Beet and ricotta gnocchi with beet green pesto


This stunning dish is as tasty as it is beautiful, and surprisingly easy to prepare.

Special thanks to Chiara Maci today for the constant inspiration, for her ongoing support, and for this recipe!

Beet and ricotta gnocchi

  • 1 cup (180 g) of cooked, peeled and chopped beets
  • 1 cup (250 g) ricotta cheese (homemade or store-bought, I prefer the sheep’s milk variety but cow will work fine too)
  • 1 1/4 cup (160 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • generous 1/2 cup (60 ) finely-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely-grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 recipe beet green pesto (see below)

Place the chopped beets in a blender and blend until smooth. In a large bowl combine the beet purée, with the ricotta cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, lemon zest, and salt. Mix until fully combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour and knead with your hands until just combined. The dough will be soft and sticky. Form the dough into a ball and wrap tightly in plastic wrap, transfer to the refrigerator and let rest for at least 15 minutes.

Bring a large pot filled with salted water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Prepare beet-green pesto (recipe below), set aside.

Dust some flour on your work surface. Cut off a chunk of dough and roll it into log about the width of your pinky finger, then cut the log crosswise into small pieces. Set the gnocchi on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper, without touching one another to avoid sticking.

Add the gnocchi to the boiling water and simmer until they float to the surface, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove immediately with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl and toss to coat with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Spoon into serving bowls and serve with beet green pesto.

Beet green pesto

  • 2 cups of beet greens, washed and stems removed
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) almonds
  • 1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (25 g) grated Parmesan cheese

Place all the ingredients except the parmesan cheese in a food processor and blend until you form a smooth paste. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the finely-grated parmesan until well combined. Add more oil if necessary to reach desired consistency. Set aside until ready for use.

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