1/3 cup of starchy salty pasta water after gnocchi's finish boiling
INGREDIENTS FOR STEAMED ARTICHOKES
3 slices of lemon, Half a lemon
2 garlic cloves smashed with edge of knife
1. The first step is to prepare you artichoke hearts. How to choose a fresh artichoke the leaves are tight to the body this would be a fresh artichoke. With your fingers remove the small bottom leaves of the artichoke just by tearing off them off. Then with your kitchen scissors cut off the woody top part of each leaf pictures shown below to help. Then you want to cut the top of the artichoke off about 1 inch, Picture is not showing that below but don't forget like it did.
2. You want to steam the artichokes for 25 to 35 minutes depending on the size of the artichoke. You want to flavor the boiling water by adding salt, lemon slices, bay leaf and smashed garlic cloves. Add all your ingredients to the boiling water place in your steamer basket with the artichokes and let them steam with the lid on. When finished cooking let them cool a little before removing leaves. We are just using the hearts in this recipe but don't throw out the leaves dip them in your favor sauce and enjoy I love a garlic lemon aioli sauce. Peel off all the leaves until you get to the furry center. with a melon baller or finger remove all the fur around the artichoke heart because it in not edible and you are left with the artichoke heart. If you are in a rush and want to use canned artichoke heart you can do that, the flavors are slightly different when canned.
3. To make the Ricotta Gnocchi the most important step is to drain your ricotta, I like to place it in a strainer and let it drain overnight in the fridge if I am making them in the morning or drain them while I am at working during the day because making ricotta gnocchi is fast not like potato gnocchi that takes much more time because of boiling the potatoes. After ricotta is drained combine you ricotta 2 year aged parmesan cheese that is grated very fine and 2 egg yolks. I combine everything with a flexible spatula then 1/2 cup of flour and salt and pepper and stir to combine. Add then 1/4 of cup more flour incorporate and test the dough to see if it is still too sticky and needs more flour. I use anywhere between 3/4 cup of flour to 1 cup of flour. The least amount of flour the better because less flour means lighter and pillow soft gnocchi.
4. Then its time to roll out the gnocchi, I four the countertop I am working on so the gnocchi does not stick next step is flour the hands remove the gnocchi dough from the bowl place it on the counter I flatten it out into a rectangle about 1 inch thick . I find it easy to work with my bench scraper but a butter knife will work fine also. Cut 1 inch long strings off the length of the rectangle and roll each piece into a long roll about 1 inch thick. With you bench scraper cut off 1 inch pieces off your roll pictured below.
5. You want to have both your gnocchi and sauce done at the same time so you can place your gnocchi directly from the boiling water to the butter sauce. When the water is boiling it only take 1 minute for the gnocchi to finish cooking. When you place your gnocchi in the salty boiling water they will sink to the bottom of the pot when they gnocchi float they are done remember this only takes about 1 minute.
6. While the pasta water is starting to boil cut 6 tablespoons of butter place into a sauté pan that is large enough to hold all your gnocchi and sauce. Turn your pan to medium high heat let your butter melt and start to see the milk solids start to brown then turn the burner heat to medium and add your artichoke heart first this will bring down the temperature of the browned butter then add the minced garlic cook for 1 minute then add your gnocchi directly from the hot water to the butter sauce. Scoop out 1/3 cup of salty starchy pasta water add it to the sauté pan then squeeze in the juice of lemon and fresh mint. Stir to combine everything last add your finely grated parmesan cheese this will thicken up the sauce. You are finished it is that fast and dinner is served sit back and enjoy