Warm Up with Ricotta Gnocchi
Like gnocchi (NYOHkee)? You are going to love ricotta gnocchi.
These gnocchi are delightful, light and flavorful dumplings made from ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg and a handful of flour. Unlike potato gnocchi, you don’t have to precook any of the ingredients (think peeling, boiling and mashing potatoes). Just stir everything together for ricotta gnocchi and the dough is ready to shape and cook (or refrigerate for up to 24 hours before cooking), making them simple enough for a weeknight dinner.
Though less well known than potato gnocchi, ricotta gnocchi are just as traditional. Every region of Italy has its own gnocchi style. Different versions use flour, bread, cornmeal, semolina, ricotta and/or vegetables.
And while we’re talking about tradition, let’s address the argument of gnocchi versus gnudi (NYOOdee). Many say they are the same thing. Others contend that gnocchi contain flour while gnudi contain none. I’ve decided it depends on what your favorite Italian grandmother says.
Since I find it easier to work with a dough containing a little flour, I’ve included it in this recipe for Ricotta Gnocchi and named it gnocchi, but if it makes your favorite grandmother happier, call it gnudi.
Ricotta cheeses, the primary ingredient in these gnocchi, vary immensely and make a difference in your finished dumplings. During recipe testing, I tried several brands of ricotta, one store-made ricotta and Homemade Ricotta. I found the homemade was my favorite, but many purchased ricotta cheeses also work well. Just avoid those containing stabilizers (modified food starches or various gums) as they make the dough more difficult to shape. Organic cheeses or those made fresh at deli counters usually do not contain stabilizers.
I love making homemade pastas but don’t always have time. This cheese-packed, restaurant-worthy recipe for Ricotta Gnocchi takes just half an hour to make and quenches my homemade pasta cravings. Try it as a side dish with the Browned Butter Sage Sauce (at the bottom of the recipe) or simply drizzle it with your favorite light tomato sauce.