Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ricotta gnocchi with lemon zest and parsley

I was never a big fan of gnocchi (pronounced nyo-kee). Too many times I tasted gnocchi that was too dense and heavy. I always assumed that it was quite difficult to get right, so I never attempted it at home. Most gnocchi is made with potato, which seemed very challenging. But when I found a recipe for ricotta gnocchi, I thought I could give it a shot. This gnocchi is actually quite traditional too- but it is usually found in the Florence region of Italy.

I promise it is not too difficult. As the main ingredient is ricotta rather than potato, all you have to do is peel open a container of ricotta instead of baking potatoes and scooping them out. I made it for a friend of mine on a weekday night, and we were able to enjoy it in 30 minutes. It was fun making gnocchi for her while she snapped photos. Makes food blogging a whole lot easier!

The ricotta gives it a light, airy texture which makes for the best kind of gnocchi. The outside is perfectly crispy- so addicting! Another reason why I love this recipe is the use of lemon zest- it tastes so vibrant and spring-like. I really try not to exaggerate, but this is the best gnocchi I have ever had. Don't believe me? Try it and find out! :)

Pan-Fried Lemon-Ricotta Gnocchi
Recipe from Jaden's Steamy Kitchen (slightly edited)
serves 2

1 cup whole milk ricotta
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (plus extra for garnishing)
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon lemon zest (plus extra for garnishing)
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup all purpose flour, sifted
1 tablespoon chopped parsley (plus extra for garnishing)
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Combine ricotta, parmesan, yolk, zest, parsley, and salt in large bowl. Mix well. Sprinkle half of the flour on the mixture, gently turn with spatula a few times to incorporate. Dump mixture on clean, lightly floured countertop. Sprinkle remaining flour on top of the mixture. Gently knead with your fingertips, just bringing together the mixture until flour is incorporated through. This only should take a minute or two.

2. Divide dough into 4 parts. Take one part and roll into a long, 1" diameter log. Cut gnocchi into 1" pieces.

3. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil. when butter is just lightly browned, add gnocchi in single layer. Fry on one side for 2 minutes, flip. Fry other side for 1-2 minutes. Timing really depends on how big/thick your gnocchi is. Do a taste test - do you taste flour? Not done yet. Serve with a sprinkling of lemon zest, parmesan and parsley.


  1. Hello! Thanks for stopping by my blog to admire the LeCreuset pots. I am absolutely in love with them. I just browsed through some of your posts and I am thrilled by your recipes. The macarons class looks like so much fun. I am planning to take the bread making class at the San Fran baking institute one of these years. I love San Francisco, probably one of my favorite cities. I was going to take the class this September, but it won't work out so maybe next year.

  2. Thank you! I am planning a post to showcase my new Le Creuset- the same one you got, cassis 3.5 oval! :)

  3. This looks so delicious!I love that the gnocci is pan fried! Yum!

  4. Hi Valentina, thanks for your comment! Yes, it's delicious pan-fried: crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. You should try making it! :)

  5. Yumm this sounds delicious. I agree-I like gnocchi but have a hard time making an entire entree of it because of its density. This seems like a great alternative. Also, YES to people taking photos as you cook. I lose too many opportunities to write new posts because of my sheer impatience to set down the spoon, pick up camera, and click.