Pan-Fried Ricotta Gnocchi with Asparagus and Peas

pan-fried ricotta gnocchi

Pan-fried ricotta gnocchi is golden and crispy on the outside and soft and pillowy on the inside. Ricotta creates such a light and dreamy homemade gnocchi, which I much prefer over the potato version.

This recipe is great for spring, it’s light and doesn’t require a heavy sauce of any kind because it’s tossed together with fresh tender asparagus, peas, parmesan cheese, lemon zest and olive oil and it pairs perfectly with the soft and crispy bite of the pan-fried gnocchi. ricotta gnocchi

Some people think that making gnocchi is intimidating, but actually it’s easier than you think, and there’s absolutely no comparison to tasteless store bought, at least the ones I’ve tried.

Making them yourself is totally worth the effort and within no time you’ll get the hang of it, and they don’t have to be so picture perfect, that’s the special quality of making them homemade.

 

If you buy your ricotta from a good Italian deli like I do you’re usually going to have some liquid in the container when you bring it home, that needs to be drained really well to achieve a good gnocchi dough, in fact I think it is key.

 

I like to drain my ricotta in a strainer over a bowl that I keep in my fridge overnight, when your ricotta is nice and cold the dough comes together beautifully, if the ricotta is warm or room temperature it tends to be more sticky and you’ll keep adding more flour which in turn makes your gnocchi heavier, and we don’t want heavy gnocchi do we? We want it nice and fluffy.ricotta gnocchi

 

Whenever I make gnocchi I never serve them on the same day, I actually prefer to freeze them ahead of time and for some reason I think they cook up better from the frozen state, but one very important thing that I do before I freeze them is to boil up a couple just to make sure they don’t come apart, if they do, I’ll add a little more flour to the dough, just a little at a time. Then retest a couple more until they’re perfect, intact little dumplings holding together nicely in a gentle boil.

Gnocchi take only a few minutes to cook, toss them into a rolling gentle boil with salted water, give them one good stir, let them rise to the top and boil for an additional 1-2 minutes, scoop them out with a wide hand strainer. Never pour them directly into a strainer for fear they might break, you must be gentle and handle with care.

For the pan-fried version you scoop them out of the water and immediately toss them into a skillet with a mix of butter and olive oil letting them get slightly crispy golden on each side.

If you’re going through the trouble of making homemade gnocchi you might as well make a double batch like I do, you’ll be glad you did and besides it’s nice to have a stash set aside in your freezer, some for pan-frying and some for boiling and tossing into your favorite sauce.pan-fried ricotta gnocchi

I’m in love with this dish, it’s perfect for springtime, easy enough to make mid week and elegant enough to serve at a dinner party.pan-fried ricotta gnocchi

Pan-fried ricotta gnocchi gives you a little different take on the traditional boiled gnocchi, and the texture of the gnocchi holds up really well to the spring veggies you’re highlighting, but either way you choose to prepare it you can’t go wrong.

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5.0 from 2 reviews
Pan-Fried Ricotta Gnocchi with Asparagus and Peas
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • FOR THE RICOTTA GNOCCHI
  • 1½ cup of drained ricotta, nice and cold
  • ½ cup of grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of black pepper
  • 1 cup or so of unbleached all purpose flour
  • VEGETABLE TOSS
  • 1 bunch of tender asparagus, chopped small like pea size but leaving the pretty tips on
  • 1 cup of frozen, defrosted peas
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 finely chopped garlic cloves
  • olive oil for drizzle
  • a knob of butter
  • more Parmigiano for garnish
Instructions
  1. PREPPING THE VEGGIES
  2. In a separate skillet, drizzled with olive oil, toss in your chopped asparagus, garlic and defrosted peas, sauteing until nicely al-dente, then set aside.
  3. FOR THE GNOCCHI
  4. Place ricotta, grated cheese, salt and pepper into a bowl, whisk egg then add in.
  5. If ricotta is lumpy, which it usually is, take a hand mixer on low to break up the lumps and just to incorporate all the ingredients.
  6. Then fold in flour, little by little, you might need less or you might need more, but dough should come together quickly and it will feel slightly sticky.
  7. Lightly flour your finger tips and a board.
  8. Cut off a chunk then roll it into a round snake, then cut off bite size pieces.
  9. Leave as is or make indention's with a gnocchi board or the tines of a fork.
  10. At this point you can freeze them single layer, then once frozen place them into zip lock bags, they stay good for a month.
  11. WHEN READY TO COOK THE FROZEN GNOCCHI
  12. Toss them into salted boiling water, let them float to the top and cook maybe another minute or so, then scoop them out carefully with a hand strainer, like a spider.
  13. For pan-fried, drain them first then crisp them up in an additional skillet with a good drizzle of olive oil and a small knob of butter, turning them until they crisp up golden on each side.
  14. Then incorporate the precooked veggies you had set aside together with the golden crisp gnocchi.
  15. Place them onto a platter adding more grated cheese of course, more olive oil and scatter the lemon zest all around.
  16. Happy Spring!

 

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Comments

  1. I’m making this weekend for my grand-daughters 19th birthday – she saw this and wants this – Marie – if your not busy???

  2. Carol Szafalowicz says

    You know how I always run to the store to make your recipes that you post………well………count me out on this one!
    This is so above my pay grade………it looks so amazing and I can almost taste it by looking at these incredible photos.
    I’ve already put the word in that I want to be you in my next life! Fingers crossed.

  3. Making these this weekend- looks fantastic! Do you mind sharing where you buy fresh ricotta in Chicago? I ADORE ricotta and need more of it in my life 🙂