Ricotta and Basil Gnocchi

What I changed: Spinach in the butter sauce and more fresh on top and some basil pesto in the gnocchi as I didn’t have quite enough basil. Used the freezer for 20mins or so instead of putting it in the fridge for 1.5hrs.

What I would change: No butter sauce, something tomatoey – although not so much to drown out the yum gnocchi.

Preparation Time 15 minutes

Cooking Time 15 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 300g fresh ricotta
  • 100g creamy feta, crumbled
  • 20g (1/4 cup) finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • 75g (1/2 cup) plain flour
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • Plain flour, extra, to dust
  • 100g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 28 basil leaves
  • Finely shredded or shaved Parmesan, to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 150°C. Place ricotta, feta, parmesan and egg in bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Add flour and process until just combined. Transfer to a bowl and stir in chopped basil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and place in the fridge for 1 1/2 hours to chill.
  2. Use a sieve to dust a baking tray with some extra plain flour. Use 2 teaspoons to scoop ricotta mixture, shape into rough balls and drop in a single layer on tray (makes about 24). Dust with flour.
  3. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to boil over high heat. Carefully drop half the gnocchi, 1 at a time, into the water. Cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until just cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to transfer gnocchi to an ovenproof dish. Cover with foil and place in preheated oven to keep warm. Return water to the boil and repeat with the remaining gnocchi.
  4. Melt 40g of the butter in a frying pan over medium heat until it foams. Add basil leaves and cook, shaking pan often, for 1-2 minutes or until basil is crisp but not brown. Drain on paper towel. Discard butter and wipe pan clean with paper towel. Add remaining butter to pan and heat over medium heat for 2 minutes or until it turns a light brown. Remove from heat immediately.
  5. Place gnocchi on plates, spoon over brown butter, top with crisp basil and extra parmesan.

recipe from



Although Melbourne Coffee Review doesn’t think much of coffee art, I am still out to perfect it. There are difficulties with home machines in getting the milk right (ie. hot enough, quickly enough) but this morning I must have done something right, as the picture suggests; should my technique have been slightly better perhaps we would’ve seen the elusive free pour leaf (which is the the one and only goal – until I reach that and find something else I’d like to do).

So to clarify, I don’t work as a barista – although I recently indulged in a course that was fun and taught me a little more than I knew already. I’d rather work as a designer once I finish this last semester of uni, being a barista might possibly be the temporary fall back plan in case I wind up living out in woop-woop (That story to come when I’m allowed to share it) although I’d probably try wedge myself into some kind of photography job if that ever occurs.

Espresso tips:

  • Own a grinder with grind settings… (one day, one day). However the coffee you can make with pre-ground, if you’re careful can be okay, so do proceed.
  • Buy Fairtrade
  • Grind the beans yourself (see the first and last point – I don’t do this and it makes me sad)
  • White dots in the lovely brown crema shouldn’t be there! (see point 1)
  • 30 second extraction for 30mls of espresso (see point 1 – not usually or always possible with pre-ground)

Milk frothing tips:

  • Hot, fast steam wand
  • No noise after the initial, ‘put the wand in the milk’
  • Use a milk thermometer if you have no idea, or your heat tolerance in your hands clearly isn’t high enough (like mine)
  • If you don’t use a thermometer, heat your milk until you can’t touch the jug and maybe give it a tiny bit extra
  • If you can smell your milk you’ve burnt it
  • Sit the wand just under the surface at the top of the milk and NOT so it bubbles
  • Do not freaking wave the jug up and down, it should just sit there.
  • Milk should be smooth and silky and not have air bubbles

Coffee Uni Work