Half salad, half pasta dish, this meal is 100 percent delicious. Crispy on the outside, pillowy soft on the inside gnocchi is partnered with a creamy Caesar dressing, deeply flavored roasted tomatoes, and fresh romaine lettuce. Served room temperature, it’s ideal for al fresco dining.
SERVINGS: 4 | from ZWILLING
- 1lb. potatoes, preferable Yukon Gold
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1½ cups whole-milk ricotta
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the surface
- ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more flaked for garnish
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- 20 small plum tomatoes
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 5 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 anchovy fillets in oil
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
- 8 tbsp. neutral oil, such as sunflower
- ¼ cup chicken broth
- Fresh lemon juice, to taste
- 2 heads romaine lettuce
- Prepare the gnocchi dough: Boil the potatoes in salted water for about 30 minutes, until soft and easily pierced with a fork. Drain, peel while hot, and mash well with a potato masher in a large bowl. Add 2 egg yolks, the ricotta, flour, and all but 2 tbsp. of the Parmesan. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Mix everything together, then knead about 1 minute to a silky smooth, slightly tacky dough, being careful not to over mix.
- Lightly flour a work surface and tear off a piece of dough about the size of a tennis ball. Cover the dough in the bowl with a kitchen towel so that it doesn’t dry out as you work in batches. Using the palms of your hands, roll out the tennis ball-sized dough to form a roughly ¾-in. thick rope. With a sharp knife or pastry cutter, cut the rope into ¾-in. long pieces. Use your hands to shape the pieces into small ovals and gently depress with the tines of a fork to create the characteristic gnocchi pattern. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave the finished gnocchi on the floured work surface as you repeat with the remaining dough.
- Have a large bowl of cold water ready by the side of the stove. Bring a pot of generously salted water to the boil. Add the gnocchi to the water and gently stir. Cook about 1 minute. The gnocchi are done when they rise to the top. Remove them with a strainer or slotted spoon and stop them from cooking by placing them directly in the bowl of cold water. Remove the gnocchi and drain well.
- Meanwhile, heat the oven to 250°F. Halve the tomatoes lengthwise. Coarsely chop 3 cloves of garlic. Toss the tomatoes with the garlic and thyme sprigs on a baking tray large enough to accommodate the tomatoes in one layer. Drizzle with 3 tbsp. olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss again. Bake the tomatoes in the oven for about 1 hour 40 minutes, until they are very soft and wrinkly.
- Prepare the dressing by finely chopping the remaining clove of garlic and placing it in a small, tall bowl with the anchovy fillets, mustard, vinegar, and remaining egg yolk. Finely blend with a hand blender while adding the sunflower oil in a thin stream. Alternatively, process in a small food processor and stream in the oil while blending. Add the remaining 2 tbsp. Parmesan and the broth. Season the dressing with salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste.
- In a large nonstick pan, heat the remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil and fry the gnocchi until golden brown and crispy, turning regularly as they cook. Remove the pan from the heat.
- In a large bowl, toss the lettuce leaves with the dressing, then divide among plates or place on a large serving platter. Place the fried gnocchi and baked tomatoes over top. Serve garnished with flaked Parmesan.