Gnocchi are, besides pasta, perhaps the most famous first course of Italian cuisine. These tasty little dumplings can be made from potatoes, eggs, cheese, flour, bread crumbs or similar ingredients. When made right, they are delicious, soft as a cloud and melt in your mouth. Ricotta gnocchi are  the lighter cousins of potato gnocchi. This recipe for ricotta gnocchi is  common in the south of Italy and it’s also much simpler recipe and readily forgives mistakes of the novice chef. With a little practice you will be able to make gnocchi for the time it takes to boil the water in which you cook them. The recipe is quite straightforward and there are just a few guidelines that should be followed.

ricotta gnocchi

First of, how much flour is needed for the ricotta gnocchi depends on the moisture content of other ingredients. You should start by letting ricotta drain, that way you will avoid the need for too much flour. Excessive amount of flour will make them tough.

draining ricotta

How to make the perfect ricotta gnocchi ?

Mix the eggs, ricotta, Parmesan, spices and three quarters of the flour. Make sure that you dust the work surface and your hands with some flour. That way you’ll prevent dough from sticking. While kneading slowly add more flour as needed to obtain a soft workable dough. You should knead the dough just enough to combine the ingredients, avoid overworking it so you do not develop gluten in dough which would resulted in undesirable chewiness. If you do not like to knead the dough with your bare hands even easier and faster way is to use a food processor. Procedure is exactly the same, place in the initial ingredients and in a few seconds you will get a soft ball of dough, if necessary, add more flour until you are satisfied with the texture.

ricotta gnocchi ingredients

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Keep everything lightly floured, (your hands, working board, tray on which you arrange the shaped gnocchi ….)

making dough

Divide the dough into four balls.

dividing dough into balls

Roll each section on a lightly floured surface until about 1/2” thick.

rolling dough

Then cut into dumplings about 1-inch long. If you want , you can  add the texture to the gnocchi with the back of a fork. Adding grooves with a fork allows gnocchi to better hold onto a sauce but is not necessary so if you’re pressed for time or you are unwilling, you can skip this step.

adding grooves to the gnocchi

And your gnocchi are ready for cooking. If you are brand new to gnocchi making it’s a good idea to test your gnocchi before you cook the whole batch. Put a couple of gnocchi into boiling water and remove them as soon as rise to the surface. If they disintegrate, knead in a little more flour. If they hold up well, proceed with cutting the rest of your gnocchi. These ricotta gnocchi go great with any pasta sauce, but for me they are best combined with a simple tomato basil sauce.

serving ricotta gnocchi

If you are confident in your multitasking skills you can simultaneously make gnocchi and sauce, otherwise make gnocchi first and keep them in the refrigerator on a lightly floured tray. Gnocchi do not keep well at room temperature or in the freezer but a few hours in the fridge will be OK.

 

Ricotta gnocchi with tomato sauce
Serves 4
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
For the ricota gnocchi
  1. 7oz flour, plus extra for dusting
  2. 8oz ricotta
  3. 3 free-range egg yolks
  4. 1oz parmesan, freshly grated
  5. pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  6. salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the tomato sauce
  1. 2 pound fresh or canned tomatoes
  2. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  3. 4 tbsp olive oil
  4. 3 tbsp fresh basil or parsley, chopped
  5. ½ tsp sugar
  6. salt, pepper to taste
  7. freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
For the tomato sauce
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
  3. Add tomato and sugar and stir well. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Season to taste and remove from the heat.
  5. Stir in basil and set aside.
For the ricotta gnocchi
  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse a few times until combined.
  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface
  3. Divide the dough into 4 balls.
  4. Roll each ball on a lightly floured surface into a long, thin sausage shape, 1/2” thick.
  5. Then cut into dumplings about 1-inch long.
  6. Put the finished gnocchi on a flour-dusted tray.
  7. Boil the gnocchi in plenty of salted water for 3-4 minutes.
  8. Remove them with a slotted spoon and add them to the tomato sauce. Gently toss to coat.
  9. Divide evenly among serving plates, top with grated Parmesan cheese and serve.
Notes
  1. If not cooking immediately, cover the finished gnocchi on a flour-dusted tray with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to three hours.
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Ricotta gnocchi with tomato sauce
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Average Rating
4 Based on 3 Review(s)
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