The worlds’ most easy homemade gnocchi – by using ricotta instead of mashed potatoes, you can make gnocchi from scratch in just 30 minutes. The gnocchi is light and fluffy, like mini pillows of ricotta goodness. Toss ricotta gnocchi in a simple browned butter sauce or a tomato sauce – you choose!
EASIEST homemade Gnocchi recipe
Pillowy soft gnocchi is a thing of beauty. And while nowadays, we can get great store bought gnocchi, there is something so satisfying about making it at home.
So what if I told you that you can make homemade gnocchi from scratch in 30 minutes?
Start to finish, including cooking. With no special equipment required and very little mess!
This method I’m sharing today is a ricotta gnocchi. A much easier way to make gnocchi than the traditional mashed potato method, ricotta gnocchi is faster and virtually foolproof.
Anyone can make ricotta gnocchi, even beginner cooks. On the other hand, potato gnocchi is a recipe for capable cooks, requiring a deft hand, a gentle touch and a good feel for dough.
Ricotta gnocchi has both a similar texture and flavour to traditional potato gnocchi!
How to make really easy Homemade Gnocchi
Ricotta is the secret ingredient for this really easy homemade gnocchi. I call ricotta gnocchi “Italian fast food” – because it’s so quick to make!
Here’s what you need:
- Salt and pepper
Just mix them together, then use your hands to bring it all together into a soft dough.
Roll into ropes then cut into bite size pieces.
How to cook Gnocchi
Gnocchi is cooked in the same way as pasta – in boiling water. Fresh homemade gnocchi only takes a minute or two. You will know when gnocchi is cooked because they rise to the surface!
Then just drain and toss in your sauce of choice.
Best sauce for gnocchi
The classic sauce for gnocchi is butter sauce. I love butter sauce because it really let’s the flavour of gnocchi come through.
But sometimes, I like my gnocchi to be nice and saucy like pastas. On such days, I make a tomato pasta sauce instead.
Both are lovely, so you choose because both sauce options are provided! 🙂
Making gnocchi ahead of time
Gnocchi freezes brilliantly! Just freeze the uncooked gnocchi, then just cook from frozen. Imagine how smug you will feel if you have a stash of homemade gnocchi in your freezer!
- Easy homemade Pumpkin Gnocchi with Sage Butter Sauce
- Pan Fried Gnocchi with Pumpkin & Spinach – quick and easy, made with store bought gnocchi
Easy Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi
- 8 oz / 250g ricotta - ordinary supermarket ricotta , not expensive fresh Italian ricotta (Note 1)
- 3/4 cup / 75 g freshly grated parmesan cheese (Note 2)
- 3/4 to 1 cup / 112 - 150g plain flour , plus more for dusting (Note 3)
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Black pepper
Browned Butter Sauce
- 4 tbsp / 60 g unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp salt (or omit if using salted butter)
- Black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- 1/2 brown onion , finely diced
- 28 oz / 800 g canned crushed tomatoes
- 1 tbsp mixed dried Italian herbs (or any combination of dried parsley, basil, oregano and thyme)
- 1 tsp salt
- Black pepper
- Freshly grated parmesan
- Fresh parsley , finely chopped (optional)
- Combine the gnocchi ingredients in a bowl except the flour.
- Use a rubber spatula to mix until the egg is partially mixed into the ricotta. Then add 3/4 cup of flour and mix until just combined so it is a sticky very soft dough, but not like batter. Use the remaining flour, 1 tbsp at a time to get the dough consistency right. I find 3/4 cup is enough. (Note 3)
- Turn it out on a work surface lightly dusted with flour, sprinkle a tiny bit of flour on top then pat it down to a disc about 1"/2.5cm thick. Cut it into 8 pieces.
- Roll a piece into a log about 3/5" / 1.5 cm in diameter and about 10"/25cm long. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Line 4 logs up, then cut them into 3/5" / 1.5cm pieces. Repeat with remaining 4 logs. (Note 4)
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Tumble the gnocchi in and cook for around 2 1/2 minutes, or until the gnocchi is floating on the surface for around 30 seconds.
- Reserve 1 mug of cooking water. Then drain and add the gnocchi into the frypan with your sauce of choice (you only need one of them, not both). Follow the instructions below.
Browned Butter Sauce
- Melt the butter in a large fry pan over medium high heat. Let it bubble until it turns brown. Add the salt and pepper. If the gnocchi isn't ready yet, remove from the stove until ready.
- Pour the cooked gnocchi into the fry pan along with 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water. Gently stir, coating the gnocchi in the melted butter, cooking for 1 minute. This is the step when the butter and starch in the water emulsify so the sauce coats each piece of gnocchi.
- Do a taste test and add more salt if required. Serve immediately.
- Heat the olive oil over medium high heat.
- Add the garlic and onion. Sauce for 3 to 5 minutes until the onion is translucent.
- Add the remaining ingredients and cook for 10 minutes. Do a taste test and adjust saltiness to taste.
- Add the gnocchi and 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water. Cook for 1 minute, stirring gently. The olive oil and starch in the water will emulsify to thicken the sauce so it clings to the gnocchi better.
- Serve immediately as the gnocchi will start to harden after about 15 minutes as it cools. You can reheat in the microwave to soften.
- Garnish with freshly grated parmesan and parsley, if desired.
Nutrition assuming 3 servings with Browned Butter Sauce (left) and Tomato Sauce (right).