Two of the biggest obstacles of making your own dinner from scratch: the effort and time commitment. After a long day of work, it’s all too easy to rely on ready-made eats to nourish yourself as you wind down for the evening. (And as much as I like to tell myself on occasion, a bowl of cereal is not a well-balanced dinner.) That’s why super quick and simple recipes can come to the rescue—such as this protein-packed ricotta gnocchi recipe by Ali Martin of Gimme Some Oven.
Ahead, you’ll see what we love most about this homemade ricotta gnocchi recipe, plus tips to make it as delicious and satisfying as possible.
Why we love this ricotta gnocchi recipe
To start, the simplicity of this ricotta gnocchi allows it to be the perfect weeknight meal. It’s beginner- and budget-friendly, requires only four ingredients (plus salt and pepper), and takes a mere 20 minutes to complete. Since this gnocchi recipe uses ricotta in lieu of the standard potatoes, it takes half the usual time to make it. Fresh and fast, FTW. Plus, of course, all that cheesy goodness is basically guaranteed to hit the spot.
Martin suggests opting for whole milk ricotta cheese. Per the USDA, a half-cup serving offers over nine grams of protein and 255 milligrams of calcium—the latter of which will provide around a quarter of your recommended daily intake of the bone-protecting mineral. Each egg yolk will also offer a bit over 2.5 grams of protein, and a serving of freshly grated parmesan will contribute a similar amount.
Tips to ace this ricotta gnocchi recipe
Since ricotta is the star of the show, Martin suggests prioritizing varieties from high-quality brands.
She also advises using Antimo Caputo Chef’s 00 Flour to make your gnocchi ultra light. Otherwise, a standard all-purpose flour will suffice. In either case, Martin highly recommends using a scale to measure your flour accurately and yield the best ricotta gnocchi possible. (Prefer to keep things as simple as possible and stick to a measuring cup? Add the flour directly to the cup—versus scooping the flour with the cup itself—to avoid using too much.)
You can choose your own adventure as far as your sauce goes. Need inspo? Martin’s top choices are brown butter sage sauce, fresh pesto, and spicy marinara. You can also go the extra mile by whipping up one of these W+G approved gnocchi sauce recipes.
To round out your meal, consider pairing the gnocchi with a side salad and/or cooked veggies.
Parmesan and ricotta gnocchi recipe
Yields 3-4 servings
1 1/2 cups (one 15-ounce container) whole milk ricotta cheese
3 egg yolks
1 cup (about 4 ounces) ‘00’ flour or all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (about 1 ounce) freshly grated parmesan
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1. Prep the water. Bring a large stockpot of generously salted water to a boil over high heat.
2. Drain the ricotta. While your water is heating, place 3-4 paper towels on a large plate and spread the ricotta on the towels in an even layer. Place another layer of 3-4 towels on top of the ricotta. Then press down gently to let the excess moisture soak into the towel, trying to soak up as much of the excess liquid as possible. Transfer the ricotta to a large mixing bowl. (If it sticks, just use a rubber spatula to scrape it off.) The drained ricotta should now weigh about 12 ounces.
3. Mix your dough ingredients. Add the egg yolks to the ricotta and stir briefly to combine. Add in the flour, Parmesan, salt and pepper, and stir until evenly combined. Avoid over-mixing. The dough will be a bit moist and maybe a bit sticky, but it should be holding together well. If it feels too wet, just add in another few tablespoons of flour.
4. Roll out and cut the dough. Shape the dough into a round disk with your hands, then transfer it to a lightly-floured cutting board and sprinkle the dough lightly with flour. Using a knife or a bench scraper, cut the dough into eight even pie wedges. Using your hands, gently roll out each wedge out into an even log, approximately 3/4-inch wide. Cut each log into individual bite-sized little gnocchi squares. Lightly dust the gnocchi with flour once more and give them a quick toss so that they are all lightly coated with flour. (This will help prevent them from sticking together.)
5. Boil the gnocchi. Carefully transfer the gnocchi to the boiling water to cook. Then once they float—usually after 30 seconds or so—drain the gnocchi.
6. Serve. Serve immediately, tossed with your favorite sauce and whatever other ingredients sound good!