The Washington Post

Ricotta Gnocchi With Leeks and Peas

Ricotta Gnocchi With Leeks and Peas 4.000

Scott Suchman for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

May 5, 2021

Making your own gnocchi might sound intimidating, but it's more forgiving than you might think. These soft and pillowy ones are made from ricotta instead of potatoes and are studded with lemon zest for an extra burst of flavor. They're paired with a spring-inspired leek and pea sauce that’s flavored with garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and lemon juice. Shower with freshly grated Parmesan cheese before serving.

Total time: 45 mins

Make Ahead: Once formed, the raw gnocchi can be frozen on a sheet tray until solid and then transferred to another container and frozen for up to 2 months. The gnocchi can be cooked directly from frozen, adding a few minutes to the cooking time.

Storage Notes: Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • For the gnocchi
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • One (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta
  • Generous 1/3 cup (about 1 ounce) finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/4 cups (about 5 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • For the leek-pea sauce
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 leek (about 11 ounces), white and light green parts only, washed well and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • One (10-ounce) package frozen peas, defrosted (or 1 1/2 cups fresh)
  • 1 cup unsalted or low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


Make the gnocchi: Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir together the salt, ricotta, Parmesan, egg and lemon zest until evenly combined. Add about 1/3 of the flour and mix in, then repeat to add the rest in two more additions, forming the gnocchi dough. Refrigerate the dough, uncovered, for about 15 minutes. (Now would be a great time to prep the ingredients for the sauce.)

Lightly dust the counter with flour and turn out the dough. Dust the dough and your hands with flour. Divide the dough into eight even pieces and roll each into a log roughly 3/4-inch in diameter, adding more flour as needed to help keep it from sticking. (The dough can handle a decent amount of flour, so use as much as you need — within reason, of course. It'll turn out just fine in the end.) Cut each log into approximately 1-inch-long gnocchi, transfer to the prepared baking sheet and dust lightly with flour to keep from sticking. (A bench scraper is great for cutting and transferring the gnocchi.) It's okay if the gnocchi look a little misshapen — it adds rustic charm — but you can lightly flour your hands and reshape any that aren't to your liking.

Make the leek-pea sauce: In a large, nonstick skillet, at least 12 inches wide, over medium heat, heat the oil and melt the butter until foaming. Add the leek, garlic and red pepper flakes, season lightly with salt and pepper and cook, stirring regularly, until the leek has softened, about 10 minutes.

Add the peas, broth and lemon juice and cook until the peas are tender and the liquid has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes.

Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Gently slide the gnocchi into the water, giving them a gentle stir to make sure they don't stick together. Once they float to the top, let simmer until cooked all the way through, about 2 minutes. (Taste one to check doneness: If it's dense and pasty in the middle, it's not ready yet — it should be soft and smooth throughout.)

Using a spider or large slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi to the pan with the leek-pea sauce, add the parsley and toss to combine; continue cooking for about 1 minute so everything comes together. Taste, and season with more salt and/or pepper as desired. Divide the gnocchi and sauce among the bowls, shower with the grated Parmesan and serve.

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Recipe Source

From Voraciously staff writer Aaron Hutcherson.

Tested by Aaron Hutcherson.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 581

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 29g 45%

Saturated Fat: 14g 70%

Cholesterol: 119mg 40%

Sodium: 540mg 22%

Total Carbohydrates: 54g 18%

Dietary Fiber: 6g 24%

Sugar: 7g

Protein: 24g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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