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Beet and Ricotta Gnocchi

Ed Anderson

Servings: 6 to 8

These beautiful gnocchi show off a rich red color. The flavor of the gnocchi is earthy but not intensely beet-y, and the texture is soft and delicate. They pair well with a simple brown butter-sage sauce.

This recipe is excerpted from Pasta by Hand.


For the gnocchi

  • 2-1/2 lb. red beets (without greens), trimmed
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • semolina flour for dusting

For the sauce

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • Kosher salt


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the beets in a baking dish large enough to hold them in a single layer. Season lightly with salt and pepper, drizzle with the olive oil, and add the water. Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and roast until the beets can be easily pierced with a skewer, 40 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven, uncover, and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, slip the skins off the beets with your fingers or a paring knife. Cut the beets into large chunks.
  • In a blender or the bowl of a food processor, combine the beets and egg and process until very smooth.
  • In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 1-1/2 cups of the beet purée, the ricotta cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, a few swipes of nutmeg, and 1 Tbs. salt. Mix with your hands or on medium speed until fully combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the all-purpose flour and knead with your hands or on low speed just until combined. Do not overmix, as this will make the gnocchi tough. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky.
  • Dust 1/2 cup all-purpose flour on the work surface, then scrape the dough from the bowl directly on top of the flour. Lightly dust the top of the dough with more all-purpose flour. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and dust with semolina flour. Cut off a chunk of dough about the width of two fingers and leave the rest covered with plastic wrap. On a work surface very lightly dusted with all-purpose flour, use your hands to roll the chunk into a log about 1/2 inch in diameter. Cut the log into 1/4-inch pieces. Put the gnocchi on the prepared baking sheets and shape the remaining dough. Make sure that the gnocchi don’t touch or they will stick together.

Make the sauce and cook the gnocchi

  • In a medium sauté pan, melt the butter with the sage over medium-low heat. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the butter becomes golden brown and the milk solids separate to the bottom of the pan and turn toasty, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and season lightly with salt.
  • Bring a large pot filled with generously salted water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the gnocchi and simmer until they float to the surface, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove immediately with a slotted spoon and add to the butter sauce. Toss to coat and spoon into serving bowls. Serve right away.

Make Ahead Tips

The shaped, uncooked gnocchi can be refrigerated on the baking sheets, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 2 days, or freeze on the baking sheets and transfer to an airtight container. Use within 1 month. Do not thaw before cooking.


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