This is a simple homemade pasta using a lovely and often overlooked seasonal ingredient. Garlic scapes are the flower bud of the garlic plant, and are usually removed to encourage the bulb to bulk up. They are milder than garlic but can be used the same way in recipes. I like to add them to stir fry, warm potato salad, and here they are featured in gnocchi. Inspired by Niagra Cooks by Lynn Ogryzlo.
Time: Gnocchi -prep 20 min, cook 5. Sauce – prep 5, cook 45.
Serves: 4 (with a side salad)
You will need:
For the gnocchi:
- 1 pound (450g) ricotta cheese
- 2 egg whites
- 3/4 cup chopped garlic scapes (about 6 scapes)
- 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
For the sauce:
- 1 can San Marzano tomatoes see this post for comparison with regular plum tomatoes
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion
- possibly a pinch of salt if your finished sauce needs it- mine didn’t
Place ricotta, egg whites and scapes in a food processor and process until scapes are minced. See photo below.
In a two cup measuring cup(or a separate bowl if you want to make more dishes!) measure 1 3/4 cup flour, salt, and pepper. Give it a good stir with a fork.
Add dry ingredients to ricotta mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, doing one or two pulses of the processor to blend the mixture.
Dough will be moist and somewhat sticky, but avoid the temptation to add too much flour as it will make your gnocchi heavy.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface, and divide into 8 balls. Using the palm of your hand, roll the dough into a rope about 1/2″ in diameter. Avoid over working the dough or working in too much flour as it will make your gnocchi tough.
Using a sharp knife, cut rope into 3/4″-1″ pieces. I got about 12-13 pieces from each rope. If you can find one, you can use a gnocchi rolling board to give them the little ridges. They will taste just as good without them though!
Place them on a lightly floured parchment covered cookie sheet. I generally make these early in the day and pop them into the freezer as then they are easier to handle getting them into the pot without sticking to each other. They don’t take any longer to cook from frozen- still only about 3-5 minutes. You can also make a double batch to them to freeze them for a quick supper another day. Simply remove frozen gnocchi from the cookie sheet and place in freezer baggies.
Add gnocchi to a large pot of boiling, salted water. They will sink at first, give them a little stir so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot, but will float up to the surface as they are cooked- about 3-5 minutes.
Add tomatoes to pot, halve the onion and put it cut side down into the tomatoes. Add the 5 tbsp of unsalted butter. Let simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, crushing the tomatoes against the side of the pan with your spoon. When finished, remove and discard onion halves.
Top gnocchi with a spoonful of sauce, garnish with fresh parmesan or asiago cheese. Serve with fresh bread and a summer strawberry salad if desired.