Aunt Josie’s Ricotta Gnocchi

This is a very easy recipe from my Aunt Josie, that uses ricotta cheese instead of potatoes. This makes the gnocchi lighter than the traditional, so the pasta feels almost like little clouds under your floured fingers, as you roll it out.

I taught Anne and Denise (nee Joffre) how to make this recently at a Cooking Class at my house. Their mother Eleanor and my grandmother Julia were good friends and Denise was in regular touch with my Great Aunt Josie.

The recipe is easy to remember, with the proportions being 1/1/1. One egg, one cup of flour and 1 cup of ricotta. A recipe I read online said to drain the ricotta in a sieve for half an hour before using, but I’m pretty sure my Aunt Josie didn’t do that. It also said to use 00 flour, but I just used All-Purpose.

You want the dough to be a little wet and sticky, but able to form it into a ball and roll it with a floured rolling pin. If it’s too wet, add a little more flour. To freeze these gnocchi, place on a floured cookie sheet and put in the freezer for an hour or two. Remove and place in a plastic freezer bag. When you’re ready to use the gnocchi, just drop frozen gnocchi into boiling water. Easy peasy!

Ricotta Gnocchi

Recipe by Josie SmithCourse: EntreeCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Medium


Prep time




  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta, drained

  • 1 large egg, room temp

  • 1 cup all purpose flour

  • 3/4 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

  • a generous grating of fresh nutmeg (optional)


  • Drain ricotta, if desired. Put in a bowl and mix in the egg. Add the flour, salt and pepper and nutmeg. Stir until the dough comes together. If it’s too sticky, add more flour.
  • Form dough into a ball and put on a lightly floured surface. Cut into 8 pie-shaped wedges.
  • With a floured rolling pin (or your hands) roll each ball into a 3/4 ” snake-like shaped.
  • With a butter knife, cut into bite-sized pieces. Gnocchi will expand as it cooks. If you desire, roll a fork over the top to make ridges (all the better to trap the sauce!). Coat the gnocchi in flour.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil on medium-high heat. Drop gnocchi into water. When they float, remove with a slotted spoon and serve immediately with your favorite sauce and a grating of Parmesan cheese.

Recipe Video


  • If you want to freeze gnocchi, coat in flour, put on a cookie sheet and freeze 1-2 hours. Remove from cookie sheet and put in a storage container. When ready to use, simply drop frozen gnocchi into boiling water.

With this easy recipe for gnocchi, you can have homemade pasta on the table in less than 15 minutes!

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Published by gleeguilford

Born and raised in Miami, the daughter of a pilot and stay-at-home Mom, I love food in all forms. My great grandfather opened the first Italian restaurant in Miami in the 20's, The Boathouse on the Miami river. I love exploring my heritage and linking food and recipes to personal stories. I've been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Food and Love and wrote restaurant reviews and news as the Miami Dining Examiner for three years. I love exploring Miami's latest hot spots, hole in the walls and institutions. I'm always looking for innovative ways to use the plethora of tropical fruits and vegetables South Florida offers, especially from my own garden.

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