Ricotta Gnocchi with browned Thyme Butter

by Kirsten on July 31, 2012 · 22 comments

in Main Dishes, Misc. Savory Dishes, Pasta, Starters, Starters & Sides

This ricotta gnocchi with browned thyme butter dish has been in my recipe archive forever. I mean for years. I have also read about them in several German food blogs and everybody raved about the outcome. I knew these ricotta gnocchi would be a winner, but really wasn’t expecting; pillow-like clouds!! My son told me that this is not an English expression, but I don’t care. These ricotta gnocchi are soft as a pillow and light as a cloud in the sky. Therefore I call them pillow-like clouds. You can serve theses ricotta gnocchi with pesto or tomato sauce, just some olive oil and pine nuts or browned butter that is infused with sage or thyme, or another herb of your choice. Just don’t forget to try them as soon as possible! These ricotta gnocchi with browned thyme butter are divine. Enjoy!

Ricotta Gnocchi with browned Thyme Butter
4.6 from 7 reviews
Recipe type: Main dish, Entree
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
  • 1 cup 1 Tablespoon (250 g, 8.825 ounces) Ricotta, discard any liquid that is contained in the package
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ¼-1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1.06 ounces (30 g) Parmesan or Pecorino, freshly ground (no plastic cheese!)
  • ⅓ cup 2 Tablespoons (50-75 g) flour
  • flour for dusting
  • ¼ cup butter, unsalted
  • fresh thyme
  1. In a bigger bowl mix together the egg yolk, salt and Parmesan cheese.
  2. Add the ricotta and combine into the egg mixture. I used a rubber spatula for the mixing.
  3. Slowly work in the flour until combined, don't over mix. You want the dough to stay fluffy.
  4. Place a bigger spoon full of dough onto a well flowered board. Flour your hands!
  5. The dough is very moist. Try to avoid adding more flour, since this will lead to tougher gnocchi.
  6. Roll the dough into finger thick dough rolls.
  7. Cut the rolls into small pillows. Flour the cutting edge of the knife after each cut, otherwise it will also stick to the dough.
  8. Transfer the dough pillows onto a floured or parchment paper covered board.
  9. Proceed until all dough is used up.
  10. Bring a big pot of water to boil Season with salt.
  11. Add gnocchi and let cook for 2-4 minutes (until they float), stir once to prevent the gnocchi to stick to the bottom of the pot.
  12. With a kitchen spider remove the gnocchi from the boiling water and serve immediately.
  13. Prepare the browned thyme butter:
  14. Heat the butter on medium heat in a smaller pan.
  15. Stir carefully until the butter turns color. Watch out it tends to blacken easily!
  16. Once the butter is brown, remove the pan from the heat add the thyme leaves. Your sauce is ready to serve.
Serve with sauce of your choice. Tomato, pesto, roasted peppers, toasted pine nuts, browned butter infused with fresh herbs or olive oil with with Parmesan. Enjoy!


Adapted from delicious days.

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Shelby August 21, 2012 at 12:52 am

Yumm!! After some hardcore cravings for your recipe, I finally made it! I have to say, this is one of the best recipes I have ever made – they really are pillow-like clouds! I sprinkled some garlic powder and oregano into the dough. Did I mention I just ate the whole batch?
Thanks for such a great recipe! Love your website!

Jenny August 8, 2012 at 11:54 am

Made these last night and they were easy and scrumptious! Thanks for the recipe – I’ll definitely use it again.

Kirsten August 5, 2012 at 10:59 am

Hi Kirsten,

ich liebe, liebe, liebe dieses Ricotta-Gnocchi-Rezept! Die Dinger sind wirklich genial 🙂 Ich hab sie letztes Jahr mal mit Tomatensauce gemacht und es war echt ein Traum. Ich muss die unbedingt auch mal wieder machen, vielleicht gleich mit der Thymian-Butter, wie von Dir vorgeschlagen.

Liebe Grüße,

Jennifer B August 4, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Found from Pinterest and I had to make it… just finished the bowl, and it was sooooo good! I never thought to make something like this before and it was so easy and so good. The only downside is I’ll have to make another batch in a few minutes for my husband, because I ate the whole dish :o)

Larry August 3, 2012 at 12:35 pm

These little babies look delicious.

Jolie August 2, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Would prefer to read comments from anyone who’s already tried this recipe. The texture was more on the mushy side after removed from water. Not a hit.

Kirsten August 2, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Hello Jolie, Sorry to hear yours didn’t turn out. Did you discard all the water from the ricotta container? Did you use enough flour? It could also be that you didn’t cook the gnocchi long enough. You see mine in the pictures. I followed the recipe exactly and they were soft, but not mushy at all. Hope you will give them another try.
Happy Cooking

Lora @cakeduchess August 2, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Beautiful gnocchi. I sometimes make a version with ricotta but mostly with potatoes. I have to say I like them either way and love them homemade. I love your delicate brown butter sauce…gnocchi perfection.

elisabeth@foodandthrift August 2, 2012 at 7:47 pm

Gnocchi are a favorite here with the kids. I love to make them and yours look incredible. The photos are so pretty. The thyme/butter sauce is simple and just the sort of sauce i like w/gnocchi. 🙂

Liz August 2, 2012 at 6:47 am

This looks so delicious! I will have to put this on my list of “To Make”! Thanks for sharing!

Marla August 1, 2012 at 2:43 pm

I am book marking this for aprés ski ~ if not sooner 🙂

Kirsten August 3, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Marla, I wouldn’t wait that long.

Karen Harris August 1, 2012 at 10:49 am

I will definitely be trying this recipe. Be sure and tell your son that teenagers don’t know everything because pillow-like clouds is definitely a description used in English. Kids! Your photos are more than beautiful.

Kirsten August 3, 2012 at 4:17 pm

I know, these teens.

Cooking with Michele August 1, 2012 at 10:07 am

I think that your ricotta gnocchi is probably lighter tasting than my potato gnocchi, but we should definitely try each other’s recipes!

Kirsten August 3, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Will do!

Carla August 1, 2012 at 9:52 am

Oh, this sounds so good. I have not used thyme butter before, I usually use sage. I can’t wait to try the thyme!

Susan August 1, 2012 at 6:17 am

I usually make the potato gnocchi, but do love ricotta as well. These look amazing, as usual; perfect comfort food. XOXO

manu August 1, 2012 at 12:50 am

I love gnocchi!!
Yours look so perfect…
Have a nice day

Islandgirl August 1, 2012 at 12:14 am

Hallo Kirsten, die sehen wirklich zum Anbeissen aus, tolles Rezept.

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