Pork Loin Chops with Ricotta Gnocchi in Sage Butter
When we get that yearning, this is one of our favorite go-to recipes.
Tender, moist and so darn good!
One of the best ways to draw everyone to the dinner table is to send out wonderful aromas from the kitchen.
This recipe will do exactly that.
The recipe begins with boneless pork-loin chops, widely available.
Of course you can buy them in bulk if you like, and freeze in freezer storage bags.
Then, thaw as many as you need in the refrigerator overnight before you plan to prepare the dish.
These tender pork-loin chops are topped with a rich, tangy sauce that gets its verve from lemons.
However, the star of this show just might be the ricotta gnocchi.
This version, made with ricotta cheese and flour, is lighter and fluffier than its potato-based cousin.
Creamy-smooth on the inside and coated with a fresh sage-infused butter sauce.
These gnocchi are so good, you could confidently feature them as a main course on their own.
Makes: 4 Servings
1 lb. whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 Tbs. sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c. freshly grated Romano cheese
4 loin pork-chops, 6 to 8 oz each
2 c. all-purpose/plain flour, plus more for dusting
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. unsalted butter, cut into 6 large pieces
1 c. veal stock
2 Tbs. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 c. chopped fresh sage
1. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, eggs, Romano, 1 cup of the flour, and the salt.
Using a wooden spoon, stir vigorously to blend well.
The mixture should be light and fluffy.
Refrigerate the ricotta mixture for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour to allow it to firm up.
2. While the ricotta mixture is resting, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the stock, lemon juice, and sugar and stir to mix well.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced and thickened into a rich sauce, about 5 minutes.
3. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt.
Remove the lemon sauce from the heat and set aside.
4. Pour the remaining 1 cup flour onto a clean work surface.
Using a large spoon, scoop out four equal portions of the ricotta mixture onto the floured surface.
Dust your hands with flour.
Take up one scoop of the ricotta mixture.
And roll in the flour, kneading lightly until you incorporate enough flour to form a soft dough.
Dust your hands and the work surface with more flour as needed to prevent sticking.
Repeat with the remaining portions of ricotta mixture.
Using only your hands, shape each dough piece into a rope 1/2 to 3/4 in in diameter and about 12 inches long.
Cut each rope crosswise into nuggets (or little pillows) about 1 inch long.
Gently roll each piece lightly in more flour to shape and prevent sticking.
You'll reap about 50 gnocchi.
5. Bring a large pot three-quarters full of lightly salted water to a boil.
Have ready a large bowl of ice water and a baking sheet or tray lined with parchment type paper.
6. Using a slotted spoon, carefully place 15 to 20 gnocchi in the boiling water.
When the gnocchi float to the surface, 1 to 2 minutes, use the slotted spoon to transfer them to the ice bath. (The cooling firms them up and makes them easier to sauté in the final step.)
When the gnocchi are cool, using the slotted spoon, transfer them to the paper.
Repeat to cook the remaining gnocchi.
7. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 450°F.
8. Lightly salt and pepper the pork-chops on both sides.
In a Dutch oven or large, ovenproof frying pan, heat the olive oil over high heat.
When the oil starts to shimmer, place the pork-chops in the pan and sear until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.
Transfer the pot to the lower rack of the oven and bake.
Until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a pork-chop registers 150°F, 8 to 10 minutes.
9. Immediately after placing the meat in the oven, in a large sauté pan or frying pan over medium high heat, melt the butter.
(The pan should be large enough to fit all the gnocchi in a single layer. If you don’t have a pan large enough, divide the butter, gnocchi, and sage between two pans.)
10. When the butter has melted, reduce the heat to medium and gently stir in the sage with a wooden spoon.
Add the gnocchi and sauté until browned on the first side, 2 to 3 minutes.
Using a spatula or slotted spoon, carefully turn the gnocchi and sauté until browned on the second side, about 2 minutes longer.
Remove from the heat.
11. When the gnocchi are almost done, the pork-chops will also be done or almost done.
Reheat the lemon sauce over medium-low heat.
As soon as the pork-chops are done, remove from the oven and let rest in the pan for 2 to 3 minutes.
12. Place a loin chop on each plate and garnish each with 1 to 2 Tbs. lemon sauce.
Arrange 10 to 12 sage butter–drenched gnocchi beside each chop.
Serve at once and enjoy!Tweet
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