(adapted from Gnocchi Solo Gnocchi) - Serves 6

This is my go-to recipe for ricotta gnocchi. They come together quickly, are extremely versatile, and freeze consistently well. It’s the perfect first course for an elegant dinner or a light meal with close friends.

  • 2 cups whole milk ricotta OR a 15-ounce container, placed in a cheesecloth-lined colander set in a bowl and drained at least 30 minutes before using
  • 1-1¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour + more for shaping
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ cup finely grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano or ricotta salata cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Place the drained ricotta, grated cheese, egg, and salt in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Add 1 cup of the flour and mix lightly with a spatula using a cutting motion. Add only as much additional flour as you need to create a soft, workable dough. Be careful not to overwork or gnocchi will be tough.

Gather the dough into a smooth ball and place it on a lightly floured board. Take a walnut-sized portion of dough, roll it into a 2-inch log, and cut the log into thirds. Test cook the three gnocchi in a small deep saucepan of simmering water until they rise to the surface. Check the texture and add more flour to the dough if necessary — 1/8 cup at a time — until the additional tests indicate you’ve reached the desired consistency. The gnocchi should hold together when cooked without being gummy.

Shape immediately or cover and refrigerate the dough for up to 2 hours, then proceed with shaping as follows:

Divide the remaining dough into four to six pieces and roll each piece into a finger-thick rope on a lightly floured board. Cut each rope into ¾-inch pieces. You can press each piece over a wooden gnocchi or butter paddle or the reversed tines of a fork to create the small pockets and ridges that help the sauce cling to the gnocchi — or simply cut the ropes and leave the gnocchi unshaped. Place the finished gnocchi close together, but not touching, on a lightly floured tray. If not using immediately, place in the refrigerator for up to 1 hour.

Bring a very large, deep pot of water — no less than 1 gallon — to a simmer. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons salt and drop in the gnocchi, cooking no more than half the batch at a time. Stir a couple of times with a wooden spoon so the gnocchi move gently. The water should remain at a simmer rather than a rolling boil.

Have ready warmed serving bowls and a large mixing bowl with half your chosen sauce portioned into it. As the gnocchi rise to the surface, remove them with a slotted spoon, toss with the sauce, garnish as desired, and serve immediately. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi and sauce.

Sauce suggestions: All savory sauces will work with these gnocchi.

From Gnocchi Solo Gnocchi by Christine Y. Hickman, copyright the author.