MAKES ABOUT 1 1/2 DOZEN GNOCCHI
The idea of making gnocchi conjures up fear in some people. Most have eaten potato gnocchi, small bits of a flour and potato dough that is rolled off the tines of a fork, but they are hesitant to make them for fear the dough will be too tough. In our series I have introduced many types of gnocchi, including those made with spinach, pumpkin, and ricotta cheese.
This Emilian version of rice gnocchi is not as well known. It is made with Arborio rice, the same short-grain, starchy rice used to make risotto. This recipe will work with leftover Arborio rice as well. The gnocchi can be made and refrigerated for a day before baking.
6 cups water
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
6 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
2/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Fine sea salt to taste
Bring the water to a boil in a 4-quart, non-stick saucepan, add the salt, and stir in the rice. Cook the rice, uncovered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the rice absorbs most of the water. This will take about 20 minutes. Transfer the rice to a bowl and let it come to room temperature, or refrigerate it for several hours to make it easier to shape into balls. Stir in the bread crumbs, 3 tablespoons of the butter, the nutmeg, 1/3 cup of the cheese, and the eggs.
Grease a baking dish with 1 teaspoon of the butter and set it aside.
With your hands, form balls the size of a small lemon. Roll each ball in flour and place them in the baking pan. Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and pour it over the gnocchi. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and season with more salt to taste. At this point the dish can be covered and refrigerated and baked the next day.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Bake the gnocchi until they are nicely browned, about 35 minutes. Serve immediately.
Did you know that there is no such thing as salted butter in Italy? All butter is unsalted. If you are using salted butter in the recipe, adjust the amount of salt called for to taste.
This recipe is from BRINGING ITALY HOME by Mary Ann Esposito.
This recipe was featured on show 1012 - All Kinds of Gnocchi.
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