Think you can’t make your own gnocchi? Think again. This recipe is super simple & done in 30 mins. No need to cook potatoes, just make my quick Easy Ricotta Gnocchi – that’s why I called the recipe that…they are really EASY. One of those recipes that makes you look like a proper kitchen boss, just don’t let on what a cinch they are to make!
The top photo is of course the finished product, and this batch of ricotta gnocchi have been lightly fried in butter just to give them a slightly caramelized exterior – this is totally optional.
Each one a unique little pillowy cloud, and like snow flakes no two are the same…
Oops, got a bit carried away there with the creative writing. You get the point though.
The are easy.
They are soft.
They taste great.
Please have a go at making your own, you won’t be disappointed.
PS: Looking for a sauce suggestion for you new found gnocchi skills? Why don’t you try my Mushroom Gnocchi with Meatballs.
Super simple, soft pillowy ricotta gnocchi.
- 375 g smooth ricotta (see note)
- 1 egg
- 90 g finely grated parmesan (about 1 cup)
- 180 g / 1 cup plain/all purpose flour
- ¼ tsp fine salt
- 1 tbsp salted butter - optional
- In medium bowl, combine ricotta, egg, parmesan & salt - mix well until completely combined
- Add approximately ½ cup of flour to ricotta, and mix very lightly to just combine. The mixture should look like under mixed biscuit dough
- Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured work surface, and sprinkle the top of the dough with about 1 tbsp of flour. Very lightly bring the dough together, sprinkling with another tbsp of flour on to any spots where the dough still feels wet & sticky (see note)
- At this point I usually have ¼ cup of flour left
- Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 2 roughly even portions (see note)
- Take one portion, and divide it roughly in half to make a quarter
- Lightly roll this quarter of dough in a long log - about 30 cm / 12 inches long and 2 cm / ¾ inches in diameter, then repeat for second quarter lightly sprinkling with flour as needed
- Repeat for remaining dough portion
- Dip the point of your sharp knife into the remaining flour, and cut gnocchi into 1½ cm / 3/5 inch pieces, re-flouring your knife point as you go
- If you are going to pan fry your gnocchi, place the butter into a non-stick fry pan over medium high heat
- Carefully place your gnocchi into boiling water (see note) - the gnocchi will rise to the surface when they are cooked, this should take around 2-3 mins (see note)
- Remove gnocchi from boiling water with a slotted spoon and allow them to drain slightly, before adding them to the hot-buttered fry pan & frying for 1 - 11/2 mins to colour slightly then adding them to a sauce of your choice, or add directly without frying (see note)
- Serve immediately
You are trying to add as little flour as you can to the dough, while still having it hold together as it cooks. The more flour, the more dense & tough the gnocchi. A good rule of thumb is to feel the dough as you go rather than relying on measurements, only adding more flour if it is still sticky. This is also why I don't divide the dough into four quarters straight away, because I find that the dough will absorb the surface flour while sitting on the bench waiting to be rolled (even for that short time), so I try to have as less surface area as possible until I need to cut it & flour it for rolling.
You also don't want to knead the dough too much, this will also make your gnocchi tougher. This is why you will notice that I said "bring the dough together" rather than knead the dough. The dough evens out pretty well when you roll it, so you really don't have to "knead" it very much at all. It also helps to give you a soft result. Don't worry if you have some flour left over when you are done, I usually have about 1 tbsp left.
Be careful when placing your gnocchi in to the boiling water, they really "plop" in and can splash a lot! If you don't get them all in at the exact same millisecond that's ok, because the little darlings obediently rise to the surface when they are cooked. Just fish them out & add them to your pot of sauce as they come to the top.
I like food fried off in butter as much or more than the next person, but just beware that you will get a slightly chewier, firmer texture to your gnocchi if you decide to pan fry them. Still good though!
These need to be served straight away - as soon as they start to cool they will get tougher.