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Ricotta Gnocchi with Fresh Pea Pesto

This Ricotta Gnocchi with Fresh Pea Pesto is a dish full of light pillowy fork-tine-indented ricotta dumplings tossed in the taste of summer – fresh sweet peas with savory nuts and bright citrus with herbs.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Serves: 6




  • 2 cups Whole Milk Ricotta
  • 1 ¼ cups Grated Parmesan
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups flour plus more for work surface


  • 2 cups packed basil
  • 1 cup green peas (if using frozen, thaw)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup pine nuts (can substitute macadamia nuts)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts, plus more for serving
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1 cup Shredded Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


  • ½ cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large red onion, small diced
  • Pea Shoots (optional)


Combine the Whole Milk Ricotta, Grated Parmesan, eggs, and black pepper in a large bowl.  Add about 1 cup flour and mix with a fork until dough forms.  Add more flour gradually until the mixture forms very sticky dough.  Scoop up a spoonful of dough, roll into a ball, and boil to make sure it will hold its shape.  If it doesn’t, stir in an additional ¼ cup of flour and re-test.

Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and coat each with a small amount of plain flour.  Roll each piece into a rope that is about ½-inch in diameter.  Cut the roll evenly into 1-inch pieces. Turn a floured fork tines-down on your work surface.  Roll a 1-inch piece of gnocchi dough down the fork to create (sauce gripping) ridges around it.  Place on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper.  Continue with the remainder of the dough.

Heat a large stockpot of salted water until boiling.

Make the pesto.  In a food processor, add basil, parsley, peas, garlic, pine nuts, walnuts, black pepper, lemon juice and zest, Shredded Parmesan; mix to combine.  While the machine is running, stream in olive oil through the spout.

Continue blending, scraping down sides as needed, until creamy and fully combined. If it has trouble blending, add a bit more olive oil.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more lemon juice for brightness, Shredded Parmesan for cheesy flavor, salt for saltiness, or peas for sweetness.

In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and sauté onions and sun dried tomatoes on medium high heat until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Scrape the pesto into the onion mixture and turn heat to low, allowing sauce to slowly heat while gnocchi cooks.

Meanwhile, cook the gnocchi in boiling water in batches of about 30 each.  Gnocchi will float to the surface of the water in about 3-5 minutes.  After it floats, boil one additional minute.  Remove from heat with strainer.

Toss the boiled gnocchi in the pesto and serve with additional Shredded Parmesan, chopped walnuts and fresh pea shoots.

Rad Tip:  Get creative with your pesto.  Try substituting cilantro, rosemary, or arugula; and using sunflower seeds or cashews.  And don’t forget about parley, campers, and anchovies!