Ricotta gnocchi with lemon and thyme butter (and a lentil frittata)

I started making this ricotta gnocchi at about 8.30pm on Tuesday night, and we ate at around 10pm... The late start was due to too much wine and 'mucking about' (as my gran likes to say), and the late eating time was due to, well, more wine. I'm not entirely sure you needed to know that, but there it is.

I had recently become obsessed with the idea of making ricotta gnocchi after I saw it in an old issue of Donna Hay (I know, I know, I need to see other magazines). You see, I've never really understood the hype around gnocchi — the potato kind, that is. Whether this has to do with the cataclysmic temper tantrum I threw last time I tried to make potato gnocchi (the Guinea Pig is forbidden to ever speak of it), or that I've just never tasted really good gnocchi, I don't know. But this ricotta version appealed to me, mainly because I love anything to do with ricotta, and secondly, the recipe just seemed too easy to be true. But it was true. (The pool of gorgeous melted butter didn't hurt its case.)

Then on Thursday, I made Molly Wizenberg's French-Style Warm Lentil Salad (I know, I know, I need to see other blogs). It was my new favourite dish before the gnocchi, and I've made it about three times over the last few weeks (I strongly urge you to try it just the way she presents it: with some gorgeous salami, gherkins, and crusty bread). The problem is, I always make way too much. Oh, of course I could just follow the exact quantity measurements, but what would be the fun in that?

So I had a few cups (about two) of this lentil salad in the fridge, and decided to make a frittata. I've never seen lentils in a frittata before, and I'm not sure why this is because they work really well. I cracked six beaten eggs into a bowl, grated in about half a cup (okay, maybe a whole cup) of Parmesan, a handful of chopped parsley and the lentils. Poured this into a pan and topped with bits of salami. It was ... delicious. If you ever have spare cooked lentils just lying around, not earning their keep, make this dish. We had it with a  green salad and some crusty (buttered) bread.

 

Ricotta gnocchi with lemon and thyme butter
250g ricotta cheese
½ cup finely grated Parmesan
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ cup plain (all-purpose flour)
¼ cup flatleaf parsley leaves, chopped
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
Finely grated Parmesan, extra to serve

Lemon and thyme butter
80g butter
2 tsp thyme leaves
2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
2 tsp lemon juice

1. To make the lemon and thyme butter, place the butter, lemon rind, thyme and juice in a small saucepan over low heat, and stir until the butter is melted. Set aside and keep warm.
2. Place the ricotta, Parmesan, egg, flour, parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well to combine.
3. Turn out the mixture onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 15cm long ‘rope’. Cut into 2cm lengths and press lightly with the back of a fork. Cook the gnocchi in batches in a large pot of salted boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes or until cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in serving bowls. Spoon over the lemon butter and top with the extra Parmesan to serve. Serves 4.

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