by sammysgrammy (aka Rita)

GNOCCHI (pronounced n-yawk-ee)

This recipe was given to me many years ago by the mother of my best friend. This gnocchi is made with ricotta cheese, therefore, it is not heavy like gnocchi made with potatoes can sometimes be. And, so simple. Just equal amounts of ricotta and flour plus a bit of salt. In the recipe pictured, I used 2 pounds of ricotta and 2 pounds of flour (32 oz. or 4 cups). That meal made 5 healthy servings and leftovers.

If you buy your ricotta at the supermarket in a tall plastic tub, it's going to be watery. You'll want to drain the water from the ricotta, otherwise, you'll have to add too much flour to get a workable dough and the gnocchi will be heavy.

To drain the water from the ricotta, I put the ricotta in a large coffee filter lined strainer or colander, set over a vessel to collect the water that drains off. I leave it in the fridge several hours to drain.

Once the ricotta is drained of extra water, mix an equal amount of flour into it, with a pastry blender or fork. Add a tsp or 2 of salt into the dough as well. Mix well. Then dump onto a floured counter and knead a few minutes until you have a smooth ball of dough.

I cut off a chunk of dough about the size of an orange - keeping the remainder of the dough covered. Roll out the orange sized piece into a long snake about the size of a nickel in diameter. Use a knife or pastry scraper to cut the snake into sections about an inch long.

Now the fun want to curl those gnocchi up like a little snail so they hold the sauce. I do this with a fork, gently dragging it, longways, from top to bottom of each little gnocchi. This action will cause the gnocchi to curl up.

Remove these to a lined cookie sheet to await boiling water.

Do this until you've used all the dough. You may have to use several cookie sheets to store them. They can stay out on the counter to dry out a bit. Or you can freeze them at this point, to use another time.***

While they're drying out, I make a quick marinara (mariner's) sauce. Keep in mind that you don't want to drown the gnocchi in sauce. They are such a delicacy that you can actually serve them with just some melted butter and a little grated romano cheese.


Gently saute a diced onion in a small saucepan in olive oil. You can add a clove of garlic as well, but remove it from the pan as soon as it's toasted. (you'll have the essence of garlic in your oil). When the onion is transparent, before it browns, add a can of tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook down for a few minutes. That's all there is to marinara sauce. If you want to jazz it up a bit, you can transform it into vodka blush sauce by adding about a 1/4 cup of HEAVY cream and a couple tbs. of vodka. Stir and simmer for just a couple minutes.

To cook the gnocchi, fill the biggest sauce pan you have with water. When it boils, add a little salt, gently add the gnocchi. If the pan looks like it might be crowded, do this in two batches. When they rise to the top, scoop them up with your slotted spoon (spider) and transfer them to a serving dish lined with sauce. Put some sauce on top too. Gently mix it in (wooden spoon). Garnish with chopped fresh Italian parsley. Pass the grated romano for those who want it. Bon appetit..

***Freeze gnocchi on the cookie sheets so that they'll freeze individually and won't be stuck together. Once they're frozen individually, they won't stick together and they can be packaged in plastic bags for the freezer.

by sammysgrammy (aka Rita)

Comments (8)

On September 13, 2011 at 9:25 AM , chocolatedogstudio said...

Wow! I love pasta and will have to give this one a try. Thanks for the recipe!

On September 13, 2011 at 9:33 AM , Cherry's Creations said...

My friend's Italian grandmother use to make the best home made gnocchi. It was delish, thanks for sharing!

On September 13, 2011 at 10:04 AM , Lizzi said...

Oh my goodness this looks too good. A little upset you made me hungry when I haven't eaten breakfast though lol

On September 13, 2011 at 10:39 AM , Sue Runyon said...

Just looking at this makes me very hungry. Excellent job on the post, Rita. The photo looks so good and I know it's difficult to get really good food photos. Thanks for all the hard work.

On September 13, 2011 at 12:58 PM , Jennifer Kistler said...

Thanks for sharing! The sauce tips especially, definitely going to try that! Yum!!

On September 13, 2011 at 2:02 PM , MYSAVIOR said...

Rita - I love the idea of a lighter gnocchi. Sounds so yummy.


On September 13, 2011 at 3:06 PM , Anonymous said...

Now I know how to pronounce gnocchi. I had it one time and didn't care for it. I can imagine the marinara sauce would make it delicious. Oh by the way I love the black and white checked apron. Thanks! Chris

On September 13, 2011 at 11:40 PM , Amber D. Mcnabb said...

oooh this sounds delish! I can't wait to try your ricotta version. Thank you!