If you’ve ever been too intimidated to make your own pasta, gnocchi is a great place to start. And if regular potato gnocchi seems like too much work, well ricotta gnocchi is the way to go. This Italian pasta dumpling has three – yes just THREE! – ingredients and doesn’t require the use of a pasta maker. You just mix together ricotta, flour, and an egg and gently knead it until it comes together. After a brief rest in the fridge, you roll the dough into snakes and cut into gnocchi of whatever size you like. Cook in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes and you’re done.
I’ve had plenty of gnocchi in my day, and it’s run the whole spectrum from simultaneously heavy and mushy to heavenly perfection. I find that it’s much easier and more foolproof to hit that delicate, airy note with ricotta gnocchi than potato ones. And they require even less prep! Score. If you feel like that’s too easy, you can always make your own ricotta (seriously folks, it takes under an hour – check out my recipe here, where this recipe for ricotta gnocchi was originally published as well). But store-bought ricotta works just as well. The other thing I love about gnocchi is that it’s great with just about any sauce – I tossed it with a simple marinara sauce here, but meaty bolognese, nutty pesto, or creamy vodka sauce would all work just as well.
- 12 ounces ricotta
- 2 cups “00” pasta flour, divided (substitute all purpose flour)
- 1 egg
- Put the ricotta, 1 cup of the flour, and the egg in a large bowl and stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
- Begin kneading the dough with your hands. The amount of flour you need to add will depend on how much moisture is in your ricotta, and how long you let it strain. Continue adding flour, ¼ cup at a time, until you have a smooth, elastic dough that is soft but not overly sticky.
- Roll into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Separate the ball into 8 or so pieces. Working one at a time, roll out on a floured work surface into a long, even snake.
- Using a pastry cutter or knife cut the snake into ½-inch segments and transfer to a parchment paper-lined plate or baking sheet.
- Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Add the gnocchi all at once and cook, stirring often, for 3 to 5 minutes, until they all float to the surface.
- Drain and immediately toss with your favorite pasta sauce.