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ricotta gnocchi
Ricotta Gnocchi in White Sauce
Originated from: Italy
Occasion: Any time
Contributed by: Mary Melfi (her sister's recipe)

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For the gnocchi dough:

1 container of ricotta (454 g)
2 cups flour
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon salt

For white sauce:

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup cream
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

A large pot of water for cooking gnocchi
about 1 tablespoon of salt to add to the pot of water

Extra grated Parmesan (about 1/2 cup) for garnish
Extra chopped fresh parsley (about 1/4 cup) for garnish


To make the gnocchi dough:

1. Beat egg.

2. Place 2 cups of flour in a large bowl.

3. Add salt and mix.

4. Add ricotta and mix.

5. Add egg and work into a soft dough -- about three to four minutes of kneading (by hand).

6. Divide dough into two portions.

7. Place balls of dough in two separate bowls. Cover with clear plastic and place in refrigerator.

8. Let the dough rest for one to two hours.

9. On a floured wooden board roll out one of the gnocchi dough balls to thickness of about 1/4 inch (or a touch more depending on one's personal preference).

10. Cut strips of dough about 3/4 inch wide and 10 inches long (actually the length of the pasta strip does not matter).

11. Cut the strips of dough into small sticks about 3/4 inch wide and 1/4 inch long (They look a bit like cavetelli strips except they're thicker and a touch shorter).

12A. Version 1: Pinch each strip with a fork to make decorative dents.

12B. Version II: Pass each strip of dough on a floured gnocchi board. Then using your two fingers (those closest to the thumb) press on the dough and roll it towards you, so that two tiny shell-like indentations are made on the pasta strips. Keep doing this until all the pasta strips are shaped.

13A. Version I: Let the gnocchi air dry for about 10 minutes before cooking in boiling water.

13B. Version II: Place the gnocchi on a cookie sheet (one that will fit inside the freezer) and spread the gnocchi out. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer. When the gnocchi are completely frozen (wait at least two hours), then put them in a strainer, and strain out any excess flour still clinging to the pasta (The less excess flour you have on the gnocchi, the easier it will be for them to cook later on in the boiling water.). Place the frozen gnocchi in a plastic bag (Now that they are nicely frozen they will not stick to each other) and put them back in the freezer. When needed, take the gnocchi out of the freezer and cook them in a large pot of boiling water.

To make the sauce:

1. In a saucepan, melt the butter on low heat.

2. Add cream, finely chopped fresh parsley, salt and pepper.

Mix well.

3. Add Parmesan cheese. Mix.

4. Simmer for two to three minutes.

5. Keep warm (on very low heat).

To prepare the gnocchi in white sauce:

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.

2. Cook the gnocchi in rapidly boiling salted water for about about 2 to 3 minutes, noting, that if the gnocchi are frozen they will take longer a touch longer to cook (Technically the gnocchi can be removed once they rise to the surface, but most cooks want to make sure the egg in the gnocchi pasta dough is sufficiently cooked before taking them out).

3. Drain well.

4. Place the gnocchi in a large bowl. Toss with half the sauce. Mix well.

5. Place the gnocchi in individual plates and top with more sauce. Garnish with extra Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.

6. Serve warm.


My sister has been making these ricotta gnocchi for over two decades. A friend of a friend gave her the recipe years ago. I have no idea where this type of ricotta gnocchi was originally made. Obviously, if the gnocchi are tossed with a white cream sauce then the dish has a Northern Italian flavor and if one tosses the gnocchi with red sauce than it has a Southern one. All I am absolutely sure of is that these ricotta gnocchi are incredibly easy to make, and they're nutritious as well -- a winning combination. The fact that they are delicious is a bonus, I suppose (Or should it be the other way round -- first taste, then nutrition????). Whichever way, these home-made gnocchi are worth the time and effort. Photo: by the contributor.

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