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New Italian and Vegetarian Ricotta and basil gnocchi recipe

You’ve never eaten gnocchi like this – made just with ricotta cheese, Parmesan, egg and flour. It’s fast to whip together too.

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  • Serves 4

  • Prep time 20 mins

  • Cooking time 10 mins

  • Total time 30 mins

  • Calories 470 per serving

  • Prepare ahead yes

Ingredients

  • 500g (1lb 2oz) ricotta cheese, drained
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 200g (7oz) plain flour, plus extra
  • 2tbsp grated fresh Parmesan
  • 5tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • 200g (7oz) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 50g (2oz) black pitted olives
  • 300ml (½pt) passata (sieved tomatoes)
  • 3tbsp sea salt
  • drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and grated Parmesan, to serve

Tip

You can keep the gnocchi lightly covered in clingfilm in the fridge for up to 2 hours before cooking. To serve, you can also sprinkle the finished dish liberally with grated Parmesan, then put under a very hot grill for a minute or two to make it even more indulgent and delicious. Smart idea: Buy large jars of pitted olives in brine, drain and store them in extra virgin olive oil with a few sprigs of fresh thyme or rosemary for extra flavour.

Preparation

  1. Beat together the ricotta and egg yolk, then add three-quarters of the flour, the Parmesan and 4tbsp of the basil and fold together to make a soft but not too sticky dough. Add more flour as necessary and season well. Flour your hands and roll the gnocchi into logs 2.5cm (1in) wide and let it chill on floured parchment paper for 30 minutes.

  2. Drizzle a little oil into a non-stick frying pan and toss in the tomatoes, garlic and olives, mixing together for 5 minutes before adding the passata for 2 minutes to heat through. Stir through the remaining basil and season to taste.

  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the sea salt. Cut the gnocchi into 5cm (2in) long pieces and drop one at a time into the boiling water. Cook until the gnocchi float to the surface (about 4 minutes), then drain from the water and serve immediately with the tomato sauce spooned over the top and the Parmesan.