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Decadent ricotta and pancetta gnocchi is the perfect date night dinner

Rowena Dumlao-Giardina resides in Italy, cooking and photographing her family's interesting meals on Apron and Sneakers. After moving to Italy in 1999 from the Philippines, she has traveled extensively around the country and the rest of ...

Don't count the calories on date night... This cheesy gnocchi is so worth it

If you want to take a break from calorie counting and just enjoy Italian comfort food, you must taste this decadent gnocchi.

Let's be frank here: You don't want to count the calories in this one, because this is not the usual boiled potato gnocchi you might be expecting. It's richer. It's made of ricotta, the mild-flavored, fresh Italian whey cheese, and toasted pancetta, Italy's answer to bacon. The ricotta makes the gnocchi soft, while the pancetta and Parmesan cheese (another Italian cheese that is called Parmigiano-Reggiano) give the flavor. It doesn't end there, because to finalize the whole dish, it is rolled in melted butter with fresh sage. One bite, and you will be transported to an Italian kitchen.

Don't count the calories on date night... This cheesy gnocchi is so worth it

Ricotta and pancetta gnocchi recipe

Switching the potatoes with ricotta gives these gnocchi a more delicate texture and pronounced flavor. Butter and pancetta make them richer than the regular boiled potato gnocchi and, I would say, definitely a must-try.

Serves 2

Prep time: 45 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes | Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces pancetta, diced, divided
  • 7 ounces ricotta
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 ounces butter
  • 6 fresh sage leaves, chopped, leaving a couple whole

Directions:

  1. In a small, dry saucepan over low-medium heat, toast the pancetta. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Let the pancetta cool down.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta, eggs and 1/4 cup of Parmesan for about 5 minutes to make the mixture compact. Add 3/4 of the pancetta along with the salt, pepper and 1 cup of flour, mix, and then gradually add another 1/2 cup of flour, checking the consistency for when the mixture can be shaped into gnocchi. Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle a plate with the remaining 1/2 cup of flour. Sprinkle some flour on your hands too, and then shape the gnocchi between your palms. Lay the shaped gnocchi on the plate.
  4. In a saucepan with olive oil over medium heat, brown the gnocchi on all sides. Cook in batches if needed.
  5. When all the gnocchi are almost cooked, get another big saucepan to prepare the sauce. Over low heat, melt the butter with the sage.
  6. Transfer the cooked gnocchi and remaining pancetta to the saucepan with the butter and sage. Toss together for 2 minutes, and then transfer to the serving plate.
  7. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan, garnish with the remaining whole sage leaves, and then serve immediately.

Note: These gnocchi are good only when eaten right after cooking. Avoid reheating if possible.

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More recipes with ricotta

Chocolate, ricotta and pear hand pies
Ricotta meatballs
Ricotta, honey and banana bagel panini

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