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Baked Ricotta Gnocchi, Sausage Bolognese, Fontina and Parmesan

From Azul Restaurant - Miami, FL
Chef: Clay Conley

The family was in Miami this past November and had lunch at Azul, a restaurant located in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Miami. Our meal began with a warm dish of this Baked Ricotta Gnocchi and needless to say, we were amazed. We all agreed it had to be added to the website. At the restaurant, this dish was served as an appetizer, however, I think it would also make a delicious meal on a cold evening.

Serves: 4

Bolognese Sauce:

  • 1 pound Italian Hot Sausage (Take out of casing)
  • 2 white onions chopped small dice
  • 1 sprig Basil chiffonade
  • 4 cloves of garlic sliced
  • 1 shallot diced
  • 1 sprig rosemary chopped
  • 1 sprig thyme chopped
  • 2 quarts red wine
  • 2 quarts veal stock
  • 2 quarts Whole Italian Tomatoes (canned)

In a large hot skillet, add the sausage and allow to cook through. Add onions, garlic, shallot and fresh herbs except for the Basil. Add red wine and reduce about half way. Add veal stock and reduce about halfway, add tomatoes, and then the basil. The consistency should be chunky, no need to strain.

Ricotta Gnocchi:

  • 1 pound Ricotta Whole Milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 pound of Whole Purpose Flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • Shave Fontina and Parmesan cheese. (This will be used at the end)

Mix the Ricotta, Egg Yolk, and Salt together. Slowly add the flour until you get a dough consistency. Roll out into long strips and place on sheet pans. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the mixture to cool and hold up. Take out of the refrigerator and cut into thumb size pieces. Blanch in hot water until Gnocchi rises to the top. Toss with Bolognese sauce and place in casserole. Add fontina and parmesan cheese on top and place in a broiler to allow to melt.