Ricotta Gnocchi

Dr. Rosemarie Cannarella Lorenzetti offers a lower-carb version of a tradition favorite, ricotta gnocchi.

Posted in , Apr 20, 2016

Guideposts: Ricotta Gnocchi

My mother’s version was made from white flour and potatoes, which gave it a really high glycemic index and made insulin spike. I found this recipe in the Robert Lustig's Fat Chance Cookbook and adapted it to suit the goal of reduced carbs. We have made it in class several times. The medical students love it!


1 c. ricotta cheese—whole fat ½ c. whole wheat flour
1 large egg ½ c. semolina flour. You can use quinoa or coconut instead of the semolina flour to lower carb count even more.
¼ c. Parmesan cheese 1 tsp. salt


1. Combine ricotta and egg in large bowl and mix thoroughly. Add Parmesan cheese. Mix again.

2. Add flours to cheese mixture. Mix with a fork until dough comes together. Should be soft and moist, but don’t overmix.

3. Place dough on a floured surface (or a piece of parchment paper so it won’t stick). Form a ball. Divide ball into 4 pieces and work into the shape of a rope by spreading from the center out to the edges and elongating the rope. Should be the width of your little finger (about 1/2 inch).

4. Take each piece of rope and cut into bite size pieces, about the size of your thumbnail. You can use a fork to make little impressions on them – but we always used our thumb (this is to hold onto the tomato sauce).

5. To cook the pasta, put about 20 pieces into a pot of boiling water, stirring with a wooden spoon so they won’t stick. When the pasta pops up and floats on the top of the water, they are ready (usually takes 4-5 minutes). Scoop up with a small strainer and place on baking sheet so they won’t clump and stick together until all the pasta is cooked and ready.

6. Dress with your sauce of choice. These are good with a traditional red Italian sauce or a pesto.

Hints: When cutting the pasta, keep pieces fairly small (about size of adult thumb nail). If they are cut too big, they seem too doughy. The pasta also freezes well and will keep up to three months. First freeze each piece separately on a cooking sheet or parchment paper in a baking dish. Once frozen, all the pasta can be put into a zip-lock baggie or container.

Nutritional Information—per 1/2 cup serving:  Calories: 236; Fat: 6.5g; Sodium: 667mg; Total Carbohydrates: 41g; Dietary Fiber: 7g; Sugars: 21g; Protein: 4g.

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