Traditional gnocchi is made with potatoes, but this easy recipe uses fresh ricotta cheese. For the lightest, most tender gnocchi, use a good-quality ricotta like Bellwether Farms or Calabro and gently but thoroughly pat it dry after draining to remove any extra liquid. Serve as a vegetarian main course or as part of a spring buffet with poached salmon or grilled chicken.

Lisa Weiss
Source: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 2017


Ricotta Gnocchi
Spring Vegetable Sauce


Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare gnocchi: Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and generously dust with semolina flour.

  • Drain ricotta and pat dry with paper towels. Combine the ricotta, grated Parmesan and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; add 3/4 cup flour and stir until just combined. Whisk egg and egg yolk in a small bowl and stir into the ricotta mixture until loosely combined. Generously dust a work surface with all-purpose flour and turn the dough out onto it. Gently knead the dough with floured hands; if it seems very wet and sticky, work in more flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, gently folding it over and continuing to dust the surface underneath until you're able to form it into a 3-by-6-inch log.

  • With a floured knife, cut the log crosswise into 4 equal pieces. Starting at the center of the dough and pressing lightly with your fingers, roll each portion into a 3/4-by-15-inch rope, gently pulling and stretching the dough as you roll. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces and place on the prepared baking sheet. Place in the freezer until the gnocchi are frozen, about 30 minutes. (If making ahead, transfer to a sealable bag once frozen. Do not defrost before boiling.)

  • To prepare sauce: If using fresh fava beans, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the shelled beans and cook for 30 seconds. Drain well. Remove the "cap" at the top and slip each bean out of its waxy coating.

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in asparagus, peas and the favas (or lima beans). Add broth, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook, stirring often, until the asparagus is almost tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

  • To cook gnocchi: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and drop in the frozen gnocchi. Cook, stirring gently, for 4 to 5 minutes. As the gnocchi float to the top, scoop them into a large bowl with a slotted spoon.

  • Reheat the sauce, if necessary, and stir in butter, basil (or tarragon) and parsley. Pour the sauce over the gnocchi; gently stir to combine. Serve topped with shaved Parmesan.


To make ahead: Freeze uncooked gnocchi (Steps 1-3) for up to 1 month.

Equipment: Parchment paper

Nutrition Facts

445.3 calories; protein 20.9g 42% DV; carbohydrates 43.5g 14% DV; exchange other carbs 3; dietary fiber 9.7g 39% DV; sugars 6.2g; fat 21.5g 33% DV; saturated fat 11.3g 57% DV; cholesterol 114.6mg 38% DV; vitamin a iu 2087.4IU 42% DV; niacin equivalents 5.4mg 41% DV; vitamin b6 0.3mg 21% DV; vitamin c 19.5mg 33% DV; folate 248mcg 62% DV; calcium 291.8mg 29% DV; iron 4.8mg 27% DV; magnesium 89.7mg 32% DV; potassium 579.4mg 16% DV; sodium 576mg 23% DV; thiamin 0.4mg 36% DV; calories from fat 193.4kcal; percent of calories from carbs 38; percent of calories from fat 42; percent of calories from protein 18; percent of calories from sat fat 22.

Reviews (3)

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3 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
Definitely a must-try Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This is a dish that dreams are made of! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
If you're making this as a main dish for a hungry family of four you should double the recipe. I've made this twice once with the leeks and once substituted onions for leeks and both were good. I did not use semolina for dusting. Also I have made this with half all-purpose and half white whole wheat flours and the gnocchi turned out fine. Read More