I have been craving this for a while. I love gnocchi. Well, really I love anything made with potatoes. However, having seen the scale lately I’ve decided to cut back on the starches and make these with mascarpone cheese instead. That being said, these are by no means diet food (unless there’s a diet out there that consists of fried cheese of which I am not aware). I did cut back on the flour considerably which gives them a light, pillowy texture.
Mascarpone is widely considered Italian cream cheese. But it’s really so much more than that. Yes, it looks and smells like cream cheese and it’s made in a similar fashion, but I find that it has a lighter and smoother texture and a slightly tangy taste. That makes it a great alternative to potatoes when making gnocchi.
- 3 oz parmesan, grated
- 8 oz mascarpone cheese
- 5 oz flour (about 1 cup)
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tble olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon zest or preserved lemon, finely chopped
- olive oil and butter for frying
Mix together the parmesan, mascarpone cheese, flour, eggs, olive oil and lemon zest to form a soft ball. Knead softly 2 or 3 times to ensure ingredients are mixed well. Cut mixture into 3 equal portions. Roll portions into a 16-18″ log. Cut each roll into 1/2″ pieces and dust lightly with flour.
In a large pan over medium heat, melt about 1 Tble butter with 1 Tble olive oil. Add 1/3 of the gnocchi to the pan, making sure not to crowd the pan. Lightly brown one side before flipping. Turn the gnocchi over and cook another 2-3 minutes until lightly golden brown. Remove to a warm plate. Repeat with remaining gnocchi adding more butter and olive oil to the pan as necessary. Serve with a brown butter sauce, pesto or any other favorite light sauce.
We ate them the first night with a little chopped basil in a very light lemon sauce over an arugula salad.
Then we enjoyed them with a light marinara sauce and some parmesan cheese on top the next night. Both were great!