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Tessa Kiros Books Giveaway & Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi

By Kelsey Banfield |

Homemade Ricotta GnocchiTessa Kiros is one of my favorite cookbook authors of all time. In each of her books Tessa draws readers into the flavors of her world through her stories and photographs of her life spent traveling the globe as a child and, later, chef. Now living in Tuscany with her husband and two daughters, she writes about what she cooks for her family and how her eclectic upbringing in Finland, South Africa and Greece has influenced her palate. As a parent who understands the chaos of family life, Tessa’s recipes are warm and accessible, emphasizing that the joys of nourishing one’s family should not be a stressful endeavor. The pages of each volume are filled with her daughter’s drawings, whimsical photographs from her home and musings on life as a cook and a mother. It is only fair, since I could go on all day about the wonders of Tessa, that I invite you take a chance to win a set of three Tessa Kiros cookbooks, Apples for Jam, Falling Cloudberries and Venezia.

Apples for Jam

As you’ll see below, to win the set of books we would love to hear about your fantasy Italian meal. In the spirit of the contest, I’ll go first:


Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi with Browned Butter Sage Sauce

Prosciutto & Cheese


I happen to make Tessa’s Homemade Ricotto Gnocchi all the time. It is fabulously simple and decadent to eat. Since it is so light it makes a perfect summer dish, especially when tossed with fresh pesto.

Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi by Tessa Kiros

2 c. good quality ricotta cheese

3 T. finely grated Parmesan cheese

1 c. all-purpose flour

Pinch of salt

1. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil.

2. While the water is heating up, mix together the ricotta, Parmesan, flour and salt in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon.

3. Lightly flour your hands and roll out the dough into thin sausages about 1/4″ thick. Be careful not to add too much flour on your hands or the surface of the counter or the gnocchi will get tough.

4. Cut gnocchi with a sharp knife into pieces about 3/4″ long. Drop into boiling water and cook for about 45 seconds, or until they float to the surface. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and place in serving bowls. Serve with pesto, tomato sauce or browned butter sauce.

To be entered to win these books, here are the entry rules:

1. Leave a comment below describing your fantasy Italian meal.

2. Only one comment per email address.

3. Contest is open from Tuesday June 1st at 1:30pm ET to Monday June 7th at 12:00 midnight ET.

4. The winner will be picked by a panel of Babble Editors and the winner will be notified by email.

5. Winner must have a valid email address and provide a valid mailing address. If winner does not respond to our notification email within 48 hours a new winner will be selected.

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About Kelsey Banfield


Kelsey Banfield

Kelsey Banfield is the food writer and the founder of The Naptime Chef. She writes a daily food column for Babble Food and her food writing has also appeared in the places like Parents magazine, and Martha Stewart Living. Kelsey lives in southern Connecticut with her husband and daughter. Read bio and latest posts → Read Kelsey's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “Tessa Kiros Books Giveaway & Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi

  1. Tricia says:

    I fantasize about Italian breakfast. Not because the Italians do breakfast all that well, but because of the sheer strength of this sensory memory: the first sip of hot, milky cup of cafe latte, stirred up in a big pot (yes!) in the hostel kitchen. It was a nourishing jolt after a necessarily abstemious dinner the night before. (My student dollars didn’t go very far in Trieste at the time.) But that hot, milky mug and crusty bread roll sustained me for a several-mile walk along the beach into town. No latte since has tasted as good.

  2. LauraRosario says:

    hmmm…my fantasy italian meal of course would have to be set in Italy. Not so much at a fancy restaurant but at a bistro, outside dining at sunset, on a cool summer night with a slight warm breeze blowing. It would include amazing conversation a good glass of wine. Dinner would start with mushroom campagna, entree there is nothing i love more then the simplicity of ravoli maybe with the unexpected twist of lobster served with a cream sauce and asparagus lightly sauteed,Tiramisu is also my favorite indulgence.

  3. Liz the Chef says:

    Gosh, I hope I win because I can’t rationalize buying yet another cookbook – but hers look great!

  4. Miranda Rudolph says:

    My Italian meal fantasy: Sitting a a very long table surrounded by friends and family with a view of a local winery and enjoying some Bruschetta with Foaccia Bread for appetizers. Drinking some fragrant wine, having Chicken Marsala for dinner and finally enjoying a beautifully prepared dessert of Tiramasu. :)

  5. Kim Palmer says:

    Hot semolina bread with fresh linguine with clam sauce a glass of wine and homemade gelato overlooking a villa in Florence..

  6. carmen @ life blessons says:

    Oh, my fantasy Italian meal really would be ANYTHING in Italy. But I’d love a lovely salad (a combo I haven’t tried yet!) and a rich something-special pasta. Homemade is even better. Outside on a patio, while the sun goes down. And then a little gelato dessert afterward. Mmm…!

  7. Mary manson says:

    My fantasy Italian meal would defiantly be at sunset overlooking the vineyards or the village below. Start with some homemade bread, with oil and spice dip while we wait on some lasagna to be done- a nice glass of wine to go with, and my husband and son to enjoy it with me!

  8. Leila says:

    My fantasy Italian meal would evoke memories from my trip to Italy and meals I had with Italian friends in the past. The first day I arrived in Italy (I was travelling by myself at 26 years old) I went into this cafe/bakery in Rome with a gorgeous marble counter, and I never forget the feeling of pure happiness I had as I bit into this apricot pastry. As the apricot filling melted away in my mouth, the jet lag went away and I fell in love with the place. Rome was much more beautiful than I expected, and then Venice was one of the most unique experiences. My fantasy would be to go in the house of this old lady I talked to in the colorful Burano island, and have some pasta with cauliflower. I’d then take the ferry boat to the main island and get some profiteroles for dessert, followed by espresso with cream and little almond cookies. Then I’d go for a walk by the water in the moonlight.

  9. Betsy says:

    I have had two amazing Italian meals while I was preganant with my two children. The first Italian dinner during my first pregancy was for a friends birthday it consisted of about 12 courses of food. The food and the company was amazing, but I could only eat a few bites of food for each course. For thes second Italian dinner that goes into my dreeams my husband a I flew to Seatte for a weekend at ate at an incredible Italian restaurant. The mushroom and polenta went into my dreams. It was a magical night before our secound child arrived.

  10. alesia says:

    my fantasy meal is enjoying a view of the coastline and a big plate of fresh pasta with pesto in the region of Liguria – the birthplace of pesto.

  11. Ashley says:

    In 2006, my family decided to spend Christmas in Florence. What a magical time that was. We rented a flat – not too far from the Duomo. One of the true benefits of renting a flat was that we were able to go to the marketplace and pick up fresh ingredients ourselves to prepare for breakfast and lunch. But when it came to dinner – we splurged. I remember one evening passing by a restaurant on a narrow street not too frequented by foot. I forget the name of the restaurant, but it was one of the most amazing culinary experiences I have ever had. To start, we had a bottle of chianti (which led to another bottle), and then had an amazing gnocchi prepared with truffle oil and freshly grated parmesan. Such simple ingredients – and so flavorful. For desert, we happened upon one of the numerous cafes in the area and had the most amazing thick hot chocolate. So decadent and delightful. And perfect for a chilly December evening in Florence strolling along the Piazza.

  12. tamara says:

    My Fantasy Italian meal: When I was about 6 I lived in Sardinia and one weekend we came across a small village which seemed to be completely deserted, like a ghost town it was quite spooky. Until suddenly a door opened and lots of laughter and music filled the street. It turned out it was the harvest festival and the whole village was behind this door which opened up into a massive courtyard. There were tables laden with food everywhere but the one thing I most remember most was the suckling pig, I had never seen an animal cooked like that before but the taste has stayed with me ever since. The people also were so welcoming to us these five strange English people with skin like milk. I think my cheek was red raw as every nonna in the village had to have a go at tugging it.

  13. Sam says:

    Can’t wait to try the gnocchi! Looks delish.

  14. Sam says:

    My fantasy Italian meal is one I actually ate in Italy in 2008. We were staying in Vernazza in Cinque Terre. We ate at a tiny restaurant on the water… we had baked prawns, grilled veal garnished with lemon, and an incredible pesto gnocchi. The flavors were so fresh and crisp. It was incredible. We topped it off with a glass of limonchello. It was a meal I will always remember. I still fantasize about it to this day.

  15. Susan says:

    My fantasy Italian meal is anything hot. I’m so busy feeding the kid that by the time I get round to my dish, it’s usually lukewarm or cold. Joys of motherhood!

  16. Nancy says:

    My fantasty Italian meal reminds me of our anniversary trip to Rome. We had a delicious meal at one of the restaurants overlooking the piazza. I still dream of that meal and often wonder what the “secret ingredient” was that made it so good. Perhaps it was the mushrooms or maybe even the view! Nonetheless, I cannot duplicate it. It started with homemade, crusty bread, followed by a wonderful minestrone with spinach in it, and for my entree I had the chicken-vegetable risotto with saffron. So good!! It makes my mouth water just thinking about it: big slices of fresh mushrooms, creamy risotto, and just enough spice to make you keep coming back for more even though I was full. Couldn’t even eat dessert afterwards. Wonderful memories!

  17. kathleen sneider says:

    I have never been to Italy but I certainly would like to visit there. My hometown has lots of Italian restaurants.I am partial to all the Italian breads, the red sauce pastas. I also like osso bucco very much. And roasted vegetables. And gelato, with that fine expresso coffee. I will probably need a driver, after all of that food. The delicious antepasto plate had to be deleted because I have already listed too much. Italian food is something everyone loves, and it is always best when celebrated with a table full of family and friends. And perhaps a strolling musician or two, yes?

  18. kel1 says:

    Here’s a kid-friendly, light possibility suitable for a summer evening: thin pasta (such as capellini) with homemade, smooth red pepper sauce with fresh garlic, basil and other seasonings, and vegan meatballs with a side of mixed-greens salad featuring citrus dressing, with homemade lemonade for the kids garnished with fresh berries, and perhaps hard lemonade for the adults, followed by a dessert of gelato, perhaps Talenti brand, served over homemade bars such as tuxedo brownies.

  19. Lisa McKay says:

    My ultimate Italian dinner fantasy would take place in Venice during the Carnival. Dressed to mystify and enchant…my husband , of course. Preferred drink, a slightly sweet Prosecco and an antipasti, a salad, to start. Because I would be wearing a corset, a light meal, such as Baccala or Chicken Piccata followed with Panna Cotta with fresh berries or Tiramisu, I can’t decide! Perhaps my hubby wouldn’t mind sharing some of his Tiramisu…and a must for me, I would love to try a cup of authentic Italian coffee.
    Grazie mille-Lisa

  20. Lisa McKay says:

    I made the Ricotta Gnocchi tonight…it turned out okay for the first time making gnocchi…next time I think I’ll add our favorite herbs to the dough, and make such to mix the batter better. I topped it with browned butter, salt and pepper. My stomach is very happy. Grazie-Lisa

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