Tarragon Ricotta Gnocchi with Lobster Velouté

The yacht Garbo is in Busman's Harbor, Maine, so naturally lobster is on the menu. The velouté was one of the signature dishes at Genevieve's Portland restaurant, which is why it tastes so familiar to Julia.

Ingredients
For the Gnocchi
  • 1 16-ounce container ricotta
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup Romano cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour*
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, finely chopped
For the Velouté
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups lobster stock
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 4-6 ounces cooked lobster, chopped
  • Fresh tarragon or parsley for garnish
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees (F). Boil and salt 4 - 6 quarts of water in a pot. Grease a small baking dish with butter.

For the Gnocchi:
  1. In a bowl, stir together the ricotta, grated cheeses, salt, pepper, tarragon, and eggs. 

  2. *Stir in the flour in 1/4-cup helpings until it reaches the consistency of a sticky dough. You may need to add more depending on how wet your ricotta is. Add an extra tablespoon of flour at a time until dough is sticky but workable. 

  3. **Using a tablespoon, drop rounded spoonfuls into the boiling water. When the gnocchi rise back to the top of the water, cook for about a minute more, then remove to the baking dish using a slotted spoon.

For the Velouté:
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir together to create a roux. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes being careful to not allow the roux to brown.

  2. Whisk in the stock and cook until the velouté coats the back of a spoon. Stir in the cream and the lobster meat and cook for one minute more. Keep warm.

Putting it together:
  1. Pour 1/2 cup of the velouté over the gnocchi, reserving the remainder in the pan.

  2. Put the gnocchi in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the sauce is barely bubbling.

  3. To serve, put a puddle of the reserved velouté on a plate. Add 3 to 4 gnocchi and garnish with tarragon or parsley. Serve immediately. 

Tip:
  1. If you can't find lobster stock, boil 4 cups of water with lobster shells, along with 1/2 chopped carrot, 1/2 stalk celery, and a small slice of onion until reduced to 1-1/2 cups. Strain and discard solids. Allow stock to cool before using for velouté. 

  2. When cooking the gnocchi, cook in batches and don't crowd the pot.

  3. **To form traditionally-shaped gnocchi, roll the dough into long, thin ropes on a well-floured surface. Cut into 1-inch to 1-1/2-inch pieces, then cook as directed above.