J. Kenji López-Alt’s recipe for Ricotta Gnocchi With Asparagus and Prosciutto has a lot of things going for it. For one thing, the base recipe for the ricotta gnocchi itself is simple and delicious. I’d only tried making gnocchi (usually potato gnocchi) a few times previously, but had consistently failed, so I’d shied away from even trying it again until now. I’ve made ricotta gnocchi with this recipe twice now, and it’s come out great both times. The fresh ricotta we get at Di Bruno Bros is very good quality and we usually use it the same day we buy it, so there is very little if any liquid to drain, which really helps the consistency of the gnocchi dough. In addition to making gnocchi to go with this asparagus and prosciutto recipe, we made another batch of gnocchi to eat with a simple tomato sauce. It’s easy to make the gnocchi ahead of time (say, on the weekend) and put it in the freezer for use later in the week.
In addition to the gnocchi itself, the lemon cream sauce is a keeper, with or without the gnocchi and prosciutto. I used the sauce portion of this recipe for a simple penne and asparagus dinner a few weeks after making the original, and can see continuing to use it throughout the spring even if we don’t feel like making the gnocchi part. I used double the amount of lemon zest called for (by accident the first time, on purpose the second time) and just love how refreshing this is for a cream sauce. I can also see this sauce working nicely with seafood. In the meantime, though, we’ll continue to enjoy it with asparagus and pasta as long as asparagus is still in season!