Dish of the Week: Ricotta Gnocchi (Gnudi)

From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. Find other dishes of the week here.

This week, we’re bringing you a recipe for ricotta gnocchi.

Gnocchi are Italian dumplings typically made with flour, egg, and potatoes. Due to the dumplings tight, rounded shape, the name gnocchi is thought to have derived from the Italian nocca, which means knuckle, or the word nocchio, meaning a knot in wood. The pasta has been a traditional dish since Roman Times. Then, however, it was made from an almost porridge-like dough consisting of semolina flour and eggs. The incorporation of potato didn’t come until the 16th century, when Spanish explorers brought potatoes to Europea kitchens.

Today, many versions of the dumpling exist, made with everything from spinach and sweet potatoes to beets and plantains. And of course, there’s the ricotta version. Also referred to as gnudi, ricotta gnocchi are made by going ultra light on the flour and subbing the creamy cheese for the usual potato. The result is an light, pillowy dumpling that is almost like the inside of a ravioli.

This recipe, from Bon Appétit, combines a mixture of ricotta, eggs, parmesan, and flour to make a beautifully soft and airy pasta. Serve it with a quick and easy pomodoro sauce or a simple sauce of brown butter and sage.

Ricotta Gnocchi (Gnudi)

yields 6 servings

16 oz ricotta (about 2 cups)
1 large egg, beaten to blend
1 large egg yolk, beaten to blend
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan or Grana Padano, plus more
1/2 tsp kosher salt plus more
1/2 cup all-purpose flour plus more
Sauce and parmesan, for serving


Mix ricotta, egg, egg yolk, pepper, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and 1/2 teaspoons salt in a large bowl until well combined. Add 1/2 cup flour; stir just until combined and mixture forms a ball (mixture will be soft and moist with some bits of ricotta remaining; add more flour by the tablespoonful if it feels wet).

Dust a rimmed baking sheet generously with flour. Using 2 large soup spoons, shape heaping tablespoonfuls of dough into football shapes; place on baking sheet and dust with more flour (you should have 30).

Cook gnudi in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until cooked through and tender, 5-6 minutes (gnudi will quickly float to surface; continue cooking or gnudi will be gummy in the center).

Using a slotted spoon, divide gnudi among bowls. Top with desired sauce and more parmesan.
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Brooke Viggiano is a contributing writer who is always looking to share Houston's coolest and tastiest happenings with the Houston Press readers.
Contact: Brooke Viggiano