Ricotta Gnocchi with Summer HerbsLight cheese dumplings, perfect pillows. That’s what I’ve made, here. Know that the “Ricotta Gnocchi with Summer Herbs,” from the September 2016 issue of Food & Wine, have little to do with the actual arduous artistry of forming true potato gnocchi, other than the quick simmer in a pot of water at the end. No. I can’t go there. Instead, I was tempted by one of Justin Chapple’s “Mad Genius Tips,” to assemble these adorable pillows. And it’s true: no rolling!

These are an easy treat to prepare. The cheeses and egg mix in the food processor, with the flour and salt. Scrape that mix into your ziploc bag, snip the corner. Fill your big handled pot with water, boil, then tie that string across the handles. This is not too crazy. It’s totally doable.

I simmered and floated my pillows in three batches, for five minutes each. Done.

When slicked with olive oil, these dumplings are airy, but not too delicate. Simply perfect.

Ricotta Cheese (1 lb.) = $4.26
Lemon (1) = .70¢

PREP TIME: eat these after less than an hour of work
TASTE: airy, light, cheese dumplings

Ready for another “first,” next time I will tackle the challenge of “Chewy Pretzels” (recipe below), from the September/October 2016 issue of Cuisine at Home. That’s right, folks: yeast and coarse salt. Come back to my site next week, to see the magic.

Chewy Pretzels
Cuisine at Home, September/October 2016
Makes 6 pretzels

2 2/3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 Tbsp. rye flour
1.69 tsp. instant yeast
3/4 tsp. kosher salt

.94 cup water
2 1/4 tsp. grapeseed oil
2 1/2 tsp. dark brown sugar

6 cups water
3 Tbsp. baking soda

1 egg + 1 Tbsp. water

Pretzel or coarse salt

Coat a bowl with nonstick spray.

Whisk together flours and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer, then whisk in kosher salt.

Combine .94 cup water, oil, and brown sugar; add to flour mixture. Mix dough on medium speed with a dough hook until combined and dough pulls away from sides of bowl, about 4 minutes. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth (and not sticky), adding flour if necessary.

Place dough in prepared bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour (or refrigerate overnight). Punch dough down, divide into six even portions, and cover with plastic wrap.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F, with racks in top and bottom thirds. Generously coat two baking sheets with nonstick spray.

Boil 6 cups water in a large pot; stir in baking soda.

Roll one portion of dough into a 30-inch rope (with floured hands if necessary); rest and reroll if rope shrinks. Shape rope into a “U,” cross ends twice, then bring twisted ends over and press to firmly seal (see: thekitchn).

Add pretzel to boiling water solution. Boil pretzel 30 seconds, then flip and boil 30 seconds more. Transfer pretzel to prepared baking sheet using a skimmer. Repeat rolling, shaping, and boiling with remaining portions of dough.

Whisk together egg and 1 Tbsp. water, then brush on pretzels. Sprinkle pretzels with coarse salt.

Bake pretzels until golden, 15 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Let pretzels rest 10 minutes on baking sheets before serving.