Pan-Fried Lemon, Goat Cheese & Ricotta Gnocchi with Tomato & Basil & Fresh Mozzarella

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

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I posted a pumpkin gnocchi in February with three different sauces.  Those gnocchi came out more dense than I liked.  These new guys are not dense at all – but I experimented with pan-frying them rather than boiling them & I am uncertain how I feel about the results.  Rather than caramelizing – as other bloggers said would happen – they sort of fried up like French fries – with the exterior sealed & the interior soft.  I am not sure if this is because I was pan-frying cheese gnocchi rather than a potato gnocchi – but they were tasty all the same.  I am just not sure if I think the additional calories involved are worth it.  I will boil some up soon & report back on how they stack up against the pan-fried.  Here is how they looked after frying & draining on a paper towel.


This recipe makes about 6 servings of gnocchi but the tomato & basil sauce is only for two servings.  So – be prepared to freeze some for later use.  To do that, line a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper & put the fresh gnocchi on it & freeze them like that.  Once the gnocchi are frozen solid, pick them off the cookie sheet & put them in individual zip lock bags in your freezer – each containing a single serving (or in larger quantity – as you desire).  To cook frozen gnocchi – put them in boiling water directly from the freezer & boil until they float to the top.  If you let them thaw first, they will become a gooey mess.

Gnocchi is pronounced “Nyawkki,” for those that are unsure.


Gnocchi can be rolled on one of these (inexpensive) little rollers


for a result like this


or just cut into cubes like this.


If you are frying them, do not bother with the board rolling.  The frying will dissolve the grooves anyway.  Also – frying in clarified butter (or ghee) is better because it is harder to burn but regular butter will work.  HERE is how you clarify your own butter.

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Feel free to just boil them.  They are done when they float to the top.

You can do this will all goat cheese or all ricotta.  I just happened to have the ratio of cheeses I posted here.

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Pan-Fried Lemon, Goat Cheese & Ricotta Gnocchi with Tomato & Basil & Fresh Mozzarella


For 6 servings of gnocchi

3/4 cup (5 oz) goat cheese

1 1/4 cups whole milk ricotta

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup grated Parmesan

2 egg yolks

2 tsp lemon zest

1 tsp salt

If frying – you will need 4 TBS clarified butter (or regular butter) and 2 TBS olive oil

For 2 servings of tomato & basil & mozzarella sauce

1 lb tomatoes – diced small (I used cherry & Roma)

olive oil

4 cloves garlic – minced

1 1/2 cups chopped basil

S&P to taste

Fresh mozzarella balls (in quantity you think suits 2 servings) – sliced


For the gnocchi

Gently blend together the flour, goat cheese, ricotta, Parmesan, lemon zest & salt.  Add half the flour.  When well incorporated, lightly dust a counter with flour & transfer the dough there.  Add the rest of the flour & gently pinch it in.  Try not to over-knead or add too much flour.  You might need more or less flour depending on certain factors such as the size of the yolks & the wetness of the ricotta.

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When done and not still sticky – store in the fridge for at least an hour – covered in plastic wrap.

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When ready to make the gnocchi, take sections of dough & roll them out to 3/4 inch thick snakes.  I used my fingertip as a measuring device to cut the gnocchi into cubes.

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You can opt to roll them on a gnocchi board or not.

For the tomato & basil & mozzarella sauce

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a pan.  Add the minced garlic & saute 30 seconds.

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Add the diced tomatoes & bring to a boil.

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Reduce heat to low & add MOST the basil – reserving some for garnish.  Simmer for 15 minutes or so.  Add S&P & leave on a very low simmer.

To assemble

If boiling the gnocchi – boil them until they float.  Remove with a slotted spoon & add to the sauteing tomatoes.

If frying the gnocchi – heat the butter & oil in a pan & fry the gnocchi – shaking the pan and/or turning the gnocchi until browned on all sides.  They can then either be drained on paper towels & then added to the tomatoes or just added directly to the tomatoes.

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Raise the temperature on the tomatoes to a serving temperature.  Divide between to plates & garnish with the sliced fresh mozzarella, grated Parmesan & reserved chopped basil.

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One thought on “Pan-Fried Lemon, Goat Cheese & Ricotta Gnocchi with Tomato & Basil & Fresh Mozzarella

  1. Pingback: Lavash Pizza – Half Whipped Feta & Collard Green Pesto and Half Tomato & Fresh Mozzarella | Delightful-Delicious-Delovely

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