ricotta gnocchi

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~ ricotta gnocchi ~

Are you familiar with gnocchi? They’re these little Italian dumplings, usually made with potatoes, and topped with marinara, bolognese (as pictured above) or a creamy sage butter sauce. I’ve made the potato variety before, and though they’re very good, kind of time consuming to make on a week night…and I like to go out on the weekends. Needless to say, I don’t make them often.

There’s a fabulous cookbook, by the lovely Tessa Kiros, called Apples for Jam, that includes this recipe for ricotta gnocchi. Unlike potato gnocchi, these little dumplings are light, cheesy pillows that melt in your mouth. And, would you believe, they only take about 10 minutes to prepare? Not kidding. In the time it takes for your pot of water to boil, you can mix and mold these little yummies. A perfect week night meal, and definitely fancy enough for company. I’m thinking about making them and topping them with the sage sauce the next time hubby makes his famous chicken marsala.


for the roasted red pepper sauce:

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup dry red or white wine

1 lb. extra lean ground beef or Italian sausage

1 jar Pomodori Gourmet Foods Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven. Add onion and cook until tender. Add garlic and cook for an extra minute. Deglaze pan with wine. Add meat. Cook until almost done. Add sauce and bring to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes. Lower heat under sauce to very low while you prepare the dumplings. Stir occasionally to keep sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Make sure the sauce is prepared and hot before you cook the dumplings (gnocchi).

for 4 servings of ricotta gnocchi:

2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese

3 Tablespoons Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated

1 scant cup all-purpose flour

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Mix the cheeses, flour and a pinch of salt together in a large bowl. With lightly floured hands, roll the dough into thin sausages (about 5/8 inch thick.) Try to avoid adding extra flour or your gnocchi will be tough. Cut into little dumplings, about 3/4 inch long.

Drop the gnocchi into boiling water and cook for about 45 seconds, until they float to the surface. As they bob up, lift them out with a slotted spoon and divide them between 4 warmed serving bowls. Top with sauce and a little more Parmesan if you wish. Garnish with basil sprigs.  Serve at once.



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  6 comments for “ricotta gnocchi

  1. December 8, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    wow, those are SO easy and sound SOOO good! i might have to make these soon…

    • Melissa
      December 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm

      You’re going to love ’em! I think next time I make them I’ll try adding a little pumpkin and doing a little sage butter over the top 🙂

  2. December 8, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    😮 Ricotta gnocchi? I can’t imagine what it might be like! Isn’t it like eating marinara sauce on top of cheese? Maybe not, I love gnocchi though, never tried to make it. Perhaps I’ll start with something simple looking like these before launching into the potato version!

    • Melissa
      December 8, 2011 at 11:37 pm

      This is going to surprise and delight. Just trust me on this. Make it and tell me what you think. We LOVE this and my hubby said he thinks next time we should double the recipe. I just made the single batch last time (for the 3 of us) and put one of the servings (uncooked, but covered) in the fridge until the next day (so I could photograph it in natural day light…I’m sure you can relate 😉 ). I plopped them in boiling water and they tasted just as good as they did the night before. So…you could double it and have dinner one night, lunch the next day if you wanted to. Enjoy!

  3. December 10, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    OH YES…. I am definately making these. Our traditional Christmas dinner is Christmas Eve and I often throw in an Italian dish. This fits the bill. Yes time consuming but looks well worth it!

    • Melissa
      December 10, 2011 at 6:25 pm

      You’re going to love this…and the ricotta version takes less time to make than a box of macaroni and cheese! 🙂 xo

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