I find ricotta gnocchi a bit ironic. You would expect it to be light and delicate, that much more so than a traditional potato gnocchi. Instead though, it seems much better suited to hold up to a rich, heavy sauce than it’s cousin - the ricotta actually firming up nicely as it cooks making for a heavier chew instead of what you think it would be.
It’s either that, or the hands of my 3-year-old helped to overwork the dough a little bit. I’ll let you decide…
Sunday Night Dinners: Ricotta gnocchi with Italian sausage-balsamic ragu
- 16 oz whole milk ricotta
- 2 cups flour
- 2 eggs
You’ll find it helps if you have time to drain the ricotta in a fine strainer or cheesecloth for 30-minutes or so, getting rid of any excess water you can. This will help a your dough come together and be a little less gummy.
Combine your cheese, eggs and 1 cup of the flour in a bowl, mixing it together. Slowly add in more flour until your dough comes together and loses it’s “stick”. I used a little more than a cup and a half.
Divide your dough into 3-4 portions and roll each out into a 1/2” wide roll. Cut each and use a gnocchi roller or a fork (which I used) to get the traditional ridges in your gnocchi.
Put a couple dozen gnocchi at a time into some well-salted, boiling water, cooking them just until they float to the top. Remove and toss with a little olive oil while the others finish cooking. Mix with sauce and serve.
The ragu was just what happened to be around the house and in the freezer. I started by browning about a 1/2 lb of sweet Italian sausage, then added 1/2 cup finely diced onion, a sprig of chopped rosemary and a little dried oregano. After the onion turns translucent, add in about 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan. Allow the vinegar flavor to cook for for 5-7 minutes before adding a large can of chopped tomatoes and a little salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 30-45 minutes, covered (longer if you have the time) and serve with your gnocchi or any other noodle.