Use the best whole-milk ricotta you can find for this recipe because the light texture depends on good cheese. Sheep’s milk is the best choice but cows milk is just fine. The recipe also calls for fresh peas, but frozen can be adapted into it quite easily.
- 1 cup whole-milk ricotta
- 2½ cup freshly shelled peas
- 2 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 cup loosely packed parsley, leaves only
- ½ teaspoon white pepper, plus more as needed
- 1 teaspoon finely textured sea salt, plus more as needed
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, minced
- 3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup parmesan, finely grated, plus more for garnish
- 8 slice thick cut bacon, sliced crosswise into ¼‑inch strips
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more as needed
- ¼ cup chicken broth, plus more as needed
- mint leaves, both torn and whole to taste
- very good olive oil for drizzling
Drain the ricotta well by placing it into a cheese cloth lined stainer set over a bowl for at least 3 hours.
Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice cubes and water. Bring a large sauce pan filled with water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of salt along with the peas. Cook the peas about 3 minutes, then add the parsley leaves and stir to combine. Cook another 30 seconds then drain and quickly add the peas and parsley to the prepared ice bath to stop their cooking. Once completely cooled drain them well and transfer them to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the mixture 3 or 4 times, then puree about 15 seconds, then scrape down the sides of the bowl and process another 15 to 20 seconds.
Transfer the puree to a large mixing bowl, add the salt, pepper, thyme, minced mint, drained ricotta, and egg yolks. Mix well. Add the flour and Parmesan cheese to the bowl and fold the mixture gently to incorporate. Do not over-mix, a slightly streaky mixture is fine.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Using a teaspoon or a small scoop form the dough into 1‑inch to 1 ½‑inch balls and drop them one by one into the boiling water. Do not overcrowd them, work in batches. They should float to the top when fully cooked, about 4 minutes. Transfer them to a parchment lined sheet as they finish cooking. They may be made ahead to this point up to one day.
Heat a large skillet or fry pan over-medium high heat. Add the bacon slices and cook until browned, but still a bit chewy in texture. Transfer to a paper towel lined plated to drain. Pour off some of the rendered bacon fat so that there is about ¼‑inch left on the bottom of the skillet. Retain the extra bacon fat. Add butter and chicken broth and reheat the skillet.
When ready to serve lightly brown the gnocchi in the bacon fat and chicken broth mixture, tossing often to coat. Season with salt and white pepper. Work in batches if necessary adding more reserved bacon fat, butter and chicken broth as needed. Transfer the warm gnudi to a serving platter or bowl. Toss the reserved bacon pieces on top and garnish with Parmesan, mint leaves, and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve warm.