I'm sure I'm not the only one who fell in love with ratatouille after watching Ratatouille. That movie was probably the first cooking movie that I thoroughly enjoyed, even more than Spanglish (although it's a close call!). There's just something so beautiful about vegetables roasted to perfection. It's actually a simple dish but when done right, it's incredibly delicious. I love digging in a big bowl of ratatouille with a side of crusty sourdough bread but today I'm stepping it up a notch. Homemade ricotta gnocchi with ratatouille sauce just seemed like the right way to go for tonight's dinner and it certainly was.
Ricotta Gnocchi with Ratatouille Sauce
- 1 lb whole milk ricotta
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup grated parmesan
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 2 portobello mushrooms chopped
- 1 eggplant chopped
- 1 zucchini chopped
- 2 red bell peppers chopped
- 6 tomatoes chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic
- 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoon fresh basil
- grated parmesan for finishing
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoon garlic minced
- Make the ricotta gnocchi. Beat together 1 lb whole milk ricotta with 4 eggs, 1 cup grated parmesan, and 2 teaspoon salt until well combined. Slowly add 2 cups of all-purpose flour until incorporated. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Dust a clean work counter with flour and working with one portion at a time, roll into a ½ inch thick rope. Cut the rope into 1-inch pieces and transfer the gnocchi onto a lightly floured baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Chill until ready to use.
- Prepare the ratatouille. Heat 2 tablespoon olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, mushrooms, and eggplant and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes, and garlic, and cook another 3-4 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
- Add 28 ounces crushed tomatoes, ¼ cup parsley, and 1 teaspoon thyme to the vegetables, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Continue to simmer for 25 minutes. Season the ratatouille with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, make the garlic-infused oil. Heat ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil over medium heat in a small saucepot. Add 2 tablespoon garlic and simmer for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and let sit.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Carefully drop the gnocchi into the water and boil until they float to the surface, about 1-2 minutes. Drain the gnocchi.
- Portion the gnocchi into bowls and top with the ratatouille. Finish with a drizzle of garlic oil and grated parmesan. Serve immediately.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
You usually make ratatouille in the oven but we're going to make it on the stovetop to turn it into a sauce. Chop all the vegetables into small chunks, making sure they are not too big. I love using the dutch oven for this sauce but you can also use a large saucepot.
Eggplant and mushroom take longer to break down so they go in the pot first. Once they soften, add the remaining vegetables and saute until tender. Add the canned tomatoes and fresh herbs and let the sauce do its thing. If tomatoes are in season, feel free to use fresh instead.
While the ratatouille is cooking, making the garlic-infused oil. Simply simmer the garlic in extra virgin olive oil and let it sit.
Whenever I need to make gnocchi, I always use cheese as the base ingredient instead of potato. Gnocchi is dense but gnudi (gnocchi made with ricotta) is lighter, "pillowy," and easier to make. Just beat together the cheese with eggs, parmesan, salt, and all-purpose flour until the dough comes together.
After the dough has chilled, roll it into long ropes and cut into bite-size pieces. You can also make the gnocchi the day before and chill until ready to cook.
Like all fresh pasta, this homemade gnocchi cooks in a matter of minutes. You'll know when they are ready when they float to the top. Drain the gnocchi, top with a generous portion of the ratatouille, and finish with garlic oil and grated parmesan.
This ricotta gnocchi with ratatouille sauce is a labor of love and it comes through with every bite. Slowly braised vegetables that have broken down and soaked in all the flavor dress up the soft pillowy pasta in the most perfect way. Meatless Monday who? More like meatless every day!
For more gnocchi inspiration check out this sweet potato gnocchi with browned butter, arugula, and pinenuts!