Monday, 24 August 2009

Daring Cooks' challenge - Gnocchi de mató

Since I've signed up for the Daring Cooks' challenge, I thought it might be a good idea to practise with previous recipes. So to start off slowly without trying anything too complicated, I opted for May's recipe - Ricotta Gnocchi.

First problem, source Ricotta. When checking out what exactly Ricotta was made from, to my delight I discovered that it was just the Italian version of requesón or mató as it is known here in Catalunya. Mató (known as brossat in Tortosa and a main ingredient for passissets - more about them later) is a main ingredient here, used much like ricotta in both sweet and savoury dishes. Grand, main ingredient easy to find and the other ingredients are more everyday stuff (eggs, flour).

As instructed, I strained it overnight in the fridge (mató tends to be quite liquidy) and proceeded to make the gnocchi. They turned out to be easier than I thought in making.. Didn't even fall apart on my first attempt!

I decided to go with the basic recipe - just a dash of nutmeg and plenty of parmigiano. The trick is to handle them as little as possible to ensure a fluffy filling that is quite different to the more common gnocchi de patate but still as deceptively filling.
According to my official taster (E), they passed the test although he suggested the next time they should 'accompany' something else (i.e. I'm still hungry) and that I should try a wild mushroom sauce made with ceps (porcini). So I guess, round one passed. Will I make them again? Probably - they were a lot easier to make than I thought - the most time consuming moment, forming the gnocchi (trying not to make them too big nor too small) but I definitely think I'll try E's suggestion in the Autumn (when there's fresh ceps around).

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