I haven’t been making much this summer, just focusing on home projects. We often ate easily prepared meals to beat the heat mostly but I know September is around the corner where I’ll be cooking more than chicken or making salads. I did manage to throw in a few Instant Pot dinners here and there.
Well, this past weekend Hurricane Henri was supposed to land in our area. I wanted some comfort food for all of us so I decided to make a dinner of ricotta gnocchi with marinara sauce served on the side with some Italian sausage with peppers and onions. Thankfully the storm downgraded and did not hit us head on. All we had was basically a rainy day and a comforting dinner to look forward to.
Ricotta Gnocchi is actually easy to make. The tiny dumplings once cooked are a bit heavier than your standard pasta so a small portion goes a long way. I made ours with a simple marinara sauce however depending on the season or meal you can serve them with melted butter and herbs or your favorite Bolognese. I also love making a simple soup with sausage, gnocchi dumplings and spinach, kale or escarole.
Ricotta Gnocchi in Sauce
Servings: 8 people
1 ¾ cups to 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus extra for kneading and dusting. Spoon flour into the measuring cup, don’t pack it down
16 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese drain the excess liquid
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Marinara tomato sauce or
3 Tablespoons of melted butter and Sage leaves or Rosemary sprigs (see option
Add extra grated Parmesan cheese for serving
In a large bowl, add the flour. Make a well in the center and add ricotta cheese, Parmesan, eggs, and salt. Mix until combined. Turn mixture to a well-floured board and begin gently kneading. Add a bit more flour as needed until the dough stops sticking to your fingers.
Form into a large ball and quarter the dough into four sections. Roll each section into 1/2-inch-thick rope. Cut each rope in 1-inch pieces.
To make the ridges, roll each piece down the tines of a fork or gnocchi board.
Spread them out on baking tray lined with parchment and sprinkled with flour to prevent sticking. Allow the gnocchi to rest a bit while you heat the sauce and boil the water.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat.
Gently add the gnocchi to the boiling water and cook until they float to the surface, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon and place into a large serving bowl. Spoon tomato sauce over gnocchi and stir lightly until mixed.
Serve with extra tomato sauce and grated Parmesan cheese or toss the gnocchi in Butter and Herb Sauce.
Butter and Herb sauce option
Put the 3-4 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When it’s melted, add the fresh herbs. Use about 5 washed Sage leaves or a full sprig of Rosemary and heat through in the melted butter.
When the gnocchi rise to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to the skillet. When all the gnocchi are tossed, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary, and serve immediately.
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