Beet and Ricotta Gnocchi with Wilted Beet Greens and Aged Balsamic

For this Piedmontese dish, a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar adds a tangy complexity. Chef Jenn Louis likes La Vecchia Dispensa “Cleopatra” from the Modena region. Featured in: All the Gnocchi.

Beet and Ricotta Gnocchi with Wilted Beet Greens and Aged Balsamic Beet and Ricotta Gnocchi with Wilted Beet Greens and Aged Balsamic
A drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar adds a tangy complexity to this Piedmontese ricotta-based gnocchi.
Yield: serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 14 lb. small red beets with greens, greens separated, stems cut in 1/2″ pieces, leaves torn into 2″ pieces, and beets scrubbed
  • 14 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12 cup homemade ricotta
  • 12 cup finely grated parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 2 12 cups all-purpose flour
  • Semolina flour, for dusting
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • Aged balsamic vinegar, for drizzling

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350°. Toss beets, 2 tbsp. oil, salt, pepper, and 14 cup water in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish and cover with foil; roast until tender, about 1 hour. Peel beets and transfer to a food processor. Add ricotta, parmesan, nutmeg, egg, and salt; purée until smooth and transfer to a bowl. Add 1 12 cups flour and, using your hands, mix until a sticky dough forms. Sprinkle 12 cup flour on a work surface. Place dough on top. Sprinkle remaining flour over dough and cover loosely with plastic wrap; let sit 30 minutes.
  2. Cut dough into 6 pieces, incorporating flour; this is an extremely soft dough. Working with one piece at a time, and using your hands, roll dough into a 12“-thick rope. Cut rope crosswise into 12” gnocchi; transfer to a semolina-dusted, parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Separate gnocchi to prevent sticking.
  3. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a simmer over medium-high. Cook gnocchi, all at once, until they float, 2–3 minutes. Meanwhile, heat remaining oil and butter in a 12″ skillet over medium-high. Cook beet green stems until soft, 2-3 minutes. Add beet leaves; cook until wilted, 1–2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to skillet; season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Transfer gnocchi to a serving platter; drizzle with balsamic and sprinkle with parmesan.