For the Ricotta Gnocchi:
- 1½ cups [180 g] all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 lb [455 g] strained ricotta cheese
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
For the Cherry Tomato Pomodoro:
- 2 pt [760 g] cherry tomatoes, stemmed
- ¼ cup [60 ml] extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp dried oregano, preferably Sicilian
- Pinch of crushed red peppers flakes
- ½ bunch fresh basil, leaves only
- Best-quality olive oil for drizzling
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving
This tomato sauce made from extra-sweet cherry tomatoes is slightly indulgent but still doable in summer, when tomatoes are everywhere and growing out of control. The sauce takes on a silky texture that complements the pillowy texture of the ricotta gnocchi very well. This seems to be a dish that pleases young children as much as more astute diners.
- To make the gnocchi: On a work surface, spread out ½ cup [60 g] of the flour in a 9-in [23-cm] circle. Crumble the ricotta cheese over that and sprinkle another ½ cup [60 g] flour on top. Sprinkle the salt and nutmeg over. With your fingertips, gently gather the ricotta, incorporating the flour a little as you do, working the cheese and flour into a mound, with a volcano-shaped well in the center.
- Pour about three-fourths of the beaten egg into the well in the dough, and use a fork to combine the dough and egg until it has become a rough mass. Gently fold the mass with a bench scraper repeatedly until the dough has mostly come together into a ragged mass. Begin to gently knead, adding up to an additional ¼ cup [30 g] flour, until you have a smooth mass. Use small, quick motions and light touches—just enough to bring the dough together; assertive handling develops gluten, which will make your gnocchi tough.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes. Cover the work surface with the remaining ¼ cup [30 g] flour. Unwrap the dough and gently shape into a 1-in- [2.5-cm-] thick disk.
- Cut the disk into six strips and gently roll each strip into a log about ½ in [12 mm] in diameter. With a knife, cut each log into 1-in [2.5-cm] segments. Press each one into the tines of a fork, leaving a finger imprint on one side of the dumpling and a fork impression on the other. Transfer to a baking sheet and dust with additional flour.
- To make the pomodoro: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the cherry tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes burst and release their liquid.
- Simmer until thickened, about 30 minutes. Pass the sauce through a food mill into a large frying pan. Season with the oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, and basil leaves. Continue to simmer to meld the flavors, 5 to 10 minutes longer.
- Bring an extra-large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the gnocchi and boil just until they float to the surface, about 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi to the pan with the sauce and toss gently.
- Transfer to a large serving platter. Drizzle with best-quality olive oil. Serve immediately, offering Parmesan at the table.