This is an easy recipe that I usually make with my kids (7 and 5). The funny color or the gnocchi and the taste of the sauce made it one of our family's favorite recipes to prepare during a cold and rainy winter morning.
Step 1: Ingredients and Tools
This recipe requires a limited number of ingredients that are usually not so difficult to find.
For four people you need:
- pre-cooked beetroots (500g)
- all-purpose flour (300g + some when working the dough)
- gorgonzola cheese (250g)
- a glass of milk
- a pinch of grated Parmesan
Preparing the gnocchi and cooking them requires around one hour of easy work, and your effort will be repaid by a tasty plate mixing the sweet taste of the pasta with the strong one of the cheese sauce.
You need a mixer, a clean working surface that you can use to shape the gnocchi, a hot water pot, a small pot for the sauce.
Step 2: Prepare the Dough
To prepare the dough you need to use a mixer to finely chop the beetroots. Then you can mix that with flour using a spoon. You'll get a soft and wet dough. Keep adding flour until it's solid enough to stitch to the spoon.
Usually I use 500g of beetroot and 300g of flour, but you may need to add a bit of extra flour if the dough is too liquid to be molded in shape.
Step 3: Shape the Gnocchi
Drop some flour on your working surface and roll the dough so it's no longer stitching to it.
Cut out a small chunk and use your hands to roll it in a cylinder of 1.5/2cm of diameter. The dough is going to be soft but easy to shape, keep the surface covered with flour to avoid stitching.
Cut the cylinder in parts around 2cm long, obviously shapes will not be very regular, but try to keep the gnocchi more of less of the same size, so they will cook evenly. I usually put them on paper trays with some flour on the bottom, keep them well separated, so they will not stitch together.
Step 4: Prepare the Sauce
Put the gorgonzola and a glass of milk in a small pot or pan, heat it slowly and don't rise temperature too much, let the cheese melt and then stir it until it mixes with the milk turning in a creamy sauce, add a pinch of grated Parmesan and stir it again, keep it on low-heat until the gnocchi are ready.
If you don't like the strong taste of Gorgonzola you may use another kind of semi-soft cheese or you can melt some butter with a few leaves of sage and use that instead of the sauce.
Step 5: Cook the Gnocchi and Mix Everything Together
Put water in a big pot, add salt (the amount you use for pasta) and heat it until it boils.
You'll have to drop the gnocchi in boiling water, so be careful!
After 3-5 minutes the gnocchi will start to rise to the top of water, pick them up with a skimmer and drop them in the sauce (if the pan is big enough) or in the plates, covering them with sauce later.