Making restaurant-quality ricotta gnocchi is easy to do at home. You can make the dough in under twenty minutes then cook or freeze for later. Directions for making the dough, cooking gnocchi, and freezing are all shown below. There are lots of ways to serve ricotta gnocchi. It’s excellent plain tossed with a little olive oil, parmesan cheese, and herbs. Our favorite way to serve it is to add a buttery crust and toss with a light marinara sauce. We have shared how to do this below.
3/4 cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for baking sheet and work bench
1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated, plus more for serving (about 1/3 cup)
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 cup (250 grams) whole milk ricotta cheese
1 large egg
2 tablespoons butter, optional
2 cups warmed marinara sauce, optional, see our homemade marinara sauce recipe
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Scatter a few tablespoons of flour on top.
Mix 3/4 cup of flour, parmesan cheese, and lemon zest in a large bowl until well blended. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture then add the ricotta cheese and egg. Using a wooden spoon, stir until the dough comes together. The dough should come together within 20 to 30 strokes of your spoon. To keep the gnocchi light when cooked, be careful not to overwork the dough.
Transfer dough to a well-floured work bench and pat it together. Shape into a rectangle then cut into 4 even pieces. If the dough is tacky, add a little more flour.
Gently roll each piece into a 12-inch long rope about 3/4-inch thick, adding more flour as necessary to prevent sticking.
Cut the ropes into 3/4-inch pieces then transfer to the prepared baking sheet with flour. Shimmy the baking sheet so that the flour lightly coats each piece. Cook gnocchi or freeze for later (see notes).
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add gnocchi and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until the gnocchi begin to float. As they finish cooking, use a slotted spoon to remove from water.
If serving with butter and marinara sauce, while the gnocchi cook, melt butter in a wide skillet over medium heat. When the butter is bubbling add the cooked gnocchi. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until gnocchi has browned on all sides, about 3 minutes. Toss with warmed marinara sauce and serve topped with parmesan cheese.