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Homemade herb gnocchi with Pecorino cheese sauce recipe

Homemade herb gnocchi with Pecorino cheese sauce recipe

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  • Ingredients
  • Pasta
  • Pasta types
  • Gnocchi

This is a quick and easy version of the classic "Gnocchi alla romana" dish from the Italian capital. So good!

4 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • For the gnocchi
  • 1L milk
  • 30g butter
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 250g fine semolina
  • 3 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig parsley, finely chopped
  • 5 basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • butter and breadcrumbs for the baking dish
  • For the sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon potato starch
  • 100ml milk
  • 50g fresh sheep cheese, such as Pecorino
  • 1 knob butter
  • 5 tablespoons grated aged Pecorino cheese

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:50min

    Make the gnocchi

  1. Heat the milk, 30g butter, bay leaf and a pinch of salt in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. When it starts to boil, remove and discard the bay leaf; sprinkle in the semolina flour, stirring with a whisk to prevent lumps. Keep stirring and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Stir finely chopped herbs, nutmeg, grated Parmesan and egg yolk into the semolina mixture.
  4. Preheat oven to 200 C / Gas 6. Grease a baking dish with butter; sprinkle breadcrumbs over the greased dish.
  5. Use an ice cream scoop or spoon to create small balls of gnocchi; arrange in a layer in baking dish.
  6. To make the cheese sauce: Dissolve potato starch in 2 tablespoons of milk; add remaining milk and pour into a saucepan. Stir in fresh cheese and butter; cook on low heat for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring continuously to make a smooth sauce.
  7. Pour the sauce over the gnocchi, dot with some butter and sprinkle with aged Pecorino cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is golden and crisp.

More ideas:

Replace the fresh Pecorino cheese with any kind of soft cheese, even blue cheese or Italian gorgonzola for a sharper taste. As an alternative, serve with a simple butter and sage sauce.

See it on my blog

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7 Perfect Sauces for Gnocchi

Gnocchi (plural) are crowd-pleasing Italian dumplings that are most commonly made with potatoes and flour, then boiled like pasta until they're fluffy pillows of goodness. A simple sauce of butter, fresh sage leaves, and Parmesan is a classic accompaniment to gnocchi, which couldn't be easier to make.

You could use store-bought gnocchi or, if you have about an hour, make your own from scratch. If you use store-bought, frozen is often better than the packaged kind, which can be a bit dense. And you can sometimes find fresh gnocchi at an Italian deli if you happen to have one nearby.

Click Play to See These Gnocchi Sauces Come Together


Gnocchi alla Sorrentina Recipe (Authentic Italian style)

by Christina Conte (serves 4)
printable recipe cards below

Make the Gnocchi

Follow the instructions in the recipe below, but these are much quicker and easier than making potato gnocchi. Just pour boiling water into flour, mix to a dough and you’re ready to start rolling!

These are definitely much less labor intensive and quicker to make! I was finished in no time and was able to join Gianfranco in picking up the cheese. Watch my gnocchi making IG story clip HERE.

Make the Sauce

You probably saw the clip above showing the sauce in the making, but it’s also super quick and easy and the recipe card follows below.

Cook the Gnocchi

Carefully drop the gnocchi into salted water that is at a rolling boil. I cooked them in two batches so they don’t stick and cook more quickly. Then remove them with a strainer and we’re onto the next step.

Assemble the Ingredients

In a large pot or bowl, add a little sauce to the bottom and begin adding the drained gnocchi. Add more sauce and the rest of the cooked gnocchi. Add the chopped mozzarella and some grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese. Gently mix to combine. Add a little of the water from boiling the gnocchi if it seems a little too dry.

Bake the Gnocchi alla Sorrentina

Put the gnocchi into oven-proof bowls, place on a tray and bake in a 400˚F (200˚C) oven for about 20 minutes. Remove when bubbling and completely heated through. Add one bocconcino of mozzarella to the center of each bowl with a sprig of basil, and serve.

This is perfect for a cold winter’s night, but Italians eat it in the summer, too! There’s never a bad time for gnocchi alla Sorrentina!


What’s in This Gnocchi with Pomodoro Sauce?

This recipe is one I’ve made for the past few years after seeing a version of it on one cooking show or another. Alton? Was it you?

Here’s what you’ll need to make the homemade pomodoro sauce and gnocchi:

  • Olive oil
  • Fresh herbs
  • Yellow onion
  • Garlic
  • DeLallo San Marzano tomatoes
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Heavy cream
  • DeLallo potato gnocchi
  • Mozarella balls
  • Grated Parmesan


Recipe Summary

  • 1 (8 ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, or as needed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 dash crushed red pepper flakes (Optional)
  • 6 basil leaves, finely shredded
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into small chunks

Stir together the ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan Cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a large bowl until evenly combined. Mix in 1 cup of flour. Add additional flour if needed to form a soft dough.

Divide the dough into 3 or 4 pieces, and roll into 1/2-inch-thick ropes on a floured surface. Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces, and place on a lightly floured baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garlic, and cook until softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in diced tomatoes and red pepper flakes bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in shredded basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

While sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Boil the gnocchi until they float to the surface, 1 to 2 minutes, then drain.

To assemble the dish, stir the cubed mozzarella cheese into the sauce and allow the heat of the sauce to soften, but not melt the cheese. Place gnocchi into a serving bowl, and spoon sauce overtop.


Pecorino Recipes: The Best Ways To Use This Funky Italian Cheese (PHOTOS)

We need to talk to you about something serious. It appears, after much research and many conversations, that a lot of people have said the following in their lives, "You can either use Parmesan or Pecorino." Did your eyes bug out when you read that? Probably not. You've probably been desensitized by the myriad recipes, cooking shows, etc. that seem to think this makes sense. Let's talk about why it doesn't.

For starters, they are different cheeses -- not just sort of different, fundamentally different. They are both Italian, they are both usually found in an aged, hard, grate-able form (although there are also softer, fresher versions of Pecorino to be had). Those are about their only similarities. Parmesan is made from cow's milk, and Pecorino from ewe's milk (that's a lady sheep, guys). Parmesan is a little salty, fruity and floral. Pecorino is explosively salty, sharp and funky. Parmesan is perfect compliment to many other flavors. Pecorino IS THE FLAVOR, and will easily overpower anything you pair up with it. Pecorino is an amazing cheese, and we want to make sure you're using it in the best places possible, not just "if there's no Parmesan."

Pecorino Romano is the most commonly found version in the US (leading some people to just call this cheese "Romano," which really confuses everyone), but great Pecorinos also come from other parts of Italy. Seek out a Pecorino Sardo if you can find one, you will not be bummed out. If you've never used Pecorino on purpose, we want you to start with the first recipe below, Cacio e Pepe. This dish exemplifies Italian cuisine's incredible commitment to the simplicity of amazing ingredients. It's really pasta, cheese and pepper. If this dish doesn't kick off an obsession with Pecorino, let us know. We've got a few other tricks up our sleeves.

Want to read more from HuffPost Taste? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr.


Cheese recipes

Cheese is so important in Italy that some banks accept wheels of aging Parmigiano Reggiano as collateral against loans. Whether made with milk from sheep, cow, goat or buffalo, Italian cheeses are versatile, lending themselves to both sweet and savoury dishes. Our collection of Italian cheese recipes proves just that.

Mozzarella and its luxurious, cream-filled cousin burrata are delicious served simply on their own, as part of a classic Caprese salad or melted on top of the perfect pizza. But can also be celebrated in more elaborate creations such as Teresa Buongiorno’s combination of crisp Kataifi pastry and and salty, aged ham. Ricotta might be even more versatile. Fresh and moist, it makes a simple but delicious filling for pasta as in these Herb and ricotta ravioli, which are finished with Parmesan – another indispensable Italian cheese. Or it can be salted, pressed and dried into the harder ricotta salata, which can be grated over many dishes and is used to bring flavour in Alessandro Gavagna’s Barbecued potato salad.

Ricotta is also indispensable in many sweet dishes, including the classic Sicilian dessert Cassata. Likewise, the richer, creamier mascarpone provides the perfect foil to strong, sweet coffee and booze-soaked biscuits in a Tiramisu.


  • potato gnocchi
  • mini mozzarella balls
  • Parmesan cheese
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • rosemary
  • fresh basil, plus 2 more stems for garnish
  • oregano &ndash dried
  • onion, diced
  • garlic, minced
  • tomatoes &ndash whole
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • heavy cream (optional&hellipbut encouraged)
  1. Over medium heat, warm the olive oil.
  2. Add the herbs. Be careful of grease splatter because the moisture in the fresh herbs will cause the oil to splatter. Cook the herbs for several minutes until they start to crisp and they have infused the oil with their flavors.
  3. Remove the herbs, leaving the oregano.
  4. Add the onion and garlic to the oil. Sauté until they start to take on color.
  5. Add the can of whole tomatoes with the juices. Crush the tomatoes with a spoon.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Allow the sauce to reduce 20-30 minutes to your desired thickness.
  7. Add the cream if desired. Cream is encouraged.
  8. Meanwhile, cook the gnocchi according to the package directions.
  9. Drain the gnocchi and add to the sauce.
  10. Add the mini mozzarella balls.
  11. Top with parmesan cheese.
  12. Broil until the cheese melts and becomes golden.

Another option is to make this sauce and serve it over homemade gnudi. Gnudi is also known as ricotta gnocchi.


What is Bolognese Sauce?

Bolognese is a thick, beef-based sauce made with crushed tomatoes, fresh vegetables, wine, and spices. Now, I know this technically isn’t a “from scratch” recipe because it uses canned diced tomatoes, but it’s really damn close—close enough for me.

Gnocchi Bolognese with mozzarella is an extra cheesy take on a traditional Bolognese sauce served with gnocchi. The rich potato-based pasta along with the meat sauce makes this one of the heartiest pasta dishes out there.


Homemade Gnocchi with Pesto Cream Sauce

On July 3rd, 2016, my life changed forever. It was on this day that I ate one of the best meals of my life: gnocchi and pesto cream sauce.

I was visiting one of my dear friends from college, who happens to live in our college town of Gainesville, Florida (Go Gators!). We all went to one of the best restaurants in town, called, fittingly enough, The Top. I had been there many times before but wanted to try something different so I ordered a popular dish in their Yelp reviews, which was their gnocchi with pesto cream sauce.

Wait – before I continue, let me explain what gnocchi are, for those of you who don’t know. Gnocchi are small little potato dumplings that are native to Italy and typically served with sauce. It’s made similarly to pasta, except with potato added to the dough.

I was a little hesitant at first because I wasn’t the biggest fan of gnocchi – the previous times I had it, it was too dense and bland. But I love pesto so I gave it a shot.

And thank goodness I did! The gnocchi were the lightest little clouds from heaven that melted in my mouth and the sauce was so rich and creamy and full of so much flavor. Every single bite made me moan in happiness. How did I not discover this sooner?!

It’s been more than two months since I discovered this meal but I haven’t forgotten it. I’d been planning to recreate it and finally I did it!

Today’s post has two separate recipes: one for the gnocchi and one for the pesto cream sauce. You can obviously use a different pasta or a difference sauce if you don’t want both elements, but I am telling you: the combination of these two will change your life just like it did mine.

First let’s talk about the pesto cream sauce. It’s super simple. Just pesto and cream. But here’s the thing: I’ve never made pesto before. I hate taking out my food processor so I avoid it as much as I can. But now I had a reason to make it.

It took all of 5 mins to process the ingredients together. That’s it! Parmesan, basil, garlic, toasted pine nuts, and olive oil. Simple as that.

To complete the sauce, add butter and cream to a saute pan to warm it up a little. Then, add the pesto and combine together. Let the sauce bubble a little and then reduce to a simmer. Then add the cooked gnocchi straight to the sauce.

If the gnocchi isn’t formed yet and ready for boiling, don’t start the sauce. It doesn’t taste as creamy when you heat it up again so it’s best to wait until you’re about to serve the gnocchi to make it.

Speaking of gnocchi, let’s talk about making it from scratch. It’s even fewer ingredients than the pesto: potatoes, flour, and egg. Boom. That’s it. Maybe a few more steps but I’ll walk you through everything. You got this!

But there are a couple things that you need to do to make sure the gnocchi come out light and airy:

  1. You must use a potato that is starchy and has thick skin, like a Russet potato. If you use a red potato or Yukon gold, it will have too much water (and absorb even more water when you boil them) that it will make your gnocchi gummy and dense. Yuck.
  2. And on that note: make sure you don’t peel them or cut them into pieces when you boil them (i.e. you must boil them whole), or they will be exposed to too much water and absorb it while they boil.
  3. Use a potato ricer to break up the potato. Do not use a food processor or it will make the gnocchi gummy and pasty. It will be impossible to work with. The ricer makes the potato super fluffy so it will mix easily with the flour and egg. I didn’t have a ricer so I had to buy one. This is the one I got and it worked perfectly.
  4. Do not over-work the dough. You just need to combine it enough to bring it all together. Otherwise, your gnocchi will be dense and tough.
  5. If you want to save some time, you can make them ahead of time and and place in the fridge in a storage container after boiling. Make sure to toss in oil so they don’t stick together. When you’re about to serve, heat sauce in a saute pan, add gnocchi and heat them up together so the gnocchi absorbs the flavors of the sauce.
  6. This recipe makes enough for 12 people. If you don’t need that much, you can freeze the unboiled gnocchi and save for later. To freeze: toss unboiled gnocchi in a little flour. Place on a baking sheet and make sure none of the gnocchi are touching. Freeze until solid. Once they are solid, you can place the frozen gnocchi in a storage bag or container and keep for later. Just toss them into a pot of boiling water when ready to make.

Okay guys. Now you know how to make this amazing dish. You gotta make this for your next dinner party or romantic evening or any other time you want to impress someone with an incredible meal. It’s a showstopper, trust me.

Here are all the kitchen tools and serveware that I used in this post. For each item that is sold, I receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting the brands that support CPA!