In the Bender Kitchen: Award Winning Chef Edward Varipapa is cooking for a cause



(WTNH) – Award winning Chef Edward Varipapa is in the Bender Kitchen sharing his Ricotta Gnocchiwith Spring Leeks, Fresh Fava Beans and Morels recipe. Chef Varipapa is serving as the Honorary Chef Chairman for the American Liver Foundation’s 15th annual Flavors of CT on April 12th

This will be Chef Edward’s 8th year participating and representing Leon’s Restaurant.

Flavors of Connecticut is a culinary experience that goes beyond the traditional gala providing guests with the unique experience of having a top local chef prepare a multi-course dinner tableside. The evening showcases the signature dishes of our culinary experts and takes you beyond the usual restaurant fare. Guests unleash their inner “foodie” and experience a distinct evening of dining while helping to fund the research, education, and advocacy efforts of the American Liver Foundation.



Tickets- $325 each

Contact: 203-234-2022


Recipe Below

Ricotta Gnocchi with Spring Leeks, Fresh Fava Beans and Morels

Servings: 4


1 – 16 ounce container whole-milk ricotta cheese – (very easy cheese to make at home)

1 – small leek (white & pale green parts only), halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise

1 – large egg

1/2 – cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus additional for serving

1 – tsp salt

1/2 – tsp table ground black pepper

1/8 – tsp of ground nutmeg

2/3 – cup all purpose flour, plus additional for dredging

1 – cup shelled fresh fava beans

1 – cup fresh morel mushrooms

1/4 – cup butter

12 – fresh sage leaves



Set large strainer lined with double-layer damp cheesecloth over large bowl. Place ricotta in prepared strainer; cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight. (If using fresh ricotta, skip this step.)

Cook leek in small pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain. Rinse under cold water; drain. Using hands, squeeze leek dry.

Mix ricotta, leek, egg, 1/2 cup Parmesan, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in bowl. Stir in 2/3 cup flour. Cover and chill mixture at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place flour for dredging in flat bowl. For each gnocchi, shape 1 tablespoon ricotta mixture into ball, then drop into bowl of flour, tossing to coat. Transfer gnocchi to baking sheet. DO AHEAD Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover with plastic wrap; chill.

If using fresh fava beans, blanch in small saucepan of boiling salted water for 2 minutes; transfer to bowl of ice water. Peel beans.

Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add fava beans, morels and sage leaves. Sauté until butter browns, favas and morels are tender, and the sage leaves are crisp, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Working in 2 batches, add gnocchi and cook until tender and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to skillet with fava beans; toss to coat. When all gnocchi have been added to skillet, toss over medium heat to warm. Serve with Parmesan.

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