Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi made with only 5 ingredients, a quick and easy recipe that is ready in well under 30 minutes. These soft pillowy little treasures pair really well with any sauce of your choice to create a delicious midweek dinner that goes down well with the everyone.
Ricotta gnocchi or the Italian "gnocchi di ricotta" is a great alternative to the good old mashed potato gnocchi, which is a very popular traditional recipe enjoyed all over the world.
Swapping mashed potatoes for ricotta gives these gnocchi a much lighter, less carb-loaded touch without compromising on the taste or texture you are used to.
And while the store-bough versions, especially the fresh gnocchi, are more than decent, you can make your own ricotta gnocchi at home with only 5 ingredients, and in less than half an hour!
The good thing about this recipe is that you don't need to go out of your way to create a fancy sauce to go with it, it's an extremely versatile dish that can be paired with literally any sauce of your choice, be it homemade or store-bought.
- ricotta cheese - just your regular store-bought ricotta
- flour - I used plain flour
- egg - I had a medium egg, if you have large eggs only, you might need to increase the amount of flour used
- parmesan cheese - for a sharp touch
- black pepper - to taste
Possibly additions to the recipe
I didn't add any other ingredients to the gnocchi, as you get a lot of flavour from the sauce they go into. But if you wish, you can either add some freshly-grated nutmeg to the mix, Italian herbs or a touch of salt.
Why the recipe works
- it's quick - no need to wait for the dough to rest, dinner is served in less than half an hour
- it's fun - the dough is really easy to work with
- it's delicious - you really can't tell they are homemade
- it pairs well with any sauce
Step-by-step photos and instructions
- Sift the flour onto the work surface and make a well in the middle
- Crack in the egg and use a fork to beat it well, adding in flour as you go
- Add the ricotta, parmesan and black pepper, and knead well to get a smooth dough that does is very slightly sticky - use more flour if necessary
- Cut the dough into edges to make it easier to work with, then roll each wedge into a pretzel-sized log
- Cut the dough log into bite-sized pieces of about 1 inch diameter - you can either leave them as they are, or can use a fork to create ridges
- Bring a pot of salted water to the boil, then carefully add the gnocchi to the pot, working in batches not to overcrowd the pot
- The gnocchi are ready when they float to the surface - it takes 1-2 minutes to be ready
- Remove the gnocchi from the pot, draining them well - you can save some of the gnocchi water to mix with the sauce
- Add the gnocchi to the sauce of your choice, and serve with extra parmesan cheese
Do not add too much flour, otherwise the gnocchi will be tough and chewy, rather than soft. Over kneading the dough can also lead to a touch texture.
We need a soft, slightly sticky dough, and the gnocchi can be lightly dusted with flour if necessary before boiling them, so they do not stick to each other.
What sauces work with ricotta gnocchi
I use a store-bought sun dried tomato pesto sauce to serve with my gnocchi, but any other sauce would do: traditional pesto sauce, regular tomato sauce, arrabiata, alfredo sauce, butter sauce, you name it!
In my dinner recipes category, you can find loads of pasta recipes that use different sauce which would work really well with ricotta too.
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- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- ⅔ cup ricotta cheese (200 g)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Sift the flour onto the work surface, and make a well in the middle.
- Crack in the egg, and use a fork to beat it well, adding some flour in as you go.
- Add the ricotta, parmesan and black pepper, and knead everything well into a smooth dough that is slightly sticky - add more flour if necessary.
- Cut the dough into wedges to handle it easier, and roll each wedge into a rope of about 1 inch in diameter.
- Cut the rope into bite-sized pieces - you can also use a fork to create ridges in the gnocchi, but that's optional.
- Bring a pot of salted water to the boil, add add the gnocchi, working in batches to avoid overcrowding the pot.
- The gnocchi are ready when they float to the surface, that can take between 1-3 minutes, depending on the size of the gnocchi.
- Serve them with your favourite sauce and extra parmesan cheese.
- Do not add too much flour, otherwise the gnocchi will be tough and chewy, rather than soft. Over kneading the dough can also lead to a touch texture.
- We need a soft, slightly sticky dough, and the gnocchi can be lightly dusted with flour if necessary before boiling them, so they do not stick to each other.