Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Daring Cooks 1st Challenge!!

I've recently become a member of The Daring Kitchen, it's an online group that have monthly baking/cooking challenges. May was the first month for our Daring Cooks Challenge and the hosts Ivonne and Lis decided on Zuni Ricotta Gnocchi. I've made Potato Gnocchi before but never Ricotta so I was excited to give it a go.
This was the Gnocchi recipe we were given to follow Ricotta Gnocchi but we were given free reign when it came to the sauces/flavourings we decided on serving it with. I decided on Ricotta Gnocchi served with Shrimp a la Vodka. See the end of post for the sauce recipe.

As the recipe suggests I used fresh ricotta which I drained overnight in the fridge:This is the "watery" residue leftover after the ricotta drained in the fridge overnight:
Ball of "dry" ricotta:
All ingredients in bowl, getting ready to be mixed:
Everything mixed and ready to start "forming" my gnocchi:
Rolling the formed gnocchi in the flour:

My first "sample" Ricotta Gnocchi:
All rolled and ready to go:
Big pot of boiling gnocchi:

The finished product Ricotta Gnocchi with Shrimps a la Vodka, served with garlic bread and tomatoe-mozzerella stacks on the side:

This was a fun challenge, not too difficult and something different than what I've made before. I think I would choose potato gnocchi over ricotta if I had to make them again. I found the ricotta gnocchi had a mushier texture and were very delicate. Overall it was a great first challenge and one that I would say was a success! Can't wait to see what next month's challenge brings.

Shrimps ala Vodka
Serves 4

1 lbs large shrimp (raw) peeled and deveined
1 large white onion diced
1/2 cup vodka (doesn't have to be top shelf)
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
32 oz tomatoe puree
1-2 tablespoons of tomatoe paste
Italian seasoning to taste
1 cup heavy whipping cream
freshly grated parmesean cheese (to taste)
fresh basil (to taste)
salt & pepper (to taste)


1. Melt unsalted butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat, add olive oil. Once butter has melted add diced onion, saute diced onion until translucent.

2. Add vodka to sauteed onions and let vodka reduce for about 5 minutes.

3. Add tomatoe puree, tomatoe paste and italian seasoning to vodka/onion mixture, let simmer for approximatley 45 minutes stirring occasionially.

4. While sauce is simmering, sautee shrimp in a large pan with a bit of olive oil. Cook shrimp until pink.

5. When sauce is done simmering (after about 45 minutes) add 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and stir to combine, once sauce is a light pink colour add cooked shrimp.

6. Serve sauce over cooked pasta, garnish with fresh grated parmesean cheese, a chiffonade of basil and salt and pepper to taste.


Anonymous said...

Oh wow, serving your beautiful gnocchi with shrimp is pure heaven and a perfect match. Very nicely done and I want to come for dinner :)

Christie's Corner said...

I liked the light texture but found the gnocchi flavorless. Perhaps a potato gnocchi combination would work better?

Fun first challenge. Glad I did it, although my results weren't all that pretty.

Anonymous said...

mm I love vodka tomato sauce, great job on the gnocchi!

Connie Weiss said...

Great job! Love the sauce you picked too!

Audax said...

Prawns and gnocchi what a great choice and I think that most people forget about seafood when it comes to gnocchi. The textures would go so well. I just loved these little pillows of yummmmmmminess. Cheers from Audax in Australia

Arundathi said...

gorgeous looking gnocchi! we loved it too!

Karen said...

Yummm, prawns. I could def do with a bowl of your gnocchi for dinner now!

Lauren said...

Mmm, your gnocchi look amazing!! I love your photos =D.


Thanks everyone! It was a fun first challenge, can't wait to see what the next one will be!!!

MaryMary said...

They look scrumptious--great job on this challenge!