- 8 oz best-quality ricotta, drained
- 1 tbsp finely chopped chives
- 1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
- ½ tsp Maldon sea salt
- 1 free-range organic egg yolk
- 1 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- ¾ lb fiddlehead ferns, cleaned
In a large bowl, stir together the ricotta, chives, lemon zest, salt, egg yolk and Parmesan. Add the flour and mix gently just to bring the dough together. The dough will be quite sticky but the less flour you use and the less it is over-mixed the lighter and fluffier the gnocchi will be. The amount of flour you need will depend on the moisture content of the ricotta.
To shape the gnocchi, lightly flour a clean, dry surface and divide the dough into two. Roll out each piece to a long rope about ¾" thick. Cut the gnocchi into ½" chunks. You should have about 30 little pillow-shaped pieces.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a gentle simmer, not a rolling boil. Drop in the gnocchi and stir once to stop them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. As they float to the surface, after about 2 or 3 minutes, scoop them out with a slotted spoon and place in a sauté pan with the butter. Keep warm while the fiddleheads are cooking.
Bring the same pot of water to a full rolling boil and cook the fiddle-heads for four minutes, until they turn bright green. Drain well and add them to the pan with the butter and the gnocchi. Heat gently and toss to coat. Serve right away with a grinding of fresh black pepper, a few chopped chives and a little more Parmesan cheese if desired.