I lovelovelove gnocchi but I rarely make the potato version because it’s so difficult and time consuming to make.
You know the drill – you need to use potatoes grown and harvested by virgins under the light of the new moon, cooked gently over the flame of ten blessed candles, and kneaded with the delicateness of an butterfly wing, otherwise your gnocchi will be forever cursed to be heavy and gluey.
Fortunately potato gnocchi is not the only gnocchi in town.
There’s also ricotta gnocchi, a much simpler version that’s equally as delicious and doesn’t require as much work.
No butterfly wing touch required for these babies. All you need is fresh ricotta, egg, parmesan and flour.
Ever since Serious Eats (if you don’t read Serious Eats, you should) published their post on ricotta gnocchi, I’ve made it ohhhhhh – about six different times. Yes, that is how good it is – and you don’t have to just take my word for it because like a virus I’ve been passing it along to all my friends who also love it. 😀
Not only are the gnocchi great, but they’re also easy to make – they’re so easy I’ve even made them several times on weeknights. And they go with pretty much any sauce – I’ve used jarred pasta sauces (good), homemade bolognaise (very good) and for these photos I cooked up a browned butter and sage sauce (excellent).
Please, go forth. Make ricotta gnocchi.
But before you do, I recommend you read the Serious Eats post. The recipe, converted to metric and rounded up slightly (go metric!!) is below.
- 230g of drained ricotta (read note on draining below - you'll need about 300g undrained ricotta, depending on its moisture level)
- 30g finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup), plus more for serving
- 115g plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
- 1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk
- Salt and pepper
- Line a plate with several layers of paper towels (or a clean dish cloth). Place the ricotta directly on top and spread it out into a thin, even layer using a spatula.
- Top the ricotta with several layers of paper towels (or a clean dish cloth) and press down firmly with your hand to blot out the moisture. If you have a lot of ricotta or it still seems quite damp you may need to repeat the draining step several times.
- Peel off the paper towels and scrape 230g of the drained ricotta into a large bowl, setting aside any excess ricotta for another use (or another batch).
- Add the parmesan, the flour, the whole egg and the egg yolk and season with salt and pepper. Use your spatula to mix everything together.
- Tip the mixture on to a clean, lightly floured work surface and dust with more flour.
- Flatten into a neat rectangle and cut into quarters.
- Working one piece at a time, roll each quarter into a log about 2cm thick, dusting with flour if necessary. Cut the dough into individual gnocchi about 2cm big, and place on a floured tray.
- Repeat with the rest of the dough.
- (At this point you can freeze the gnocchi. They can be cooked from frozen, and need a few extra minutes to cook.)
- To cook, bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add the gnocchi to the pot. Cook for about 3-4 minutes.
- Drain and serve with your favourite sauce.