Lemon Sage Ricotta Gnocchi

Hands up if you’ve ever eaten chewy, gluey, reheated gnocchi? I think we’ve all been disappointed by gnocchi before, to the point where I avoid ordering it in restaurants as it is so hit and miss. In fact, I find traditional potato gnocchi a bit heavy, which is where this recipe for Lemon Sage Ricotta Gnocchi comes to the rescue.

Ricotta gnocchi, sometimes known as ‘gnudi’ are beautifully soft and light little dumplings and they are so easy to make at home. Served with a gloriously rich brown butter sauce with sage, lemon and crunchy walnuts, this is comfort food Italian style.

The dough for ricotta gnocchi couldn’t be easier to make. You simply stir the ingredients together, then roll out, cut, cook and serve. Trust me, you already learnt the technique for making these all the way back in kindergarten playing with playdough! The gnocchi freeze brilliantly and can be cooked from frozen, so it’s worth making up a big batch and keeping them in the freezer for a carb-emergency.

Depending on where you are in the world, ricotta can be either difficult to get hold of, or very expensive. The good news is that I have tested this recipe using plain old supermarket own-brand cottage cheese, and it works perfectly. You just need to drain off any extra liquid before you stir it through the dough. The result is a little more rustic, but none of your guests will be any wiser.

Have you tried making gnocchi before? What is your favourite gnocchi sauce? Let me know in the comments below. Take care out there and happy cooking! x J

Lemon Sage Ricotta Gnocchi

Let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below, or using the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram. Happy cooking!

Lemon Sage Ricotta Gnocchi

Lemon Sage Ricotta Gnocchi

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Lemon Sage Ricotta Gnocchi are super simple to make and taste delicious. Served with a brown butter sauce, flavoured with lemon, sage and garlic. Facile e buonissima!


for the gnocchi:

  • 250g ricotta
  • 75g Parmesan, finely grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 125g plain flour
  • extra flour to roll out

for the lemon sage sauce:

  • 1 medium lemon
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • small bunch fresh sage, leaves only
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 50g walnuts, roughly chopped

to serve:

  • extra grated Parmesan
  • freshly ground black pepper


To make the gnocchi, stir together the ricotta, Parmesan, eggs and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour and mix briefly to combine, until you have a soft and pliable dough. If it is extremely sticky, add a tablespoon or two of flour as necessary.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and divide into eight even pieces. Roll each out to a long sausage shape, approximately 20-25cm long. Cut into even-sized pieces (you’ll get around 10 out of each). Toss the gnocchi in a little flour, then use a fork to press lines into the top. Stack completed gnocchi on a plate, layering with baking paper so that they don’t stick to each other. The gnocchi can be frozen at this stage or cooked from fresh.

To cook the gnocchi, heat a large saucepan of well-salted water until boiling. Add the gnocchi to the water, stirring gently so that they don’t stick. The gnocchi are cooked when they float to the surface, around 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and add directly to the sauce below, or place on a tray lined with baking paper.

To make the sauce, use a vegetable peeler to remove the yellow skin of the lemon, taking care to avoid the bitter white pith underneath. Slice the peel into long, thin strips and set aside.

Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted and foamed, add the sage and lemon zest and fry until the sage is crispy and the lemon has curled, then remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with a paper towel.

Add the garlic and cooked gnocchi to the pan, stirring for 2-3 minutes until the gnocchi is well coated and the garlic is aromatic. Divide between four plates, pouring over the buttery sauce. Top with the crispy sage, walnuts, a squeeze of lemon and plenty of parmesan. Season well with salt and cracked pepper.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 764Total Fat: 47gSaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 196mgSodium: 849mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 4gSugar: 1gProtein: 25g


I can’t get any ricotta, what can I substitute?

No problem! You can substitute plain old cottage cheese for ricotta. Make sure to drain it well first, and to break up the curds if it is very clumpy.

How do I store the ricotta gnocchi?

If you aren’t using them immediately, layer them up with baking paper and freeze. The gnocchi can be cooked from frozen, they will need a minute or two longer in the boiling water.

Can I double/halve the recipe?

You can absolutely double the recipe! Rather than halving it I would make the whole thing and freeze what you don’t think you will eat.

Lemon Sage Ricotta Gnocchi

The dough should come together very easily. If it is very sticky, add a little more flour until it is soft and pliable.

Lemon Sage Ricotta Gnocchi

If you don’t want to cook the gnocchi immediately, layer them between sheets of baking paper and freeze until needed.

Lemon Sage Ricotta Gnocchi
Lemon Sage Ricotta Gnocchi
Lemon Sage Ricotta Gnocchi
Lemon Sage Ricotta Gnocchi


Jay Wadams
Jay Wadams

Jay Wadams is a cookbook author and food photographer. Jay is the author of two cookbooks: 'Tasty' (2017) and 'Simply Summer' (2019). Based in Italy 🇮🇹 Germany 🇩🇪 and Australia 🇦🇺.

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