Ricotta Gnocchi with Spring Vegetables


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.

Prep Time:
1 hrs 20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins
6 servings


Ricotta Gnocchi

  • Semolina for dusting

  • 1 cup sheep's-milk or other whole-milk ricotta cheese

  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese plus 1/2 cup shaved, divided

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 3/4-1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 large egg yolk

Spring Vegetable Sauce

  • 1 cup shelled fresh fava beans (about 2 pounds unshelled) or frozen lima beans (thawed)

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 cups halved and thinly sliced leeks (about 2 small)

  • 1 ½ cups sliced asparagus

  • 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen (thawed)

  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • teaspoon ground pepper

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or tarragon

  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley


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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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 (per serving)

445 Calories
22g Fat
44g Carbs
21g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 445
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 10g 35%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 21g 42%
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 11g 57%
Cholesterol 115mg 38%
Vitamin A 2087IU 42%
Vitamin C 20mg 22%
Folate 248mcg 62%
Sodium 576mg 25%
Calcium 292mg 22%
Iron 5mg 27%
Magnesium 90mg 21%
Potassium 579mg 12%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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