Tony Quartaro, Chef/Founder, Gemma Foods

Gemma Foods

1117 W. Grand Ave., Chicago

They are now shipping & delivering within 200 miles.


Carrot Gnocchi with Ramp, Lemon + Mascarpone

For the Gnocchi:

1½ C Carrots, rinsed and scrubbed, cut into rounds

1C Ricotta, hand dipped, pressed of excess liquid

1 Egg

1 Egg Yolk

2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Tbsp. Salt

1/3C to ½C 00 Pasta Flour

For the Sauce:

1C Ramp Bottoms (white parts)

Oil to cover

1C Fresh Lemon Juice (zest the lemons first, save for end)

2 Large Shallots, sliced

2 Stalks Celery, sliced

1.5 C White Wine

1 pint Heavy Cream

1 pint Grated Parmesan  

2C Ramp Tops (green parts)

32oz Mascarpone

1.5C Milk

1C Cream

Lemon Zest (from above)

2 Tbsp Salt (plus more to taste if desired)

1.5 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar

Make the Gnocchi:

Make sure the carrots are clean before cutting.

Preheat an oven to 350F.  Place the carrots in a sauté pan with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt.  Toss to coat and place over medium heat.  Once pan begins to sizzle, transfer to oven and bake until very tender – avoid developing color on these, you want the final product to remain orange without introducing excess liquid.

Transfer warm carrots to a VitaMix or food processor and blend until smooth.  Add a small quantity of the ricotta to assist if needed.

Add smooth carrot puree and the ricotta to a mixer affixed with paddle attachment.  Add egg, egg yolk, olive oil and salt.  Paddle on high until light and fluffy.

(Optional step for further refinement and tenderness, pass this mixture through a fine mesh sieve and proceed with recipe).

Place your mixture back in a mixing bowl

Steps of Gnocchi making:

1. dust a clean work surface with 00 Flour.  Place the mixture on top of the flour, then dust the top of the mixture as well.  With your hands, press into an even rectangular or square slab about 1” thick.  Dust a bit more flour on top. 

2. Using a bench knife (you can use a spatula if needed) cut vertical lines 1” apart into the carrot mixture. Repeat this process working horizontally to create a checkerboard.

3. Place your spatula or bench knife under one of the corners of your mixture and gently fold up, toward the center.  Repeat this process with all four corners.  Press the mass into a ball with your hands, taking care not to work it too much.

Repeat steps 1-3 again

Bring a pot of water to a boil, this is to test your gnocchi.  Season the water generously with salt. 

Now, repeat step 1 only.

Clean the work surface to the right of your dough well.  Cut a strip less than an inch in width vertically from your dough mass.  Place this strip of dough horizontally in front of you.

Place your fingertips (all of them, not the thumbs though) over the log of dough. Roll the dough gently back and forth.  You’re trying to smooth the log out and round out the edges.  You don’t need to roll it terribly thin, just roll it round.

Using your bench knife or a kitchen knife, cut off a segment of this round log less than an inch in width.  Repeat with a few more segments. 

Place the piece of dough in your boiling water and boil until they float.  If they float and can remain for over a minute without shedding any of their edges, they should be ready to form the remainder of the dough.

If they begin to shed, go back to step 2 and repeat, but with slightly less flour.  Continue the process until your desired gnocchi texture is achieved.  You shouldn’t need to add much more flour at this stage.

Make the sauce:

Combine ramp bottoms in a small pot with just enough oil to cover.  Turn on very low heat cook for 12-15 minutes until ramps are tender and translucent, but not caramelized.

While ramp bottoms are working, in a new pot, add fresh lemon juice, shallots, celery and white wine to a pan, reduce by 2/3  Save zest for very end of recipe.

Add Cream and bring to a simmer, reduce by ⅓.

Add parmesan, allow to steep 3-4 minutes.  Immersion blend or VitaMix until smooth.

Add ramp tops and immersion blend or transfer to VitaMix and blend until smooth.

At this point you have a light green cream with nice acid and umami from the parmesan.

Return to the pan and add the mascarpone, milk, additional cream and allow to melt.  Immersion blend until smooth.

Add salt, white wine vinegar and lemon zest.  Blend again. Adjust with more lemon juice or zest if desired.

For the final dish:

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil (use 1.5 Tbsp per qt of water)

Drop gnocchi into water, allow to float.  Cook another 30 seconds and remove.  Transfer to saucepan with the Ramp Lemon and Mascarpone sauce.  Bring to a simmer and move the pan, allowing the pasta and sauce to marry.  Move the pan as it cooks, so as to avoid the pasta sticking in one place.

Once the pasta appears coated and well glazed, remove and plate.  Garnish with grated cheese, fresh herbs, more lemon, pepper or good olive oil as desired.