Serving freshly made gnocchi with a homemade sauce is an easy but impressive labor of love and they take less time to make than traditional potato gnocchi. Our Ricotta Gnocchi in a delicious homemade sauce is the Italian comfort food you and your family have been craving.
Cooking gnocchi isn't nearly as hard as one might think. I've always thought making homemade pasta was too difficult until I tried this. It's a lot like rolling out play dough snakes with a preschooler. In fact, you can let your kids help!
Ricotta Gnocchi Ingredients
Making the Gnocchi
- Whole Milk Riccota Cheese: Don't skip on lower fat versions as that is just not the point of this recipe.
- Unbleached All Purpose Flour: you may one to try 00 flour which is finer and makes the gnocchi have a lighter texture
- Olive Oil: to add to the boiling water
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Cloves of Garlic
- Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
- Large Tomatoes
- Aleppo pepper. Or red pepper flakes. This ingredient adds heat and is optional.
- Dried Oregano
- Fresh Basil Leaves. Chopped. You can often find a basil plant with roots but no soil at your local grocery store, which is perfect for harvesting fresh basil in winter when you can't keep a pot outside.
How To Make Gnocchi
You will begin by making the fresh gnocchi pasta. First, combine the ricotta, flour, and egg in a bowl and mix them to form a dough until just combined. Then let the dough rest for five minutes.
On two prepared flour surfaces, roll the dough and place the finished gnocchi pieces. Next, fill a large pot with water, and a little salt and olive oil. Heat it to a boil while you roll the dough.
Roll the dough into ropes, and cut them to one-inch pieces, or whatever size you prefer for your potato gnocchi. Drop these into boiling water. If you prefer, use a slotted spoon to lower them gently into the water.
When the gnocchi float to the surface, they can be removed and drained and kept in a heat-proof bowl. Drizzle these with olive oil so that they don't stick together while you prepare the sauce.
To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large and deep skillet. Next, add the onion and garlic to heated oil and cook for five to seven minutes until the onion is translucent or mostly clear. Add tomatoes, salt, peppers, and oregano.
Cook for thirty more minutes until the tomatoes are softened and thoroughly cooked. Add the gnocchi and basil to the tomato sauce and stir it all together gently.
How To Serve Gnocchi
Plan to serve your ricotta gnocchi with crusty Italian bread, garlic bread, or focaccia. You may also have it with a simple Fatoush, Tabouli, or Caprese salad for a true Mediterranean dinner. Serve the dish hot and right away so the gnocchi don't have time to stick together. I recommend having parmesan and coarsely ground Italian black pepper available on the table.
How To Freeze Gnocchi
You may freeze gnocchi uncooked. Place the individually cut pieces on a sheet pan and let them freeze for a couple of hours before placing them into a freezer-safe zipper bag or airtight container for long-term storage. When you are ready to cook with frozen gnocchi they can go straight from the freezer into the boiling water. You will need to allow a bit more time to boil the pasta, but not much.
Making Gnocchi Ahead of Time
As mentioned above you can certainly freeze gnocchi. You can make the dough and let it rest in the fridge until ready to shape and cook, but no longer than 24 hours. You can even shape the gnocchi, spread them on a baking sheet, and store them covered with plastic wrap in the fridge until ready to boil. Don't do this more than 24 hours in advance.
Ricotta gnocchi can also be dried in a dehydrator or low-temperature oven for short-term storage. We haven't tried this method, since we don't own a dehydrator but we've read it works. Let us know if you've tried dehydrating gnocchi before.
While leftovers may certainly be kept in the refrigerator, we do not recommend making the gnocchi and keeping uncooked or cooked gnocchi in the refrigerator prior to your first meal. It is best when served fresh from the pot or cooked from frozen or dried.
Tips for Perfect Ricotta Gnocchi
- Do not overwork the gnocchi dough, mix until the ingredients are just combined.
2. When boiling the gnocchi, add olive oil and plenty of salt as per the recipe because this is your only chance to salt the gnocchi.
3. When boiling the gnocchi add only 15-20 gnocchi at a time and cook just until they float to the top.
4. Gnocchi is actually really good fried and slightly crispy. Toss it with a little hot extra virgin olive oil in a skillet after it finishes boiling to get that perfect creamy and crispy bite
5. Use a ricotta cheese brand that contains only real ingredients, without any fillers, preservatives, etc. Since this is a 3 ingredient gnocchi recipe, the quality of the ingredients matters.
6. You can also serve this ricotta gnocchi with store-bought sauce, pesto, or creamy bechamel
More Pasta Dishes You May Enjoy
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Serving freshly made gnocchi with a homemade sauce is an easy but impressive labor of love. Our Ricotta Gnocchi in a delicious homemade sauce is the Italian comfort food you and your family have been craving.
For the gnocchi
- 2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 ⅔ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons of salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil (to be added to the water used to boil the gnocchi)
For the sauce
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 pint assorted grape or cherry tomatoes
- 2 large tomatoes, chopped
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes (optional)
- ⅓ tsp dried oregano
- 12-14 fresh basil leaves chopped
- Combine the ricotta, flour, and egg in a bowl and mix to form a dough (do not overwork it, mix until the ingredients are just combined). Let the dough rest for 5 minutes. In the meantime, prepare 2 floured surfaces, one to roll the dough and the other one to place the gnocchi.
- Fill a large soup pot with water. Add the salt and olive oil and bring to a boil (you can use less salt if you prefer, but this is your only chance to salt the gnocchi)
- Roll the dough into ropes and cut them into 1" pieces.
- Gently drop 15-20 gnocchi into the boiling water, being careful not to get splashed with the boiling water. Alternatively, use a large slotted spoon to lower the gnocchi into the water.
- Boil until they float to the surface, and quickly remove and place them in a heat-proof bowl. Repeat until all the gnocchi are cooked.
- Set them aside drizzle some olive oil, so they don't stick together, and prepare the sauce
For the Sauce
- Heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet. Add the onion and garlic, and cook over medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes or until the onion is translucent
- Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, Aleppo pepper ( if using), and oregano
- Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft and cooked
- Add the cooked gnocchi and fresh basil and stir gently
- Do not overwork the gnocchi dough, mix until the ingredients are just combined.
- When boiling the gnocchi, add olive oil and plenty of salt as per the recipe because this is your only chance to salt the gnocchi.
- When boiling the gnocchi add only 15-20 gnocchi at a time and cook just until they float to the top.
- Gnocchi is actually really good fried and slightly crispy. Toss it with a little hot extra virgin olive oil in a skillet after it finishes boiling to get that perfect creamy and crispy bite.
- Use a ricotta cheese brand that contains only real ingredients, without any fillers, preservatives, etc. Since this is a 3 ingredient gnocchi recipe, the quality of the ingredients matters.
- You can also serve these ricotta gnocchi with store-bought sauce, pesto, or creamy bechamel
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 20
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
- Serving Size: 20 gnocchi with sauce
- Calories: 373
- Sugar: 4.4
- Sodium: 960.6
- Fat: 19.1
- Saturated Fat: 8.2
- Unsaturated Fat: 9.9
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 35.9
- Fiber: 2.7
- Protein: 15.2
- Cholesterol: 73.2
Keywords: Mediterranean, Italian, homemade, kosher,