Recipe - Gnocchi filled with Ricotta

During lent, there are a number of households over the island which try and avoid eating meat as well as sweets on Wednesdays and Fridays. As happens in most cases when sticking to a particular menu over a period of time, inspiration runs out. So give your menu a change, here is the recipe for gnocchi filled with ricotta.

The great thing about this dish is that you can prepare it in advance and then just cook it at the last minute. Cooking only takes 20 minutes!

Here is what you will need to serve a family of 4
500g Pasta Shells, also know as pasta gnocchi
400g Ricotta
Fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon kunserva (tomato concentrate)
1 large tin aprox 400 g tomato polpa (chopped tomatoes)
grated cheese
2 litres milk

Start off by making your sauce. Fry your garlic in a little oil until it has softened, then add the kunserva and sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar over it. Once it has fried, add the tomatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes over a medium heat. Should you like, you can also add a teaspoon of butter or margarine to make the sauce creamier. Once the sauce is ready, set aside and allow it to cool.

Now for the gnocchi; mash the ricotta with a fork and add a little hot water if it is too thick. This will soften your cheese and make it better to work with. Add a little chopped parsley and mix well. Now using a teaspoon fill the pasta shells with the ricotta. Should you have a piping bag, using a wide nozzle, filling your shells will be easier and quicker. Whilst you are filling your shells place them in a baking dish. Do not worry if your shells end up upside down, the ricotta will not run out. Once all the shells have been filled and your dish is full, pour enough milk until all the shells have been completely covered. Depending on the size and shape of your dish you might need just under 2 litres. You can use any type of milk be it UHT, fresh, skimmed or whole milk.

Now spread the tomato sauce on top, sprinkle a little grated cheese and place in the fridge, always covered, over night. This will soften your pasta and reduce your baking time.

When you are ready to eat, bake your pasta in a 150C oven for about 20 minutes.

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