I love all gnocchi, but gnocchi made from ricotta cheese is my absolute favorite. Ricotta gnocchi is pillowy, soft, and light and they are a cinch to make. Simply mix ricotta cheese, eggs, grated Parmigiano and Romano cheeses, and flour.
The dough will still be a little sticky. Ricotta gnocchi dough is tender, so it takes a gentle hand to roll them, but you can do that. I promise. Flour your board and roll out the dough. Take a handful of the dough and, using your hands, gently roll the dough back and forth until you've rolled your dough into a rope or snake-like shape, about a ½-inch in diameter. If your rope is too long, it makes it easier to work with shorter pieces.
Using a knife or a bench scraper, cut your rope of ricotta gnocchi into ½-inch pieces.
Next, we will create the grooves with a gnocchi board and the divot from our thumb. These grooves and divots are ingenious because they become a home for the sauce to rest and puddle in. This ensures that you'll get a well-balanced taste of sauce in every bite.
I suppose the most classic way to serve ricotta gnocchi is with a marinara sauce. Another classic way of serving this gnocchi is by melting and browning some butter in a pan along with a little freshly chopped sage. Another sauce to serve with ricotta gnocchi is a gorgonzola cream sauce. That's the sauce I chose for my ricotta gnocchi, and I garnished the dish with these sweet and tangy red wine caramelized onions.
To make caramelized onions
Thinly slice one red onion in a large, non-stick skillet with a teaspoon or two of olive oil. Add the onions and cook on medium-high heat. Stir often and lower the heat if the onions start to burn. Add 1 teaspoon of brown sugar, 1 cup of dry red wine, and 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Lower the heat to medium and stir from time to time. Allow the onions to cook for 15-20 minutes. The onions will be soft, and a deep red from with wine.
The acid and the tartness of the onions are the perfect complement to the richness of any cream sauce.
I really do find making homemade pasta relaxing. There's something meditative about cooking in general. Using your hands and repeating a task over and over allows me to let go of the day's thoughts and be in the moment. It's also something fun to do with a friend. That's why I own two gnocchi boards.
I brought this ricotta gnocchi into work to have some of the wait staff and kitchen staff taste-test them. I cooked up the gnocchi and made the Gorgonzola cream sauce. I spotted some rendered, chopped pancetta on the line and decided crispy pancetta, along with the caramelized onions and cream sauce, would knock this dish out the park--and did it ever.
Another great reason to make ricotta gnocchi is that you can double or triple this batch. Have a gnocchi-making party and freeze them. To do this, line a baking sheet with wax paper or parchment paper sheets. Lightly flour the paper and lay the gnocchi in a single layer with a little space between each one. Place the sheet tray in the freezer and freeze solid. It doesn't take long for these to freeze, about an hour. Once frozen, place the ricotta gnocchi in a freezer bag and return the bag to the freezer. They will keep for up to two months.
What a quick weeknight dinner. Gorgonzola Cream Sauce can be made in less than 10 minutes and the ricotta gnocchi only take two minutes to boil. You can have dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes.
How to Make Ricotta Gnocchi Recipe
- 15 ounces whole milk ricotta drained
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- ½ cup grated Pecorino-Romano
- a few cracks of pepper
- ¾-½ cup all-purpose flour plus more for bench flour
- In a large bowl, add 15 ounces of drained ricotta cheese. Add two eggs, the grated cheeses, and a few cracks of pepper and mix well.
- Start by adding ½ cup of the flour and mix. Add another ¼ cup of flour and mix well. This might be enough flour, but if the dough is too sticky and you're unable to work with it, add the remaining ¼ cup.
- Dust a wooden board with bench flour. Take a handful of gnocchi dough and roll it out on your board in a rope-like shape (about ½-inch in diameter). If your rolled dough is too long to work with, cut it in half and continue rolling.
- Once the dough is rolled, cut the dough into ½-inch pieces.
- Dust your fingers and the gnocchi pieces with a little flour. Using a gnocchi board, place one piece of gnocco in the middle of the board.
- Gently place your thumb in the center of the gnocco. Push down lightly and roll the gnocco down and off the board. Repeat.
- In a large pot of salted, boiling water, add the gnocchi and boil for about two minutes. Work in batches to avoid overcrowding. Once the gnocchi float to the top, they are done (about 2-3 minutes). Use a small, fine-mesh sieve, or a slotted spoon to remove the gnocchi from the pot. Repeat.
- Coat the gnocchi in your favorite sauce and serve.
How to Make Manicotti with Homemade Crepes
Risotto with Sausage, Peppers, and Onions.