This is The Ordinary’s 1000th post! That’s 1000 recipes, ramblings, stories, songs, and utter utter nonsense. Looking back over all the posts, it’s funny how The Ordinary has become a place in my imagination, a place of my imagination. The Ordinary has hallways and corridors, underground labyrinths, cobwebbed attics, secret gardens, hopes, follies, a wood between worlds with pools leading to other worlds. Balconies, towers, porches, ramparts–such a view! We have institutes! The Ordinary’s institute for analysis of vocal inflection, The Ordinary’s technological institute for the technological advancement of the study of technology, The Ordinary’s anti-boredom institute, The Ordinary’s institute for cheerfulness studies, an institute devoted entirely to the study of winter light, and an institute entirely devoted to the study of time passing.
It’s a vast expansive place, so full of memories, bewilderingly full of memories. Ghosts and dreams swim through slanted lights and shadows, pockets of coolness and warmth, floating in the ocean near shore at the end of summer.
Of course it’s not any of that. It’s just blog, it’s just an ordinary ordinary blog, which probably shouldn’t have recipes, or should only have recipes and not the ravings of a madwoman. It’s just a bag of words, a shabby bag, worn with so much usage, torn through with the spiky awkwardness of all of the shambles of words thrown into it. Too many words, probably, but here we are, 1000 posts later. I’ve got a birthday next week. I’m between jobs with no hint of a career, we’re all just surfacing from a pandemic. I’ve got a lost-at-sea feeling. But I’m glad to have The Ordinary, for now. I’m grateful for anyone who has taken a minute to read any of the nonsense or try any of the recipes. I hope that someone has discovered a song or a movie or an artist or a good book because of The Ordinary. Thank you, Ordinary Friends!
Here is a playlist I have put together of songs I love to cook to. Songs to get you dancing and singing as you’re standing over pots and pans in your kitchen, or scrubbing pots and pans in your kitchen. I will be adding to this as the songs pull on my coattails, so stay tuned!
I think I may have invented this recipe! I’ve seen (and made) ricotta gnocchi. I’ve seen (and made) semolina gnocchi, but I’ve never seen them combined like this. These are light, tender, and flavorful. They’re simple but a bit of a production. But it’s all fun. You can put them with any kind of sauce you want. I like a light tomato sauce. I think later in the summer I’d do a roasted tomato and pepper sauce. Last night we had them with a hazelnut rosemary white wine sauce, also good, but not as pretty.
2 cups fresh ricotta
1/3 cup white flour
3/4 cup semolina flour, plus more for dusting rolling surface
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan
1/2 t. baking powder
lots of black pepper
Fresh chopped herbs, if desired (rosemary, thyme, basil)
Combine the ricotta, flours, cheese and baking powder in a bowl. Stir gently to combine. You might need to shake a little more semolina flour in if your ricotta is very wet, but you’re not trying to make a firm dough. It will be very soft. Stir in the egg, salt, lots of black pepper, and any chopped fresh herbs you like (I added mine in the sauce instead of in the gnocchi.)
Chill for at least half an hour. Coat your work surface with a thin layer of semolina flour.Working quickly, scoop out a small handful. Form it into a log shape, and then roll in semolina flour till it’s a snake of about 1/2-inch thickness. Continue working with all the dough while it’s cold until you have all the dough in snake form. Cut each snake into segments about 1/2-inch thick. Chill for at least 1/2 an hour.
Bring a big pot of salted water to the boil and preheat the oven to 425. Drop the gnocchi on batches until they float, then an extra minute or two. Remove with slotted spoon to a strainer and leave to dry out a bit while you boil the rest. (You could eat them at this stage!)
Lightly coat a big baking sheet with oil. When all the gnocchi are done, spread them on the sheet. Give them a gentle stir so that they’re coated with oil. Bake, stirring occasionally for ten or fifteen minutes until they’re a little brown and crispy. If you have a big enough frying pan you can do this on top of the stove, but I don’t, and if you crowd them they clump together.
Coat with the sauce of your choice! The first time we had them we had a light tomato sauce. Last night we had them with a hazelnut, rosemary, garlic, shallot, and white wine sauce. It was tasty, but not as pretty. (Warm the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add diced shallots, garlic, rosemary. Stir and cook till things start to brown. Add the hazelnuts, stir to coat with oil and spices, a couple minutes.