- 1 pound sheep's-milk ricotta (see Note)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 large egg yolks
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3/4 cup fresh corn kernels (from 2 medium ears)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound mixed mushrooms, such as chanterelles, oysters and shiitake, shiitake stemmed and mushrooms quartered if large
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
- Line a large rimmed baking sheet with wax paper. In a large bowl, blend the ricotta with the flour, Parmesan, egg yolks, 3/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Spoon the gnocchi dough into a large, sturdy resealable plastic bag. Cut off a 1/2-inch corner from the bag. Pipe the dough onto the prepared baking sheet in five 1-foot-long strips about 3/4 inch wide. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 3 hours.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the corn until just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and return the corn to the saucepan. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the butter.
- In a very large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until browned on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Stir and cook until browned and tender, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate. Add the wine to the skillet and boil over moderately high heat until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and boil until reduced to 3/4 cup, 4 minutes. Add the corn and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 275°. Let the gnocchi dough stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Cut the strips into 1-inch lengths. Sprinkle with the cornstarch and toss gently to coat.
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add half of the gnocchi and cook over high heat until browned on the bottom, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to moderately high. Using a spatula, turn the gnocchi and brown the other side, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet; keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the gnocchi.
- Reheat the corn in the skillet. Add the mushrooms, tarragon and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the gnocchi to plates, spoon the mushroom ragout around them and serve.
The gnocchi strips can be frozen for up to 3 days. The ragout components can be cooked up to 2 hours ahead and kept at room temperature.
Sheep's-milk ricotta is often blended with some cow's milk. It's available at specialty food stores and by mail order from Old Chatham Sheepherding Company (888-SHEEP-60 or blacksheepcheese.com). Alternatively, use cow's-milk ricotta and drain it overnight in a fine strainer in the refrigerator; discard the whey.
A full-bodied, dry but balanced California Chardonnay will frame the sweetness of the corn and tarragon in this dish.