This truly is a delicious ricotta gnocchi recipe. It only contains 4 ingredients, and that includes salt. It is a quick and easy meal which I eat regularly with various sauces or just plain old garlic and oil. Yum. Gnocchi also freezes really well, so you can make a big batch and freeze some of them for future meals.
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This is an updated post, because I wanted to showcase it and update my photographs!
Here are two of the questions that I’m asked most about ricotta gnocchi:
Can I make Ricotta Gnocchi ahead?
You sure can! I usually make it a few hours ahead of when I’m going to cook it. After I cut the gnocchi, I place it on a jelly roll pan and stick it in the fridge with a kitchen drying towel over them. Easy peasy.
Can I freeze Ricotta gnocchi?
You can indeed! I used to freeze freshly made ricotta gnocchi all the time. I’d use 2 pounds of ricotta cheese to make the gnocchi and then I’d freeze half of the pillows of happiness in a gallon freezer bag. Say you have unexpected guests for dinner, it’s so easy to reach in the freezer and pull out the bag and you can have the meal on the table within minutes! The best thing about it, is it tastes just as fresh as when you first made it!
Now, I usually use 1 pound of ricotta cheese but if I know I’m serving gnocchi to guests, I use more and freeze whatever ricotta gnocchi I don’t cook.
I have perfected this ricotta gnocchi recipe over the years. My first memory of having gnocchi is when Christopher and I were first married and we moved to California. I ordered these delicious, squishy cuties in a nice cream sauce and I was in seventh heaven. I love all kinds of gnocchi, but I prefer it made with ricotta over the ones made with potatoes, but they are both delicious.
When I was growing up, my grandmother Clara used to have a machine and my sisters and I would line up to take turns cranking it. Nana used it to make a gnocchi-type pasta they called “sinkers” because they were so filling and ‘sunk’ to the bottom of your stomach. I loved how the machine automatically curled and scored each little sinker. So fun!
I never watched her make the dough, but I’m almost certain they weren’t gnocchi.
I do not use a machine, I use my hands to form the dough and cut the gnocchi with a butter knife. In the past, I’ve used a fork to score them and my thumb to sort of flip them but it doesn’t make a difference to how they taste or cook and frankly, I can’t be bothered. So, my gnocchi are smooth.
On to How to Make Ricotta Gnocchi Recipe
I start out with some ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese and all purpose flour. I usually make gnocchi with my beloved spelt flour but for this post, I decided to make it with all purpose flour, so you could see what they usually look like in restaurants.
Since it is just Christopher and I, I get the one pound container of ricotta. Just double the recipe if you use 2 pounds.
Time to Show you How to Make the Ricotta Gnocchi
The first thing I do is fill a medium stockpot half way with water and set it on the stove. I turn the gas to high and salt the water.
In a big bowl, add the pound of ricotta, 1 cup of flour, 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
Next, is the fun part even though I don’t like to get my hands dirty, I know that I can mix things much faster with my hands and I’m all for fast!!
Here’s what it looks like when it’s combined.
I take out my marble pastry board and throw a little flour on it. (One of my original photos.)
I plop the gnocchi dough on the board and knead it for 2 minutes.
After that, I put the dough back in the bowl I mixed it in just to get it off the working space and flour the board again. I rip off a small ball of dough and place it on the board. I roll that ball into a snake.
Snakes Don’t Always Bite
The next photo shows the snake and the size ball that I use. (Another old photo.)
Time to cut the gnocchi into inch long pieces.
I try to make them uniform in size but I don’t stress out if they are different, because that’s one of the fun parts of homemade gnocchi. That and you can control how succulent they are by cooking them properly. I think most restaurants cook them too long.
So, I roll out the dough and continue cutting the snakes into bite size pieces until all the dough is used up. I counted how many I made, which I don’t usually do, but I did this time for the blog. My exact count was 93 ricotta gnocchi.
As I am cutting the gnocchi, I place them on my jelly roll pan and stick them in the fridge until I’m ready to plop them in boiling water. You can also freeze them before you cook them so they are a little easier to handle.
Little Pillows of Happiness
Aren’t they cute? Makes me want to pop a few in my mouth right now. They are squishy little pillows of happiness. Hey, that’s what I should call them from now on!
Me: “Christopher, do you want squishy little pillows of happiness for dinner?”
Once it’s boiling, I put a bunch of gnocchi into the water. I just use my hand and grab as many as I can without squishing them, usually 3 handfuls. Just be careful not to burn your hand when you are plopping them into the water.
Now, you have to stand there while you cook the gnocchi. I give them a quick stir once I put them in the boiling water and then wait for them to float to the top which takes approximately 3 – 5 minutes.
They won’t all float at the same time, just fish the floaties out so they won’t cook too long and wait for the others to float before fishing them out as well.
I use this skimmer for the fishing the ricotta gnocchi out of the water.
After letting all the water drain from the gnocchi, I place them in a bowl and continue putting 3 handfuls of uncooked gnocchi in the water until they are all cooked.
All done and ready for some gravy, sauce, oil and garlic or just plain butter. When I first published this, I used some vodka pasta sauce on them. Yum.
But for my updated version, I used a sage butter sauce that will be coming soon on the blog.
Doesn’t that look delish? It was!
I hope you enjoyed this recipe!
Please feel free to pin and photo to Pinterest or yum the recipe to Yummly. And leave me a comment. How do you like to eat your gnocchi, and do you prefer ricotta or potato gnocchi.
And as always, may all your dishes be delish!
- 1 pound ricotta cheese I used full fat
- 1 cup all purpose flour and more for sprinkling on the board
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, flour, parmesan cheese and salt
- With either a spoon or your hands, mix ingredients
- Sprinkle flour on a pastry board or counter
- Knead gnocchi dough for 2 minutes
- Flour surface again and break off a small ball of dough
- Roll ball into snake and, using a knife, cut snake into 1 inch pieces
- Repeat until all dough is used up
- Place cut gnocchi on jelly roll pan to freeze or refrigerate until you are ready to cook them
- Fill a medium stockpot half way with water, salt it and boil on high heat
- Put 3 handfuls of gnocchi in boiling water and stir once
- Stand there and fish gnocchi out as they float to top of water (3 - 5 minutes)
- Place cooked gnocchi in bowl
- Continue putting 3 handfuls of gnocchi in water until dough runs out
- Serve right away with a sauce or butter or olive oil
- Enjoy the squishy little pillows of happiness