Lemon Thyme Ricotta Gnocchi

I've made gnocchi with ricotta before but this gnocchi was a case of 'use up ingredients in the fridge and don't go buy more' so I didn't do the one I usually do!  I was really happy with how this one turned out though.  I'm not sure on the exact measurements as I was sort of adding a bit here and there but it seems to be pretty forgiving!  So, if you are comfortable with that sort of cooking, here's where you could start ... 

This recipe didn't make a whole lot.  For our family of four, we were all full but we also had a veggie and some garlic bread.  There were no seconds ... and we were all wishing there were!  Next time, I'll double the recipe!

250g ricotta (I didn't have quite 250g as I was using up an open ricotta!) 
1 cup of flour, or more
fresh thyme, leaves picked off ... as little or as much as you like.
rind of one lemon
30g finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg

I read somewhere that it's good to get as much moisture out of the ricotta as possible when using it for gnocchi so I spooned it all into a small colander/strainer and put that in a bowl in the fridge for about 1/2 an hour before I started making the gnocchi.  Don't know if it was necessary but a fair bit of liquid did drain out so I'd probably do it again next time.

Mix the flour, thyme, Parmesan cheese and lemon rind in a large bowl.  Make a well in the centre and add the ricotta and egg.  I used my fingers to mix everything together until it became a dough.  I did add a little bit more flour as I went because it was really really sticky!  Make sure you don't overwork the dough or it will become tough and no one wants tough gnocchi!

Put the dough onto a well floured surface and form into a square ... well, mine was more like a rectangle, but I was aiming for square!  (Add flour as needed so the dough doesn't stick to your hands or your work space!)  Cut that into four segments.  Roll each segment into a long snake ... you know, like you used to do with playdough?! Cut each snake into small pieces which can be boiled just like that or rolled out on a gnocchi board or back of a fork. 

Add gnocchi to boiling water and cook until they float.  Normally, we'd stop there but last night I tried frying them in garlic butter as well.  YUM!  I drained them in a little colander and then popped them straight into a fry pan with butter and three smashed but whole garlic cloves.  I shook the pan around and coated them in the butter.  It gave them a little extra flavor and a bit of a crispy coating!  So good.  I did half the gnocchi that way, half just boiled.  We liked them both ways. 

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Top with your favorite sauce.  We love Craig's Bacon Mushroom Sauce and Winter Veg Sauce as two options!  YUM.  The one pictured above is a creamy roasted tomato sauce. 

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