Potato-Ricotta Gnocchi

Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 45 mins
4 Serves

Potato gnocchi are simple to make from scratch, but light-as-air results require a few secrets: use russets for a floury (not waxy) texture, then bake the spuds instead of boiling them. For even more fluff, spoon a little ricotta into the dough. While you roll, simmer the creamy tomato sauce to serve them with and dinner will be ready in no time.


  • 1 ¾ pounds russet potatoes (3 to 5, depending on size), scrubbed

  • ¼ cup full-fat ricotta (2 ounces)

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt (we use Diamond Crystal), plus more for serving

  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

  • cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more as needed and for dusting

  • 1 ½ cups Creamy Tomato Sauce

  • 1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated (½ cup), plus more for serving

  • Freshly ground pepper and fresh basil leaves, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Prick potatoes all over with a fork (for even cooking, choose spuds that are all about the same size). Place on center rack and roast until soft and easily pierced with a knife, about 1 hour. (Roasting instead of boiling prevents too much moisture in the dough.) When cool enough to handle but still warm, halve and scoop out insides, discarding skins.

  2. Pass through a ricer or food mill onto a baking sheet (this produces a lighter consistency than a masher or fork can); you should have about 2 1/2 cups. Let cool completely, about 20 minutes.

  3. Using your hands, mound potatoes on sheet; make a well in center and add ricotta. Sprinkle everything with salt, nutmeg, and flour. Working from outside edges in, use a fork or your fingers to incorporate flour and ricotta into potatoes to form a dough. Knead, adding more flour if needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough is soft, smooth, and slightly tacky (but no longer sticky), about 2 minutes.

  4. To test dough, pinch a small piece off and roll it into a rope; if it doesn't hold together, knead a few more times. Transfer to a clean work surface and divide into 6 pieces. Roll each into a rope about 3/4 inch thick. Lightly dust ropes with flour, to prevent sticking when cutting. Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut each rope crosswise into 1/2-inch "pillows." Transfer to a lightly floured baking sheet.

  5. Heat tomato sauce in a large skillet over medium-low. Meanwhile, cook gnocchi in a large pot of generously salted boiling water until they puff up and float to top, about 2 minutes. Cook 1 minute more, then use a spider or large slotted spoon to transfer directly to skillet.

  6. Simmer, gently tossing a few times, until sauce evenly clings to gnocchi, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat; toss with Parmigiano-Reggiano and a few spoonfuls of pasta water (for silkiness). Season to taste and serve, topped with more Parmigiano and basil.

    Potato-Ricotta Gnocchi recipe
    Chris Simpson

Cook's Notes

If you do not have a ricer or food mill, you can grate the potato on the large holes of a cheese grater, though it will give the dumplings a rougher texture.

Freeze shaped gnocchi on a lightly floured baking sheet lined with parchment, then transfer them to a resealable plastic bag. They can be cooked straight from the freezer—it'll just take them an extra minute to rise to the top.

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