Ricotta Gnocchi with Lemon Brown Butter

I get these cravings.

They’re not quite pregnant lady cravings (dear lord, no!) but they are intense, can’t-get-a-dish-out-of-my-mind, give-that-to-me-right-NOW! cravings. Usually that’s when I seek out a restaurant that makes the best possible version of whatever dish I’m craving. (Side note, but related, Proof makes a really lovely chocolate hazelnut cake…another recent craving.)

So when I recently got a hankering for ricotta gnocchi? No luck, Chuck. I was fresh out of ideas for where to get that in the District.

After waiting a couple weeks to see if my craving would abate I happened to be watching The Cooking Channel (which is like, whoa, the best channel ever) when lo and behold! Chef Michael Symon, on his show Cook Like An Iron Chef, was making…RICOTTA GNOCCHI!! And oh, look at that!! I had just bought Keswick Creamery, fresh ricotta (which you can find at the Dupont Farmers Market)!! How convenient.

So there I was, on a Sunday afternoon, in something like 90 degree weather, making ricotta gnocchi. You know why all those people on Top Chef make gnocchi? Cause it’s totally easy to make and pretty fail-proof. And I’ll tell ya! If I can do it, you can do it. I promise. And there’s something kind of rhythmic and soothing about making the little fluffs – an unexpected, but added bonus when a person has something thinking to do.

I do warn – it’s a heavy dish. Maybe tuck this recipe away for another month ’till it cools down a little bit? Other than that, rock this recipe in your kitchen pleeease! You will love each. Fluffy. Pillow. Covered. In. Brown. Butter. NOM!

Enjoy! :)

Ricotta Gnocchi with Lemon Brown Butter

Gnocchi from Chef Michael Symon


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more to cover your counter top
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg

Lemon Brown Butter

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 lemon sliced

In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, Parmesan cheese, and lemon zest. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the ricotta cheese and egg. Combine well with a wooden spoon or with your fingers until the dough just comes together, taking care not to overwork, which could cause the dough to toughen.

Scrape the dough onto a well-floured surface and pat into a rough square. If it’s tacky to the touch, add a bit more flour so you can form it with your hands. Using a bench scraper, cut the pasta dough into 4 even pieces. Gently roll each piece into foot-long ropes, about 1-inch in diameter, flouring as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to the surface. Cut each rope into 1/2- to 3/4-inch wide pieces. Place the gnocchi onto a floured, parchment-lined, baking sheet and into the freezer, uncovered. Keep in the freezer until ready to cook.

Once you’re ready add salt to a pot of boiling water. Add the gnocchi to the boiling water and allow to cook.

While your gnocchi is cooking: add unsalted butter and lemon slices to a saute pan and melt over medium heat. Then…let it…um…brown.

Once the gnocchi start to float, after about 2 to 3 minutes, remove them from the water using a slotted spoon and add them to the butter pan and allow to brown, about 2 minutes.

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