meatless monday: pan-seared ramps gnocchi
I never knew ramps existed. It wasn’t until the elusive baerlauch started showing up on Swiss menus everywhere during our first year in Switzerland that I started to learn more about this fun green. So, it seems not only natural but perfectly harmless that I would look for ramps now that Mr. KC and I were back in the U.S.. I had no clue that in my absence, ramps-fever had swept the U.S. and this was THE trendy ingredient du jour.
Setting aside any feelings of being a complete hipster, my search for ramps continued and when I finally tracked them down and knew exactly that these beauties were destined for great things as lovely, pillowy, herby gnocchi. The recipe came from a cookbook from Boston cooks and was adapted to incorporate the ramps. The flavor is HEAVY on ramps (consider yourself warned) and next time, I might blanch the leaves or pan fry as it helps make the taste a bit milder. I might also add another spice to the gnocchi to round out the taste. A pinch of nutmeg or cayenne would do great things.
pan-seared ramps gnocchi
adapted from The Boston Chef’s Table
- 1 lb baking potatoes, scrubbed, but not peeled
- 1 bunch ramps
- Salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup ricotta
- 1 extra large egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup grated parmigiano
- Freshly ground pepper
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prick the potatoes in several places with a fork so steam can escape.
- Bake potatoes for about 1 hour or until tender.
- While potatoes are still warm, cut them in half, scoop the meat out and push through a ricer (a strainer with small holes will also work)
- When waiting for potatoes to bake, sautee ramps in a tiny bit of olive oil.
- Remove from pan, a chop into small pieces (do not use a food process for this as it will make it mushy)
- In a large bowl, mix ramps, ricotta and egg.
- Add riced potatoes and 1/4 cup of parmigiano.
- Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
- Fold in flour.
- Turn mixture onto a floured surface and knead until it’s smooth–this actually took a lot more flour for me possibly another 1/2 cup or so.
- Break dough into 3 or 4 pieces and roll each piece into logs about 1/2 inch in diameter.
- Cut into 1/2 inch pieces and dust pieces again with flour so they don’t stick together.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Add gnocchi and cook at a gentle boil for about 5-6 minutes or until they float to the top.
- While gnocchi are cooking in water, heat up butter over medium-high heat in a pan and allow to slightly brown.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove gnocchi from water and add to pan. Allow to brown for 3 minutes on each side.
- Serve with remaining parmigiano.