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Ricotta Gnocchi with Lemon and Sage

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

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.

Often, traditional potato gnocchi a bit heavy. But don’t worry! My recipe for Ricotta Gnocchi with Lemon and Sage is perfect, light and soft every time.

Ricotta Gnocchi in a lemn, sage and walnut butter sauce.

What are Ricotta Gnocchi?

Ricotta gnocchi, sometimes known as ‘gnudi’ (that’s Tuscan for naked) are beautifully soft and light little dumplings made from ricotta cheese, Parmesan, eggs and flour or semolina.

Unlike their denser cousin potato gnocchi, ‘gnudi’ are guaranteed to be light and pillowy soft. Delicious!

Better still, they are super easy to make at home. I serve them with a gloriously rich brown butter sauce with fresh sage, zesty lemon and crunchy walnuts, this is comfort food Italian style. SO good!

Ingredients and process steps for making ricotta gnocchi. From top left:  Ricotta in a strainer, flour and eggs, stirred dough, dough cut into pieces.

How to make Ricotta Gnocchi

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.

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

How to substitute Ricotta

Depending on where you live, ricotta can be either difficult to get hold of or very expensive. Don’t let that put you off!

The good news is that I have tested this recipe using plain old supermarket own-brand cottage cheese, and it works perfectly. You simply 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.

Fancy making your own ricotta? It couldn’t be easier! Check out my recipe for Homemade Cream Cheese and stop before you blend the cheese curds. This tasty, crumbly cheese only costs pennies to make at home.

Lemon Sage Ricotta Gnocchi

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

what can I substitute for ricotta?

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. See my notes above.

How do I store 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.

Ricotta gnocchi frying in a skillet of browned butter.

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

A close up of a bowl of Ricotta Gnocchi with Lemon, sage and walnut sauce.

Love these flavours? Try my Spinach and Ricotta Dumplings! Green and gorgeous, they are a real vegetarian treat.

Ricotta Gnocchi in a lemon, sage and walnut butter sauce.

Ricotta Gnocchi With Lemon and Sage Recipe

Ricotta Gnocchi in a lemn, sage and walnut butter sauce.

Ricotta Gnocchi with Lemon Sage Sauce

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!

Ingredients

for the gnocchi:

  • 250g (½ lb.) ricotta
  • 75g (2.5 oz.) Parmesan, finely grated
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 125g (1 cup) plain or all purpose flour
  • extra flour to roll out

for the lemon sage sauce:

  • 1 medium lemon
  • 125g (1 stick + 1 Tbsp) unsalted butter
  • small bunch fresh sage, leaves only
  • 2 fat cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 50g (½ cup) walnuts, roughly chopped

to serve:

  • extra grated Parmesan
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. MAKE DOUGH: 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.
  2. SHAPE DOUGH: 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.
  3. COOK GNOCCHI: 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.
  4. PREPARE SAUCE: 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.
  5. COOK SAUCE: 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.
  6. ADD GNOCHI: 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.
  7. SERVE: 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.

Notes

Imperial and cup measurements are approximate. For best and most accurate results I use and recommend a digital kitchen scale like the one below.

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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

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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 🇦🇺.

Articles: 293

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