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Ricotta Gnocchi (Ñoquis) with a fluffy Prosciutto Cream Sauce

This post was written by my foodie sister Robin, who is now sharing all of her favorite recipes and kitchen tips regularly on the new “Make It and Love It – in the KITCHEN” portion of this blog. Try a few of her recipes…your belly will thank you! -Ashley

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Hey guys, before Robin jumps in and shares this recipe, I have to put some of your minds at ease. No, you’re not going crazy……because yes, I have posted this Gnocchi (pronounced NEE-OH-KEE) recipe before. But it was over 4 years ago, and well, my pictures were terrible. They totally don’t do this phenomenal dish justice and every time I pull up the recipe to make it, I cringe. Agggh, those pictures were so sad. And in case you’re new(er) around here, you need to know my love for this Gnocchi recipe. It was a recipe given to me from my dear friend Lizzie (while living in Georgia a few years ago) and she knew it was my favorite. She would invite us over to eat it with her family and every time, I would rave about it! She even brought over a pot of it right after having Chloe. Yes, I may forget some things…..but I don’t forget when someone brings over a dish of one of my absolute favorite dishes. Mmmmmm! Lizzie is half Italian and has extra Gnocchi making powers (right Lizzie?!)…..but seriously, it really is pretty fool-proof. Even I have never messed it up!

 

But anyway, I asked Robin if she would re-make this dish and then re-photograph it. But it also needed a re-introduction for those of you who have never tried Gnocchi. But even if you have, more than likely you’ve tried the potato variety. And if so, you absolutely MUST try this ricotta version. And just so you know, you’ll probably have seconds and thirds and will be licking your plate clean…..but don’t blame me. Just go on an extra long walk afterwards! Anyway……Robin’s turn!

-Ashley

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Hey guys, this is Robin. Thank Ash, for explaining. :)

 

Okay, so let me tell you—I love Gnocchi (pronounced: NEE-OH-KEE). I was first introduced to gnocchi at a little Italian restaurant in college, before living in Argentina (where I was a missionary for 18 months). Little did I know while sitting in that little restaurant, that I would soon eat gnocchi more times than I could count. In Argentina, it is spelled differently, using the Spanish alphabet: ÑOQUI (pronounced similar in Italian). Ahhh there are a lot of things to love about Argentina: the tango, alfajores, dulce de leche, gauchos, the Italian influence and the gestures. Oh man, did I love gesticulating just like the natives. Oh, and I of course loved the ñoquis. Did you know that the 28th day of every month is ñoqui day? I can tell you the story about that another day because I have some more ñoqui recipes brewing in my brain that I want to try and show you in the future.

 

Anyway, when Ashley posted this recipe here years ago, I was on it like a hound dog. However, I was only familiar to gnocchi that was made out of potatoes. When I saw that this recipe was made with Ricotta cheese, I Ate. It. Up. (figuratively and literally)! Because, CHEESE!

 

 

 

In case you’re unfamiliar with Gnocchi, they are pasta-like dumplings, that are bite-size and very tender. They are very commonly eaten in Italy and since Argentina is highly influenced by Italian culture, these are very popular there too. (Hence the whole Gnocchi day on the 28th of every month.) And yes, I made these Gluten Free (very easily) and they are delicious!!

 

 

 

This recipe includes a creamy savory sauce, paired with fresh basil, toasted pine nuts, and delicious bites of prosciutto. Oh. My.

 

 

 

In Argentina, eating ñoquis is supposed to be social and fun. (It’s probably similar in Italy but all I know is the Argentine culture…..so that’s what I’ll share!) The host gets the dough ready and then invites friends over to help make the balls, while they socialize. All the times I have seen this done, big batches are made because there’s always plenty of people there helping. And then they sit and eat together.

 

Such a delicious tradition!

 

 

***All these images are taken using rice flour for my ingredients, instead of regular flour. The rice flour version is absolutely delicious and holds together really well! But the regular flour version is even tastier!

 

While living in Argentina, I learned a few hints from the ñoqui making pros of Argentina. So I’ll share what I learned…….and who knows, maybe it’s exactly what they do in Italy too??

 

 

Okay, time to grab a few ingredients —

 

Shopping List:

Dough:

  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups flour (either rice or all-purpose wheat flour….both work beautifully)

 

Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 oz prosciutto, chopped
  • 10 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream whipped to soft peaks
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, UN-whipped
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan

 

First, we will start with the gnocchi dough and then get into the sauce.

 

You will need ricotta cheese, eggs, parmesan cheese, flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

 

 

Mix everything but the flour together, until is blended well.

 

 

Now here is where the amount of flour can vary. It depends on how wet the ricotta is and how big your eggs are…..but you don’t have to use all the flour that it calls for. In fact, the least amount of flour used while still being able to handle and form the dough without it being a sticky mess, the better. You’ll get a more tender gnocchi ball that way. If there is too much they become heavy and sit in your stomach like a rock. So just gradually add in the flour until it is manageable.

 

 

Divide your hunk of dough into three parts. It is better manageable when it is chilled so I recommend chilling all three hunks for at least an hour.

 

 

Pull out each hunk one at a time so that the rest stays chilled while you work with the one.

 

 

Start rolling out the dough into snakes (on a slightly floured surface). If you’re using rice flour (to be gluten free like I am), it is better to keep the snakes short.

 

 

Start cutting up the snakes into chunks about ½ inch to ¾ of an inch long.

 

 

After they are all cut, it’s time to make the ridges. And why does gnocchi need those ridges? My best guess is that those ridges help the sauce adhere to these pasta balls. I’ll go with that. Plus, it makes them pretty!

 

Usually the ridges are made with a fork because everyone has a fork and plenty of them. (You can use a gnocchi board but I figure a fork does the job just the same.) Gently roll the section of dough down the fork, pressing hard enough to create lines, but not too hard that if flattens out. If it does, just grab the two ends and pinch them together and try again.

 

 

 

Set out the ridged Gnocchi in a pan to let it air dry a bit. (They don’t have to dry completely….but just leave them alone and let them sit.)

 

 

Continue the process with the other two hunks.

 

Then, grab a big pot for water. You want a big pot to allow the balls to freely move when in the boiling water and to avoid overcrowding (and possibly damaging the balls as they boil). You want your water to be at a rolling boil…..so I always add a bit of salt to the water. Salt raises the boiling point, not by much, but every little bit helps.

 

While waiting for the water to boil, you can make the sauce in a jjiffy. Gather your ingredients.

 

 

First, you want to whip up ½ cup of whipping cream in a mixer. It should be about this stiff.

 

 

Place in the fridge to maintain the stiffness until you need it.

 

Next, melt the butter on medium heat in a sauce pan. Add the pine nuts. Sautee the nuts until brown. (These nuts and the browned butter give this cream sauce a decadent flavor. Mmmmm!)

 

 

Then, add the UN-whipped 1/2 cup cream to the butter and the nuts and bring to a light boil for one minute. This will let the cream reduce a bit, making it slightly thick.

 

 

Turn the heat down to low and then add your chopped basil and prosciutto. Blend well.

 

 

Add the previously beaten whipped cream (that you placed in the fridge) and the parmesan cheese.

 

 

Lightly fold it into the mixture. It doesn’t have to completely mixed together but at least have a good distribution like you see here. Pull off the heat.

 

 

Oh man we are that much closer to sheer taste bud heaven.

 

The boiling water should be good to go, a nice rolling boil. To make sure you do not get much breakage and cook the pasta balls well I only cook 2-3 handfuls at a time. This cooks them really fast.

 

 

Put the gnocchi in the boiling water. In 2-3 minutes the balls start to rise to the surface. That means it is done so grab your slotted spoon and fish them out. I have a colander set up right beside it so that it is nice and convenient. Repeat until all the gnocchi is cooked.

 

 

Put the gnocchi in a large pasta bowl and pour the cream sauce on top. Serve and eat as soon as you can.  (One little tip: the gnocchi and sauce are best eaten right away.  Leftovers are still delicious but once you re-heat, the sauce breaks down and the oils separate — so it’s definitely not as pretty.  But you can still eat it up!)

 

***All these images are taken using rice flour for my ingredients, instead of regular flour. The rice flour version is absolutely delicious and holds together really well! But the regular flour version is even tastier!

 

 

 

I’m going to have some myself. Right this minute. Nom nom nom!

 

Enjoy! (And thanks again Lizzie, for sharing this deliciousness with Ashley!)

-Robin

 

 

 

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Ricotta Gnocchi with Prosciutto Cream Sauce — Recipe Card

Dough:

  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups flour (either rice flour or all-purpose regular flour….both work beautifully)

Mix all ingredients except the flour together. Gradually add the flour. Depending on the wetness of your ricotta and your egg size, you may need more or less flour. Add just enough flour so that the dough is manageable….but don’t add too much. Divide into three balls and let chill for an hour. Take out one ball at a at a time and roll the ball out into snakes (on a slightly floured surface) until they are about ½ inch in diameter. Cut the snakes into ½ to ¾ inch segments. Roll the segments over a fork to get some beautiful ridges. Place on the pan and let them dry a bit while you continue working. Repeat process with the other two balls. Heat a LARGE pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add 2-3 handfuls of balls into the boiling water. Let it come to a boil again. Once the balls float to the top of the water they are done. Pull them out with a slotted spoon and place into a colander. Repeat until all balls are cooked.

 

Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 oz prosciutto, chopped
  • 10 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream whipped to soft peaks
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, UN-whipped
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan

Beat ½ cup of cream until forms peaks and set aside in the fridge. Melt butter in a sauce pan. Add pine nuts and cook until nuts brown a little. Add 1/2 cup UN-whipped cream to the butter and pine nuts and bring to a light boil. Cook for one minute and then turn down the heat to low. Add basil and prosciutto and mix well. Fold in the beaten cream and parmesan until distributed but not necessarily all mixed together evenly. Pour sauce over cooked gnocchi balls in a large pasta plate. Eat and enjoy.

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Ricotta gnocchi with fluffy prosciutto cream sauce 3
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Comments

  1. Amanda says:

    Not Sure what I did wrong. I got up to 3.5 cups of flour and my dough was still super sticky. I am trying a new batch today, so keeping my fingers crossed.

  2. Ilaria says:

    Dear Ashley hello from Italy! This blog is fantastic!! A tip for you.. We usually made gnocchi with potatoes and not with flour. You have to boil potatoes with their skin, Then peel of and smash, add egg, salt, pepper, parmesan and flour enoug to mix all toghether.
    Last but not least… The perfect sauce for gnocchi is ragù: oh yes, the same sauce we use for Lasagne!!!
    Buon appetito ❤️❤️ Ilaria from Italy

  3. raquel says:

    Ole ole!!! Seguro que lo pruebo, parecen muy muy buenos, gracias por unas recetas tan estupendas. Saludos

  4. Joy says:

    My daughter was diagnosed with Celiac’s this year, and around the same time, I noticed all the GF recipes popping up here. I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am to find fun, delicious, good recipes that don’t call for things too out of the ordinary. Gnocchi was was of her favorite things to eat before her diagnosis, and we having been thinking about trying to make it with a regular recipe, just subbing GF flour. I was so excited to see this today! We are going to make it for dinner tonight, thank you!

  5. Megan Bailey says:

    I love love love Gnocchi!! And the fact that this can be made gluten free is awesome! I usually get the gnocchi soup at Olive Garden and have been thinking recently of looking up a recipe to make it at home. I will be making this for me soon. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Gwen says:

    I cut back on the Ricotta and add some cooked Pumpkin and there is a bag of this at all times in my freezer for quick meals or snacks.

    That sauce, however, looks yummy!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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