Ricotta & Spinach Gnocchi

Traditionally, gnocchi are made with potatoes and flour, but this ricotta version is such a nice variation. It’s as if using ricotta makes the gnocchi so much lighter, it really delivers that airy pillow-like texture.

These gnocchi are very similar to malfatti, although I do use some flour for these dumplings. The spinach gives them a nice green appearance and combines wonderfully with the creamy ricotta and sharp Parmesan cheese.

I used thyme and lemon in this version, but you can add some grated nutmeg or oregano instead.


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I love to serve these with sage butter (melt a big knob of butter and fry some sage leaves until crispy) or simply a generous drizzle of good olive oil. You could also serve them with a tomato sauce though, or make a simple lemon cream sauce.

It’s a great and light vegetarian dinner or lunch, perfect for those long summer evenings.


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Ricotta & Spinach Gnocchi

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Serving Size: 2

Ricotta & Spinach Gnocchi


7 oz. (200 gr.) spinach
3 oz. or 1/3 cup (80 gr.) ricotta
½ cup (60 gr.) flour
1 egg
½ cup (50 gr.) grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
salt and pepper
grated lemon zest and thyme leaves (or other additions of your choice)


  1. Thoroughly drain defrosted spinach. Or pour boiling water over fresh spinach and stand for 2 minutes (or until wilted), drain well.
  2. Wrap a clean kitchen towel around the spinach and squeeze it out really well above your kitchen sink.
  3. Place the ricotta, flour, eggs and Parmesan cheese in a bowl. Chop the spinach and add this as well. Follow with the additions of your choice (in my case: thyme and grated lemon zest) and finish with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Mix everything really well with a fork. The mixture should be completely combined.
  5. Shape the ricotta mixture into small balls, the size of big walnuts. Wet your hands a little to make this easier. If the mixture really is too soft to shape: add some extra flour first.
  6. Put the gnocchi in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Cook the gnocchi in boiling water for about 4 minutes. They will rise to the top of the water when they’re done. You may need to do this in batches when you’re cooking for more than 2.
  8. Remove them with a spoon and serve immediately with the sauce of your choice (see post for suggestions) and a generous amount of grated Parmesan cheese.


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