Ricotta Gnocchi

Last month, we asked food bloggers what they make for dinner when they’re home alone. Well, this month, we’re asking food bloggers to share easy pastas to make as the weather gets cooler. First up: Gnocchi by Alex and Sonja Overhiser of A Couple Cooks that uses ricotta instead of potatoes…

Ricotta Gnocchi
By Alex and Sonja Overhiser of A Couple Cooks

The first time we had gnocchi was on our honeymoon in Italy. We had no idea how to say it (ga-no-key?) but still fell in love with the pillowy potato puffs smothered in tangy tomato sauce.

Since then, we’ve learned the correct pronunciation (nyeo-key, where there “nyeo” is like the gn in “lasagna”), and even how to make them at home. Gnocchi is traditionally made with mashed potatoes, and takes quite a bit of time to put together: baking the potatoes, running them through a potato ricer, and making and rolling out the dough. This ricotta gnocchi is a simpler version that substitutes ricotta cheese without losing the robust flavor and fluffy texture.

This recipe works for Friday night date night, girls night, or Sunday afternoon fun with kids; it lets you get your hands dirty, but is quick enough to provide a tasty meal before attention spans wane. And with a bit of red wine, it’s an elegant meal to inspire dreams of the Mediterranean coast. Buon appetito!

Recipe: Ricotta Gnocchi
Serves 4

You’ll need:
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
16 oz. ricotta (about 2 cups)
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
½ cup finely grated Parmesan (plus more for serving)
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
One jar high-quality marinara sauce
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh basil (optional)

What to do:

In a large bowl, whisk egg and egg yolk. Add ricotta, pepper, Parmesan cheese and kosher salt, and mix until well combined. Add flour; stir just until combined and mixture forms a ball. Add more flour as necessary if the dough is too wet.

Making the gnocchi is easiest with some team work! Dust a rimmed baking sheet generously with flour. Have one person use 2 large soup spoons to shape heaping tablespoonfuls of dough into football shapes and then place them on the baking sheet. Have the other person roll the gnocchi with more flour so that they are coated (you should have around 50).

Cook gnocchi in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until cooked through and tender, 5-6 minutes. (The gnocchi will quickly float to surface, but continue cooking for the entire 5 to 6 minutes until they are fully cooked.)

Remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate. In a skillet, heat a few drizzles olive oil, then add the gnocchi and gently pan fry for a few minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Add marinara sauce and stir to evenly coat.

Remove the pan from the heat and serve immediately. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil sliced in thin strips (chiffonade), if desired.

Thank you, Alex and Sonja!

P.S. More best recipes, including ricotta & honey crostini and Caesar salad with a twist.

(Photos and recipe by Alex and Sonja Overhiser of A Couple Cooks. Thanks to Shoko for helping with this series.)

  1. How yummy your dish is! Can i make another version of this gnocchi by using cottage instead of using ricotta cheese?

  2. Shehani says...

    Made this for dinner today and it was amazing! It was my first time ever eating/making gnocchi and I loved it! It was so easy too, thanks for the recipe :)

  3. Simone K says...

    I love gnocchi, but have not eaten them in years because they are so heavy.
    Not these…they are light and fluffy. I made my with fat free ricotta cheese and they were still delicious.
    Thank you for bring gnocchi back into my life.

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  5. Do you think you could substitute white rice flour? I’m trying to make it gluten free.

  6. I’ve just made this on a cold November night in London. Had to make it up a bit – ounces? cups? we Brits don’t do those things – but it was really really delicious! Fran

  7. I made this last night for two of my closest friends and we all LOVED it! It took about 20-30 minutes to make the ricotta dough mixture and roll out the little gnocci balls, but doing that while catching up with each other made it feel like no time at all. It was the perfect meal for our little get-together. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  8. its look very delicious although look simple.. nice to try..

  9. I made this recipe last night, thank you so much for sharing! It was delicious. The only change I would suggest is to make the gnocchi smaller than suggested since the puff up when cooked. So so good!

  10. We made this last night and the recipe was awesome! The gnocchi are light and fluffy! Delicious. Thanks for sharing!


  11. Just made potato gnocchi today, and now I see this! Must try, they look delic!!! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  12. Holy wow. Will be making this very soon! Thanks for the tip :)

  13. This looks wonderful, thanks for the recipe!

  14. I’m hungry now, got to get me some ge-nog-gie too. Looks like a small portion tho (i’m a big eater), guess it fills up quickly. Thanks for the recipe.

  15. Yes, Gnocchi is no joke to make and at first, weird to pronounce if you don’t know… I love, love gnocchi! I remember the first time making it, it was about 7pm and didn’t finish it until about 10pm.. something like that, it was late though. didn’t use a ricer… yada yada… but I was happy that I made it.

    This sounds good w/ ricotta!

  16. I made those before and they were delish!! I had quite a few fall apart in the boiling water though.

  17. Oh man, this is making my mouth water! Now that the cooler weather is settling in, we’ve definitely been craving more pasta dishes — they’re so comforting! This dish will certainly be making its way into our rotation!

  18. ohhh delicious!
    xo, cheyenne

  19. Since i am Italian I am quite familiar with this delicious dish. I haven’t made it for a while. After seeing these wonderful pics I think I’ll make it tomorrow (I have some fresh ricotta in the fridge waiting to be used)

  20. Yum yum this looks like the ultimate comfort food!

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  22. Love Sonja + Alex’s work on their blog. Truly inspiring and awesome people. These look so great!

  23. I absolutely LOVE gnocchi! Will be making this soon!

  24. I would add that anyone making this recipe should DOUBLE OR TRIPLE IT, and freeze the rest! why go through the effort of making it just for 1 meal when you can have 2 or 3 meals with minimal more effort!?

    cheers :)

  25. YUMMY!!! Looking forward to trying this recipe, it looks so easy and delicious. Thanks for sharing

  26. This would be amazing with Marcella Hazan’s famous butter-onion-tomato sauce.

  27. I’ve made this and it is SO good – much less filling than potatoes… good stuff!

  28. Mmmm, add some brown butter and sage and it may be the best meal ever. It seems easier than ricotta gnudi, which I have tried to make and failed at… twice.

  29. YUM! I must try making this one, looks so delicious for a chilly November night!

  30. It’s a bit disappointing that it calls for a jar of sauce. If you’ve gone to all the effort to make the gnocchi it’d be super simple to make the sauce. It’d be easy to wreck all the hard work with a pre-made sauce.

  31. Looks delicious and great for a cool Fall night, I must try this.

  32. This sounds amazing! I love gnocchi, I’ll have to try this.