Savor The Flavor

Whipped Beet Ricotta Dip with Lemon Zest

Get summer ready with these delicious recipes that are bursting with bright, fresh flavor. Perfect for a summer barbecue or backyard gathering, whip up sweet potato gnocchi and beet ricotta dip and enjoy with a glass of Meiomi wine. Or better yet, use these recipes in tapas form and serve them at your next wine pairing party.

An Italian favorite, gnocchi gets a twist on the classic combination of potato, cream and chives (think scalloped potatoes or a baked potato with sour cream) and pairs perfectly with the dark fruit and jammy notes of Meiomi’s Pinot Noir. To elevate the dish while keeping things simple, we replaced the potato and cream with sweet potato and ricotta and pecorino cheese. The subtle hint of nutmeg rounds out the rich tomato flavor of the sauce and melds well with the traces of baking spices in the Pinot. The chives are an excellent nod to the spring and bring a fresh awakening flavor to the dish.

Experience the taste of beets on a whole new level with the addition of creamy ricotta and citrusy lemon. A colorful and tasty dip for crackers and vegetables this season.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Ricotta, Pecorino and Chives

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Ricotta, Pecorino and Chives

Serves 8

Gnocchi

2 large sweet potatoes, rinsed, patted dry and pierced all over with a fork
12 oz fresh ricotta, drained
1 cup or 3 oz aged Pecorino, finely grated (extra for garnish)
2 teaspoons salt
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chives, chopped (extra for garnish)
1 quarter teaspoon grated nutmeg

Tomato Sauce

4 cups tomato puree
½ cup tomato paste
½ cup fresh thyme, chopped
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup Chicken stock
4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
Salt to taste
Parmigiano Reggiano

1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, dust with flour and set aside.

2. Place sweet potatoes on plate and microwave on high until tender, about 5 minutes per side. Should be completely tender throughout when pierced with a fork. Once cool enough to handle, cut sweet potatoes in half and scrape flesh into a bowl. Mash, or pass through a potato ricer.

3. Combine ricotta and pecorino cheese, 2 teaspoons salt, nutmeg, chives, and ½ cup of flour with sweet potatoes. Gently mix, folding remaining flour into dough a half cup at a time.

4. On a clean work surface, form dough into a log. Cut off 2 inch thick pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about ½-inch in diameter. Finally, using dough scraper, cut ropes into 1 inch long pieces. Transfer to the parchment-lined baking sheet.

5. In a large saucepan over med-high heat, add olive oil and swirl to coat pan and add garlic and thyme. As soon as sliced garlic starts to sizzle, add tomato puree, tomato paste and chicken stock and reduce heat to medium.

6. Bring two large pots of salted water to a boil. Boil half gnocchi in each pot until tender, about 30 sec after floating to the surface. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked gnocchi to sauce and toss to coat. Loosen sauce with pasta water as necessary.

7. Transfer gnocchi into bowls and top with remaining chopped chives and grate Parmigiano Reggiano as desired. Pair with a glass of velvety smooth Meiomi Pinot Noir.

Whipped Beet Ricotta Dip with Lemon Zest

1 large red beet (about ½ lb), scrubbed
2 cups of ricotta
Salt to taste
Lemon zest (for garnish)
Poppy seeds (for garnish)

1. Trim beet top and root and boil in its skin until cooked through (a fork should slide easily into the center of beet, 20-30 minutes.

2. Let sit until cool enough to handle. Peel beet by wrapping with paper towel and wiping off skin. Skin will slip off easily.

3. Process beet and ricotta in a food processor until silky smooth. Season with salt to taste.

4. Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with a dollop of ricotta, lemon zest and poppy seeds and pair with a glass of delightfully dry Meiomi Rosé.

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Jennifer Fauci
Jennifer Fauci is the former managing editor of Long Island Weekly, Anton Media Group's award-winning special sections and Anton’s local magazines. Her passion for literature, travel and the arts lend to the unique content in her publications. In her time at Anton, she has received first place in the Folio Awards, second place for the NYPA awards and is the recipient of six PCLI awards.

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