Ricotta Gnocchi with English Peas and Spring Onions
Combine the Parmesan, ricotta, lemon zest, black pepper, sea salt, and nutmeg in a bowl. Mix until well combined. Add the flour(s) and mix into the cheese mixture until it is just incorporated. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead gently for a minute.
Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Roll each portion into a long snake shape and cut into gnocchi-sized pieces. Hold a fork in one hand and place a gnocchi against the tines of the fork. Using your thumb, press in and down the length of the fork. The gnocchi should curl after coming off the fork.
Cook the gnocchi in a pot of salted boiling water. When the gnocchi rise to the surface, they are cooked. Remove and drain.
Blanch the fresh peas in boiling water, drain, and cool in an ice bath. (If frozen, bring just up to room temperature.)
Wash the spring onions in a bowl of cold water, taking care to lift the onion slices out and leaving any dirt behind. Drain.
Heat about the olive oil in a sauté pan, add the spring onions and sauté over low heat until they begin to caramelize. Then add the garlic and sauté just until you smell the garlic’s aroma. Add the cooked gnocchi, peas, lemon zest and a little of the cooking water to moisten; heat through. Season with salt, pepper, and chile flakes to taste. Add the pea tendrils just before serving.
Divide the gnocchi and vegetable mixture between four bowls and top with a sprinkling of mint and shaved Pecorino cheese.
In Your Glass
This dish invites a lot of fun experimentation with wine. A favorite of ours is a dry French rosé from Provence – all Provençal rosés have some common characteristics: on the palate they tend to be fresh, crisp, bright, and dry. (In other words these aren’t the sweet pink wines you may have tried from other regions.) Good rosé has enough acid to make it an excellent food wine and enough tannin – from the red grape skins – to give it a little bit of backbone. For a richer experience, we like to pour Shafer Merlot, which has lively red cherry and plum flavors along with an underlay of darker, more elegant fruit.