Goat-milk ricotta is drier and denser than cow’s milk ricotta, and its pungent tangy flavor mixes well with the walnut butter sauce. Goat-milk ricotta is not always readily available; for similar results, mix fresh goat cheese with cow’s milk ricotta.
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Bring 6 quarts salted water to a boil. Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water and cook until they rise to the surface, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove with a spider or slotted spoon. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 12-inch sauté pan. Once it begins to foam, add the walnuts and thyme. Sauté a few minutes, until the butter begins to brown and the walnuts are lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the reserved pasta water and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Toss the gnocchi in the butter sauce, sprinkle with some fresh thyme, and serve.
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