Ricotta gnocchi with spring vegetables and burnt butter

Neil Perry
Simple and delicious: Ricotta gnocchi with spring vegetables and burnt butter sauce.
Simple and delicious: Ricotta gnocchi with spring vegetables and burnt butter sauce. Photo: William Meppem

This delectable seasonal take on gnocchi is best-made fresh: it's really fun and you'll love the result. The gnocchi is also great with a simple tomato or cheesy cream sauce.


For ricotta gnocchi

350g fresh ricotta, well drained

350g ricotta salata (salted ricotta), grated

2 eggs

2 yolks

260g type 00 flour, plus extra for kneading

1/3 nutmeg, grated

1/2 tsp sea salt

For spring vegetables

1 tbsp olive oil

2 small zucchini, sliced into rounds

8 asparagus spears, diagonally cut

1/2 cup fresh peas (or frozen, defrosted)

80g baby spinach leaves

For burnt butter

100g unsalted butter

1 small bunch sage leaves, roughly torn

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp grated parmesan


 To make the gnocchi, place ricotta, eggs and yolks in a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined, then sift in flour, nutmeg and salt. Gently combine then place the mixture on a floured benchtop. Using the back of your hands, push the mix until it just comes together. Divide the dough into four portions, roll each into a thin log. Using a knife, cut the logs into 2-centimetre pillows.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add a good handful of salt. Cook the gnocchi in batches for 2 minutes or until the gnocchi floats to the surface, then scoop them out with a slotted spoon. Drain well and keep warm.

Heat the oil in a pan on a high heat and add the zucchini and asparagus. Sauté until they are golden-brown but still holding their shape. Add the gnocchi, peas and spinach and cook until the leaves have just wilted.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, and add the sage. Fry until the butter begins to foam and turn nut-brown, turn off heat, and add lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Divide the gnocchi and vegetable mixture between four plates. Sprinkle the parmesan on top, then spoon over the burnt butter.


Photography by William Meppem. Food styling by Hannah Meppem. Food preparation by Alice Story.