Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi with Pistachio Pesto

This lovely Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi with Pistachio Pesto is the perfect antidote to the winter blahs!  With its pillowy ricotta gnocchi and its creamy lemon sauce, it can’t help to make us think that warmer days are on the horizon.  Topped with an herby pistachio pesto, this dish is an elegant but weeknight-friendly recipe.  You will be surprised with how easily and quickly this dish comes together.

The pesto is a combination of spinach, basil and dill leaves and uses pistachio nuts to give it some depth and crunch. It comes together easily in the food processor.  Add in some olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and you have a really good pesto!

Set it aside while you make the gnocchi.  Gnocchi is very simple to make.  You don’t need a pasta maker or any fancy tools.  Mix eggs with ricotta cheese and grated parmesan.  Add flour and salt to that mixture and combine.  The key here is to not over-mix the batter.  Once all of the flour is incorporated, stop mixing.

Transfer the dough to a cutting board and divide it in half.  Make a long rope out of one half and cut it into 1/2-inch pieces. Drop those pieces into a pot of salted boiling water and cook for a few minutes until the pieces float to the top.

Make a sauce of butter, lemon zest and juice and mascarpone cheese.  

Once the gnocchi are cooked, train them and transfer them to the sauce and toss to coat.  Plate the gnocchi and pour any remaining sauce over the top.  Drizzle some pistachio pesto over the top and garnish with some herbs, parmesan cheese, crushed pistachios and freshly ground black pepper.  Enjoy!

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Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi with Pistachio Pesto

Makes: 4 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes


Pistachio Pesto:

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup dill leaves
  • 1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup toasted pistachios
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

Creamy Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (15 oz) tub whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 stick (4 oz) butter
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • garnishes: basil, dill, parmesan, pistachios, black pepper


Pistachio Pesto:

Combine the spinach, basil, dill, garlic, pistachios, parmesan, lemon zest, lemon juice, and honey in a food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped.

Transfer this mixture to a bowl. Stir in the olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Creamy Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Whisk in the ricotta cheese until smooth. Then, whisk in the grated parmesan. Add the flour and salt to the bowl. Use a wooden spoon to incorporate it. Do not over-stir (stop just when all of the flour is absorbed and the dough comes together).

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Cut it in half. Gently roll each half of dough into a long rope, adding a little more flour if needed. Cut the ropes into ½-1” pieces. Transfer the gnocchi to the pot of salted boiling water. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until they float to the top.

Meanwhile, add the butter to a 12” skillet over medium heat. Allow to melt. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and mascarpone cheese. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for a minute or so until smooth and silky.

Drain the gnocchi. Transfer them to the sauce and gently toss to coat. Plate the gnocchi with the sauce spooned over top.

Drizzle the pistachio pesto over the gnocchi. Garnish with a few basil & dill leaves, a pinch of parmesan cheese, a sprinkle of pistachios, and more black pepper.

Recipe from The Original Dish


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