Introduction: Fluffy Ricotta Gnocchi From Scratch With Brown Butter Sage Sauce
If you love gnocchi and haven’t tried making them, you’re missing out! Fresh gnocchi taste SO much better than prepackaged ones, plus it’s pretty impressive to say that you whipped up the gnocchi by hand at the dinner table;)
I prefer Ricotta gnocchi to the potato ones for 2 reasons: one, I’ve made both and the ricotta ones are easier to work with and turn out fluffier for me every time. And two, you only need 3/4 cup flour for about 6 servings, which is WAY less carbs than the starchy potato gnocchi.
I usually make a big batch and freeze half of them to use for a quick, satisfying weeknight dinner. Just throw the frozen gnocchi straight into a pot of boiling water, cook until they float up and they’re done! They’re delicious with a little butter, salt and pepper, a light tomato sauce or some pesto and parmesan.
But, they are INCREDIBLE with this brown butter and sage sauce with Shiitakes! Quite a decadent sauce and perfect for any special occasion.
Don’t let the long recipe intimidate you… after making these gnocchi a couple of times you won’t even need to follow instructions. And you’ll have fresh, homemade gnocchi in your freezer that you can cook up in 3 minutes any day of the week.
Step 1: Gather the Ingredients
- 1 cup good quality Ricotta Cheese, preferably homemade
(check out my Instructable on how to easily make ricotta at home here: https://www.instructables.com/id/Homemade-Meyer-Le... )
- 1/2 cup flour, plus 2 or more tbs for dusting
- 3 egg yolks
- 12 tbs unsalted butter
- 1 & 1/3 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 8 to 10 ounces Shiitake mushrooms
- 1 & 1/2 tablespoons minced parsley
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Kosher salt (or flaky salt such as Maldon) to taste
- 10 to 15 sage leaves
Step 2: Mix Parmesan With Parsley
- Grate the Parmesan, chop the parsley, place both in a bowl together, and set aside.
- Scoop the cup of ricotta into a medium bowl and use a large fork to smooth it out a bit.
- Sprinkle the flour on top, and with the fork mix together until the mixture becomes lumpy and the flour is well blended into the ricotta.
- Add the 3 egg yolks and gently incorporate into the flour-ricotta mixture.
- Sprinkle the black pepper over, add the Parmesan and parsley mixture and stir everything together until a dough comes together.
Step 4: Shape and Chill the Dough
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or two until it easily comes together into a ball. If the dough is too sticky, add a bit more flour, but try to add as little as possible. The dough should be slightly sticky, which helps make the gnocchi extra fluffy.
- Place the ball of dough into a bowl (you can use the same one you mixed it in) and let it sit in the fridge for at least 45 minutes to an hour.
Note: Dough can be made the day before and allowed to sit in fridge overnight.
Step 5: Roll the Dough Into Long "Ropes"
- Remove gnocchi from the fridge, flatten ball slightly and cut the dough into 4 even portions.
- Lightly flour a large tray or baking sheet that can hold gnocchi in a single layer and set aside.
- On a lightly floured cuttable surface, roll each portion into a long “rope”. I usually cut the rope in half and continue to roll each half further until about 1/2 of an inch thick. So 4 portions, should render 8 equal length and width ropes.
Step 6: Cut Dough Into Gnocchi
- Use a cutter or pastry scraper to cut each rope (just line them up and cut together) into about 1 inch long pieces.
- Move the gnocchi to the prepared tray and place in fridge while you make the sauce.
Step 7: Make the Brown Butter
- Set a large pot of salted water on high heat and bring to a boil.
- Place a small saucepan over medium heat and add the butter.
- Cook the butter until it turns a golden brown and oozes a nutty aroma. It will bubble vigorously at first and then settle down and become one of the greatest things on earth: brown butter!
- While it cooks, use a spoon to skim white foam off the top and edges. You don’t have to get all of it, but as much as you can.
Step 8: Add Sage to Butter
- Trim off any stems from the sage, you want just the leaves for the sauce. And cut any huge leaves in half.
- Once the butter is slightly brown (approximately 4 minutes after it melts) add the sage leaves and cook another 2 minutes.
- Lower heat if necessary to not burn the butter.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
Step 9: Cook the Shiitake Mushrooms
- Wipe the shiitake mushrooms with a wet paper towel, remove any large stems, and slice into strips 1/4-inch thick.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium heat with the crushed garlic cloves. Remove garlic when after it turns golden and discard (or eat it if you are a die hard garlic lover like me!)
- Add the mushrooms and cook on medium-high heat to crisp slightly, stirring often. Lower heat after 3 minutes to low.
Step 10: Cook the Gnocchi
- Meanwhile, add the gnocchi to the boiling water in 2 batches, so as not to overcrowd. Cook a few minutes, until all the gnocchi have floated up to the surface.
Step 11: Add Gnocchi to the Sauce
- Add the brown butter and sage to the mushrooms and stir to combine.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked gnocchi directly to the sauce.
- Stir gnocchi with the butter and mushrooms very gently until coated with sauce.
- Taste and season with salt ( a flaky sea salt if possible, like Maldon) and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- And, of course, don't forget to sprinkle some freshly ground Parmesan cheese.
Step 12: Revel in the Fact That You Just Made Gnocchi!
You did it!
And wait till you taste this incredible dish. There will be lots of moans at the dinner table, I promise :)
Note: I love to serve these Gnocchi with pepper crusted Filet Mignon. It's a match made in heaven! You can get the full recipe on how to make the filets on my blog BlueGalley.com