Gnocchi di Ricotta & Salsa di Pomodoro

gnocchi di ricotta

Gnocchi di Ricotta

Gnocchi di Ricotta is a nice break from the popular potato gnocchi.  The preparation methods are almost identical once you get to the rolling out and cutting phase.

There is just something very special about ricotta gnocchi.  People love the light creamy texture that literally melts in your mouth with every bite. 

They are a little tricky to make, but I hope with this post you will pick up some nice tips and attempt to make your very own Ricotta Gnocchi and enjoy them with your favorite tomato sauce.

The ricotta cheese and the delicate nature of this gnocchi are the STARS here and are what should shine the brightest in this dish.  Therefore, this type of gnocchi is best served with the simplest of tomato sauces.  Or simply tossed in melted butter with a nice sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Excellent ricotta gnocchi making is a true balance act! A balancing act between a semi-sticky workable dough that will obtain a heavenly result versus an over-floured dense dough that will make very unappealing gnocchi, especially for the true gnocchi lovers at heart.

The allure of making this ricotta gnocchi is quite simply the elegant nature of the dish.  Hand-formed pillows of ricotta cheese that, when made with accuracy and with care, are absolutely delicious and they will always impress your guests.

The biggest mistake in making gnocchi is the addition of too much flour and not enough egg for binding them.  Anyone who has made gnocchi from scratch before knows the balance of perfect gnocchi is not always easy to obtain. If one adds an overabundance of flour in hopes of making them easier to work with and to finish quicker, the gnocchi will be too dense and not even close to the delicate pillow type end result that we are looking for.

If not enough egg is used, the gnocchi will not have the binding power it needs when boiled and they will fall apart in the boiling water.  Anyone who has made gnocchi before has had this experience. Many people step back on the amount of egg in the hope of not have to work with an already sticky dough that will become even more sticky from the addition of eggs.

This is the tricky part of ricotta gnocchi making  and the balancing act that needs to be mastered so that one can begin to make outstanding gnocchi from scratch.

The bottom line is Practice!  Practice makes perfect and that stands true in cooking too.  And it especially holds true in the art of making perfect gnocchi from scratch.

In a ricotta gnocchi dough, the dough should remain semi-sticky!  Learning to work with it in that way is the trick.

Now, here is the trick! Once the dough is made, use some flour with a small amount of semolina mixed in.  Flour your work surface, place the dough on the nicely floured area and pat it out to a uniform rectangle. (This will be explained further below)

Now lightly dust the top of the rectangle with the flour mixture.  Do not work the flour into the dough!  Just coat the top so it’s no longer sticky to the touch.  This will make it very workable without adversely affecting the inside of the dough with excess flour.

If the inside of this dough should still be very sticky and moist. It is perfect!   This is what will eventually give the deliciously light, smooth and creamy melted cheese like consistency that we are aiming for.

At this point, cut index-finger width strips from the short side of your rectangle and GENTLY roll them with the palm of your hands to form a uniform rope, adding small amounts of the flour mixture to your work surface if the dough begins to stick.

Hint – Remember the more you can work with this gnocchi without the addition of more flour, the lighter and more elegant they will be.