- 5 red beets, unpeeled, about 1 1/4 lb (565 g) total
- 3 russet potatoes, unpeeled, about 1 1/2 lb (675 g) total
- 1 egg
- 1 cup (150 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups (80 g) beet greens with thin stems (optional)
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
- Ricotta cheese, as desired
- Parmesan cheese shavings, as desired
- With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Wrap the beets in aluminum foil. Using a fork, prick the potatoes. Place the beets and potatoes directly on the oven rack. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until very tender. Turn off the oven, remove only the beets and let them cool.
- Peel the beets. In a food processor, purée 2 beets until smooth, scraping the inside of the bowl several times. Press the purée through a strainer. You will need 1/2 cup (125 ml) of beet purée. Cut the remaining 3 beets into thin wedges and keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Peel the potatoes while still hot. Press through a potato ricer and place the purée on a large floured work surface or in a large bowl.
- Add the beet purée, egg, flour and salt. Using your hands, gently combine the ingredients. Knead the mixture while still warm until just smooth, making sure to not overwork it. The dough will be softer than traditional gnocchi dough.
- Immediately divide the dough into 6 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a long rope 3/4 inch (1.5 cm) thick. Cut each rope into 3/4-inch (1.5 cm) gnocchi. Lightly dust with flour. Place on a floured baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes or until firm to the touch.
- In a large pot of salted boiling water, blanch the beet greens for about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, remove the greens and cool in an ice bath.
- In the same boiling water, cook half of the gnocchi at a time. Once they float to the surface, simmer for 2 minutes or until cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, drain the gnocchi and set aside on a baking sheet. Oil lightly.
- In a large non-stick skillet over high heat, brown half of the beet wedges and gnocchi at a time in the oil. Keep warm. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the gnocchi with the beets and beet greens, and top with ricotta and Parmesan.
Beet purée makes the dough softer than traditional gnocchi dough. Skip the usual step of rolling the gnocchi with a fork as the process might crush it.