Gnocchi fans are in for a treat with this Beet Gnocchi in Rosemary Butter.
I have heard people describe gnocchi as ‘pillow-y little clouds’ but had not actually experience it until these.
The beet flavour is not overly strong but it lends a nice sweetness to the cheese. The rosemary butter sets up a sweet and savoury contrast.
Gnocchi is not difficult to make. The most time consuming part is cooking the beets. I use my pressure cooker so they are done after 13 minutes of cooking. Roasting takes about an hour. The good news is you can cook the beets a day or two before you want to make the gnocchi.
I am not sure if canned beets would work here or not. Whole canned beets grated and drained might work but you would have to watch the texture of the dough. You might need more flour so the dough isn’t too wet since canned beets tend to be juicier than roasted beets.
Making the dough is easy – just mixing – no kneading or rising. Then you roll it into rope shapes, trim off pieces then you shape the pieces into crescents by pinching the two ends and pulling them toward the center.
Cooking is a breeze. You simmer them in salted water and then saute them in the rosemary butter.
The steps are very forgiving. You can cook the beets a day or two before. You can refrigerate the dough for 24 hours. You can shape the gnocchi and refrigerate for several hours. I don’t see why you couldn’t simmer them and then just gently reheat them in the rosemary butter just before serving. You would probably need to lay them out in a single layer on a sheet pan so they don’t stick together if you are going to pre-cook and reheat. I didn’t leave that gap when I made them but I can’t see any problem there.
I did freeze the excess and they reheat beautifully. They were already cooked and coated in the rosemary butter so I just gently reheated them in the microwave.
Beet Gnocchi in Rosemary Butter
- Pressure cooker (optional)
- 3 small beets Enough to make 3/4 cup grated. Ends trimmed but unpeeled.
- 1 lb light ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/4 cups fresh grated Parmesan cheese divided 3/4 cup + 1/2 cup
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour divided 1 + 1/2 cup
- 4 Tbsps butter
- 2 rosemary sprigs enough to make up about 24" of rosemary
- Cook beets. For oven roasting wrap beets in foil and roast at 450° for 1 hour. To pressure cook add 1 cup of water to the cooker. Place beets on the steamer rack and cook on high 13 minutes. Quick release. (or according to your pressure cooker instructions).
- Allow beets to cool until you are able to handle and peel. Coarsely grate beets until you have 3/4 cup. Reserve any remainder for another use.
- Put grated beets in a large bowl and add the ricotta, egg, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and 1 cup of the flour. Stir well to mix thoroughly. (You can make this 'dough' a day ahead and refrigerate.)
- Dust a platter or baking sheet with flour. Put the remaining 1/2 cup of flour in a small bowl.
- Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Roll the dough into a rope about 1 1/2" in diameter. Cut off 1 1/2" sections. Pinch the 2 ends of each section and bend toward the center to form a crescent shape. Optional: gently score the top with a fork. This makes more surface to hold sauce and seasonings. Transfer gnocchi to the prepared floured sheet. Repeat until all the dough has been shaped. You can refrigerate gnocchi, covered for up to 6 hours if you like at this point.
- While water is coming to a simmer, melt butter in a large saucepan with rosemary sprigs. Set aside if it is ready before the gnocchi is cooked.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer. You may need to work in batches at this point to not overcrowd the gnocchi. Gently drop the gnocchi into the water and cook until they come to the surface and float. Cook another 2 minutes. While gnocchi is cooking return the butter to the heat. Use a slotted spoon to drain and transfer the cooked gnocchi to the skillet. Stir gently till all the gnocchi is coated.
- Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle generously with 1/2 cup remaining of grated Parmesan cheese.