Pan-fried gnocchi has never been easier! This sweet plantain gnocchi is made with 4 ingredients — ripe plantains instead of potatoes, ricotta cheese, Parmesan Reggiano,and all-purpose flour. No eggs! Crispy on the outside and, soft and pillowy on the inside, this sweet and savory gnocchi served with homemade brown butter garlic sauce will be the best meal you'll ever make!
8tablespoonsunsalted butterplus more for pan frying
3-4clovesgarlicmashed to a paste
1/3cupwhole milk ricotta cheese
2/3cupall-purpose flourplus more if necessary
1/2cupParmesan Reggiano cheese(finely grated) plus more for garnish
Salt + pepper to taste
Boil the plantains. In a large saucepan, place the peeled plantains with enough water to cover them, roughly 3 cups with 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and let cool slightly.
In the meantime, make the brown butter garlic sauce. melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the butter foams and little brown specks appear. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn. Once the butter turns an amber color and has a nutty aroma, remove it from the heat and stir in 2 teaspoons of water (to make up for the loss of moisture) and the garlic. Let it cool in the saucepan with the residual heat. Cool slightly.
Make the dough. In a large bowl, add the large plantains and mash completely with a fork. Stir in the ricotta then season with salt + pepper to taste. Slowly add in the flour, a few tablespoons at a time, and mix together until a dough forms. You don't have to use the entire amount. Just enough so the dough is not sticky. If the dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Cut the fresh gnocchi. Flour a clean workspace and transfer the dough mixture onto it. Divide the dough into 3 equal parts and gently roll them into balls. Now using your hands, roll one ball of dough into a 12-inch long, 1-inch thick rope. If the mixture is sticking to your hands as you roll, add flour until no longer sticky. Cut the dough log into 1-inch square pieces. Repeat with the remaining dough balls.
Boil the gnocchi. In the same large saucepan, add enough water to cover the gnocchi (about 2 cups) plus 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil. Working in batches, add the gnocchi and stir, making sure they are not sticking to the bottom of the saucepan. Cook them until they float to the top, roughly 2-3 minutes. Once they float to the top, drain them (do not rinse). Set aside.
Pan-fry the gnocchi. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Fry the gnocchi, in batches, at medium-heat heat, until a crust forms on both sides. Repeat with all the gnocchi. Transfer the fried gnocchi to a bowl and toss with the brown butter garlic sauce. Serve and sprinkle with more parm if desired. Enjoy!