Ricotta Gnocchi with Minted Peas and Asparagus

2 cups (500 mL) whole-milk ricotta
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup (2 oz) grated Parmesan
¼ tsp (2 mL) coarse black pepper
1 ¼ cup (300 mL) all-purpose flour
¼ stick unsalted butter
1 small bunch garden mint
1 cup (250 mL) crushed peas
4 slices crispy double smoked bacon
½ cup (125 ml) asparagus spears

Stir together ricotta, eggs, parmesan cheese and ¼ teaspoon each of salt and black pepper. Add flour, stirring to form soft, wet dough. Shape dough on a well-floured surface with lightly floured hands into two (one-inch-thick) ropes. Cut crosswise into one-inch pieces with a lightly floured knife. Put in one layer on a lightly floured parchment-lined baking sheet. Cook gnocchi in two batches in a pot of boiling salted water adding a few at a time to pot and stirring occasionally, until cooked through (cut one in half to check), three to four minutes per batch. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain in colander. Meanwhile, cook butter in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat until golden brown, about five minutes. Gently heat the butter then throw in the peas and mint and crush with the back of a fork. Toss gnocchi with brown butter in skillet. Season with salt, pepper and olive oil. Place a little crushed peas and mint in serving dish and place gnocchi, asparagus and extra ricotta on top. Garnish with parmesan and mint tips and crispy double smoked bacon.

-courtesy Spencer’s at the Waterfront