Creamy Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi with Pistachio Pesto

Sharing this creamy lemon ricotta gnocchi today to start the week off on the most delicious note. Soft, pillowy ricotta gnocchi tossed in a silky-smooth lemon mascarpone sauce and topped with a vibrant pistachio pesto. It’s a really special, indulgent dish that is actually quite simple to pull together. Serve it with a protein and salad alongside for a complete summer meal!

Creamy Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi

Pistachio Pesto

creamy lemon ricotta gnocchi – the details

Ever since developing this gnocchi recipe, I’ve felt pretty confident that I really have nailed the perfect homemade gnocchi. It checks all the boxes…simple ingredients, quick process, and incredibly delicious finished product.

I’m using the same gnocchi recipe here. The dough is made of eggs, ricotta cheese, grated parmesan, flour, and salt. You’ll want to make sure to use whole milk ricotta with a smooth texture.

Mix it all up in one bowl, roll the dough into a long rope, cut it into pieces, boil it off, and DONE. Simple as that.

Pistachio Pesto

Creamy Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi

The key for the gnocchi is to not overmix the dough or it can become somewhat tough and chewy. Mix just long enough for the flour to be absorbed. The dough should look somewhat clumpy and rustic.

When you roll it, it’ll smooth out. It can be somewhat sticky, too, so make sure to lightly flour your surface when rolling. You can then use a paring knife to cut the dough in approximately ¾” pieces.

Each gnocchi should have a slight natural indent after they’re cut that you can gently make more pronounced using your fingers to press the dough even more inward.

Creamy Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi

The finishing touches? A creamy lemon mascarpone sauce that’s bright and lemony, and comes together in a skillet in just a few minutes. And a coarse pistachio pesto full of basil, dill, garlic, parmesan, lemon, honey, and lots of extra-virgin olive oil.

The fresh pesto balances out the rich sauce and creates a really mouth-watering combination of flavors and textures when spooned over the ricotta gnocchi! Top it all off with extra herbs, parm, and more pistachios for a little crunch and extra beautiful presentation.

If you’re looking for more pesto recipes, here are a few to try:

Arugula Pesto Potato Salad
Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Kale Pesto
Baked Eggs with Parsnips & Walnut Pesto


Creamy Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi with Pistachio Pesto

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ricotta gnocchi tossed in a creamy lemon sauce and topped with pistachio pesto

servings: 4



Pistachio Pesto

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • ¼ cup dill leaves
  • 1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup toasted pistachios
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper

Creamy Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (15 oz) tub whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 stick (4 oz) butter
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup mascarpone cheese
  • garnishes: basil, dill, parmesan, pistachios, black pepper


Pistachio Pesto

  1. Combine the spinach, basil, dill, garlic, pistachios, parmesan, lemon zest, lemon juice, and honey in a food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped.
  2. Transfer this mixture to a bowl. Stir in the olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Creamy Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Whisk in the ricotta cheese until smooth. Then, whisk in the grated parmesan. Add the flour and salt to the bowl. Use a wooden spoon to incorporate it. Do not over-stir (stop just when all of the flour is absorbed and the dough comes together).
  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Cut it in half. Gently roll each half of dough into a long rope, adding a little more flour if needed. Cut the ropes into ½-1” pieces. Transfer the gnocchi to the pot of salted boiling water. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until they float to the top.
  3. Meanwhile, add the butter to a 12” skillet over medium heat. Allow to melt. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and mascarpone cheese. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for a minute or so until smooth and silky.
  4. Drain the gnocchi. Transfer them to the sauce and gently toss to coat. Plate the gnocchi with the sauce spooned over top.
  5. Drizzle the pistachio pesto over the gnocchi. Garnish with a few basil & dill leaves, a pinch of parmesan cheese, a sprinkle of pistachios, and more black pepper.

shop the dish: creamy lemon ricotta gnocchi with pistachio pesto

Creamy Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi

2 thoughts on “Creamy Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi with Pistachio Pesto

  1. would love to have an idea for the type of protein and how it is prepared, i.e. chicken, pork, fish???

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