Did you know there are three main base types used for gnocchi: potato, semolina and ricotta? Many Americans know and love potato-based gnocchi, which are cloud light if cooked properly and heavydoughy if cooked poorly.
We are excited to share a recipe for ricotta-based gnocchi. These light, fresh and flavorful gnocchi take a lot less time to make compared to potato gnocchi. They are an excellent alternative to pasta and perfect for when the weather warms.
This dish celebrates and blends the bounty of spring vegetables with the warmth of chicken sausage in a chicken broth. We hope you enjoy these versatile ricotta pillows as much as we do.
Ricotta gnocchi with chicken sausage and vegetables in broth
- 2 cups fresh ricotta drained in a mesh colander (we prefer whole milk Calabro brand)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 egg plus one egg yolk lightly beaten together
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 links hot chicken sausage with casing removed and broken into small ½" pieces (Wegmans or Whole Foods have good quality chicken sausage)
- 8 spears asparagus cut into ½” pieces
- 1 cup frozen or fresh peas
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes (we like red and yellow)
- ¼ cup sliced parsley – see our video on how to properly slice
- 2 cups chicken broth
- ½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- In a bowl or electric stand mixer, whisk ricotta, olive oil, and ¾ tsp. kosher salt for about 2 minutes on medium high, until the ricotta is fluffy and smooth.
- Add egg and egg yolk (beaten together in advance) and mix for another minute.
- Slowly add in half of flour and mix with rubber spatula in a folding, gentle motion. Continue to add in the remaining flour being careful not to “overwork” the dough (be gentle).
- Remove dough from bowl, wrap with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
- Fill a 4-quart pot with salted water and bring to boil. (Add ½ Tbsp. salt per quart of water.)
- Remove gnocchi dough from refrigerator and place on a work surface covered with a light amount of flour. You might also want to coat gnocchi dough with some flour to prevent sticking.
- Cut gnocchi dough into 5” chunks and begin to roll out into a log shape with a ½” circumference. You may need to use flour to facilitate the rolling and prevent sticking, but try to just use a dusting. The more flour you use,the heavier the gnocchi will be.
- With a bench knife or regular knife, cut 1” pieces. Roll out and cut remainder of gnocchi dough. Place into salted boiling water.
- Once gnocchi have risen to the top, remove them with a slotted spoon and place on a lightly oiled sheet tray, so they do not stick together when they cool. Continue to add gnocchi until all are cooked in the boiling water. Cool and reserve up to two days in the fridge.
- Heat 2 Tbsp. of olive oil in a 14” sauté pan to medium high heat. Add chicken sausage and sear for 1 minute.
- Add asparagus and peas and sauté for an additional minute. Season with ¼ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper.
- Add enough ricotta gnocchi for 4 people to the pan, and sear for 1 minute. Be careful not to over crowd the pan, as you want to get some sear on the gnocchi.
- Add tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as desired.
- Finish with sliced parsley and serve in a bowl.