh or dried herbs.