Homemade Potato & Ricotta Gnocchi

Wow, y'all. An insane space of time passes between blog posts and when you finally try to report back and remind your long-suffering readers that you're actually still alive and cooking, the list of things you've been doing while away sounds pretty trivial. Between last blog post and this I have:
  • gotten a terrific sunburn on my first beach day of the year
  • gone strawberry pickin' and got the best strawberry ice cream in the state of Virginia (hollering at ya, College Run Farms!) 
  • taken an abysmal trip to the aquarium by myself
  • downloaded and deleted dating apps
  • made a custom-designed wedding cake for a complete stranger
  • discovered honey mangoes
  • seen honeysuckle come back en vogue and decided to do something at the restaurant with it
  • traveled precisely nowhere
  • house-sat in my dream-home for three weeks with two cats and Shannon's green bicycle
  • had loads of people over for dinner
  • eaten some incredible fish curry
  • realized I know how to properly salt things
  • watercolor painted - personal illustrations and portrait commissions!
  • faced an unprecedented amount of stress
  • sung Cher's version of "Fernando" way too many times to be socially acceptable
  • driven for eight weeks on an inspection-rejection sticker (and counting)
  • written something I'm pretty excited about
  • fallen in love with a blue velvet armchair which I now need in my own home
  • listened to some pretty incredible new (to me) music
  • read several good books
  • been inspired by some good art
  • and terrified by photos of some hideous camp-fashion at the annual Met gala.
  • mastered the art of pasta-making and rolling

I love this season of the year when daylight extends long after I'm finally home from work and there is time to think about what to make for dinner and then to eat it outside in the long dusk. I forget how much I love everything about summer (apart from the heat, which we won't talk about yet). The one thing I've missed this spring is going to farmers' markets - because I work Saturday mornings I have yet to catch one at all. I miss 'em; last summer it was my Saturday morning tradition to get up early and go to the market for breakfast and a coffee. Que sera, sera.
I will be traveling up to Pittsburgh for an early June wedding so please give me all your recommendations for food, fun, and things I must try to see between chasing bridal party members around with bobby pins and directing the caterers where to lay out the food. The only people I know at this wedding are in the bridal party, so the opportunity for social misadventures is prime. I hope to come home with some riveting stories for you. Considering the fact I fell off a bench in a coffee shop, inhaled my own hair, and mistook the tag of my bra for peeling sunburn (all in the same day), the probability is very high. True story. My terror at a thick piece of skin just sloughing off like that was intense...till I realized it wasn't actually skin at all. Sunburn PTSD seems like a thing.

Today's recipe is straight from the kitchen of my friend, Lidia of Latte e Grappa! Lidia and I met on Instagram, actually. She runs a beautiful food and lifestyle blog centered around her hometown of Vecenza in Italy! I not only appreciate her recipes, but I love the effort she puts into them, from the actual formulas to the fact she presents the recipes both in Italian and English. She is an amazing connector and encourager and all-around celebrator of good, heartfelt cooking. I've been wanting to try one of Lidia's authentic Italian dishes so when she posted about homemade gnocchi I knew this was the boy for me. Besides the fact that, ya know, you can't go wrong with little pillows of comforting goodness. I didn't realize that eating gnocchi is like eating the feeling of a hug. One after another. A whole plateful. A second aspect I love about Lidia's recipe is that it calls for ricotta and let me tell you, familia: if I ever have a breakup with bread, my love affair with cheese is waiting on speed-dial. Ricotta, especially, is my current favorite topping for toast which is a by-product of the random spoonful or so of ricotta we'd have leftover after making duck-egg ravioli at the restaurant which we'd then smear on toasted ricotta with a little arugula and white balsamic....
I had never before tried to make gnocchi but for all intents and purposes I think this batch worked out pretty well! I think it could have stood to have a little tiny bit more flour worked into the dough, as my gnocchi were very soft and pillowy, but I loved the fact that they weren't rubbery or chewy in the slightest, so perhaps they're all right! They certainly tasted delicious with that underlying sweetness of ricotta and the perfectly-seasoned sauce...argh, I already want more. To make this gnocchi I followed Lidia's recipe exactly, and rather than try to rework her expert recipe here for you, I am going to direct you to Lidia's blog to follow it. She is a delightful person and I cannot wait for you to meet her. Latte e Grappa - you're going to love her. Let's roll!

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