Umbrian Feast with Melissa
This menu will become a family favourite. If you would like to make the gnocchi as a main course, just double the gnocchi ingredients, you do not need to double the sauce.
If you are doing the on-line class please prep the following in advance:
Have all your ingredients measure out and ready to go, this is called: "mise en place"
Place your ricotta in a sieve for approximately 15', this will allow any liquid to drain out.
Wash and dry your herbs
Your Utensil List:Sieve
Large pan for making tomato sauce
Splash guard (optional)
Large pot for cooking gnocchi
Ideally a wooden surface to roll out gnocchi
Roasting pan for chicken, there will be some juices so you want a baking sheet or pan with some sides. A casserole dish or pie dish work well too.
Ricotta Gnocchi and Pollo in Porchetta
Recipe courtesy of: Melissa Fiorucci and In My Kitchen
1 jar tomato passata
1 med onion finely diced
1 garlic clove peeled
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 C ricotta
1 lg egg
½ C freshly grated parmesan cheese (see Melissa’s notes on ingredients)
2 pinches salt
1 pinch of pepper
125g all purpose flour
A little grating of fresh nutmeg (optional)
One free range chicken cut into 8-10 pieces or bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
100 g of pancetta (or the fat from a few slices of prosciutto)
A small bunch of mixed fresh green herbs (a combination of sage leaves, Italian parsley, rosemary , fennel fronds)
2 cloves of garlic
200 mL white wine
Salt and Pepper
Fiorucci Family Tomato Sauce
Pollo in Porchetta
Pollo in Porchetta
Place chicken in a large roasting pan and pre heat the oven to 400 degrees. Nonna note: put 2-3 Tbsp of red wine vinegar on your chicken ahead of time for an hour or so.
Roughly chop herbs, garlic and fat (pancetta or prosciutto fat) together to make the ‘battuto’. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and then massage in the battuto along with a generous amount of olive oil (a few tablespoons).
Put in the hot oven and after about 15 minutes of cooking, add the white wine and turn the heat down to 375 degrees.
You can also cube some potatoes at this point, season them with some olive oil and salt, and throw them in to cook in the pan along with the chicken. Add a bit of water or additional wine if the pan is drying out.
If you want to save some time, the potatoes and wine can go in right at the beginning when the chicken goes in the oven.
Fiorucci Family Tomato Sauce
Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a wide sauce pan and add your onions and whole garlic clove.
Sprinkle with salt and turn on the heat to medium. It’s important to start cooking the onions in a cold pan so they don’t brown. Allow to gently sauté until the onions are translucent (about 10 minutes).
Add the jar of passata to the pan – add a bit of water to the empty jar and shake it around to get any leftover tomato and add that to the pan as well. Season with salt and allow to gently bubble and reduce until the oil starts to float at the top of the sauce and it no longer tastes raw (about 30 minutes).
Serve with your favourite pasta and lots of grated parmigiano reggiano or pecorino
Place the ricotta in sieve over a bowl for 15 minutes, to allow any extra liquid to drain out.
Add salt and pepper to the flour and pour flour on to a flat surface and make a well.
Add the ricotta, egg and cheese into the well and slowly pull in the flour from the sides. Use a fork or your fingers and mix until just combined. Form into a ball of dough. Remove small handfuls of dough, roll out and form into rope, cut into 2 cm pieces. Roll pieces off a fork to make the ridges.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the gnocchi for approximately 2 minutes or until they float to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the sauce, toss and serve. Sprinkle with cheese before serving.
Participants should ideally look for an Italian brand of strained tomatoes. Italissima and Mutti are two commonly available brands, but Italian shops and delis will carry all different kinds. The important thing to note is that it should be labeled passata or strained tomato, not 'sauce'. In a pinch, you can also get one large can of Italian peeled tomatoes (800 gram can).
I like to verify that my olive oil is made from olives from the country it is from, rather than a blend of olives, or oils, from numerous different countries - it should state this clearly on the bottle, as well as any protected geographical indication status (PDO, IGP etc). It doesn't necessarily make it better, but it helps when you are looking for a good olive oil (unless you can get it directly from a producer - which you can!) I quite like the Toscano Extra Virgin Oil from Costco, it has a protected geographical indication status (meaning it is made from olives from Tuscany) as well as harvest dates (so you know how old it is). Also, it has a great price point.
Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano or Pecorino
Whatever cheese you get, it is important to grate it fresh yourself - pre-grated cheeses can be full of fillers. Also, make sure it actually says Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano or Pecorino on the package, not just the generic English word: Parmesan. There is a loophole that allows companies to market cheese as Parmesan if they use the English word. Real Parmigiano, Grana Padano and Pecorino can only come from Italy.
In My Kitchen offers culinary experiences where passionate and knowledgeable home cooks invite you into their home to share their recipes and culture. All culinary experiences are online. Check out more cooking classes here. Try other classes from Melissa here.
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This recipe is intended for participants of Melissa's In My Kitchen Umbrian experience.