Cooking, Dinner, Recipes

Fried Lemon-Ricotta Gnocchi

November 10, 2012


Whoever first created gnocchi, I love you. I just love the texture of the potato dough, how chewy they are and the fact that they’re bite-size. However, the person who came up with the idea of frying gnocchi must have been some sort of genius too. I think it’s commonly agreed that frying food makes it taste just that tiny bit better.

I would describe may daily meals as fairly healthy. I hardly have butter, snack on fruit and try to eat as little processed food as possible. I could happily live on salad and vegetables every day but I think we all agree that life just wouldn’t be the same without delicious, fried food. That’s where these gnocchi come in.


Instead of using potatoes these were made using a ricotta-quark base which resulted in light and pillowy gnocchi. These are perfect along with a simple salad or some roasted vegetables…nothing too decadent though. The gnocchi should be the shining star on the plate.

Begin by combining the ricotta, the quark, freshly grated parmesan, lemon zest, dried {or fresh} parsley and one whole egg. When I use parmesan I prefer to grate it freshly since the flavor is just more intense. Especially in this recipe you will want to use freshly grated cheese since it has much better grip than that sandy parmesan you find pre-packed at supermarkets. Stir everything up and add flour until you are left with a doughy consistency.


Generously flour a surface and lay out the dough. Knead until a ball is formed. Quarter into 4 equal triangles and roll each of those triangles. Then using a {floured} knife cut into equal, 1cm thick gnocchi. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

Gnocchi Instructions

Heat up a knob of butter in a skillet and once melted add the gnocchi. Do not crowd them. Rather fry them in several smaller batches.


When the sides are bubbly gently flip them over.


Once golden brown on both sides, remove from the skillet. Repeat with the rest of the gnocchi. Then set aside on a plate.


In the same skillet heat up  butter and a drizzle of olive oil.


Add the onion and sautée until soft.


The squeeze in the juice of half a lemon. Use the one that you’ve taken the zest from. Stir until combined.


Towards the end add the rest of the parmesan, chili flakes, salt and pepper and stir.


Toss in the gnocchi to warm them up a bit….yes, my last batch of gnocchi was a little toasty since I got distracted. It happens!


Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan. Enjoy!


Fried Lemon-Ricotta Gnocchi

serves 3

adapted from Jaden Hair’s Pan-Fried Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi


  • 250g ricotta
  • 2 heaping tbsp. quark
  • 60g parmesan + more for garnish, freshly grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1.5 tsp. lemon zest {use organic lemon}
  • 1 tbsp. dried, chopped parsley
  • 110g all-purpose flour + more for flouring the surface
  • 1/2 tsp. chili flakes
  • butter
  • olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • lemon juice from 1/2 lemon



  1. Mix together the ricotta, quark, 50g parmesan, egg, lemon zest and parsley in a bowl. Stir to combine.
  2. Then add about 50g of flour and stir again. You may need to see for yourself how much flour is required so that the dough is doughy but not too dry. I recommend adding 1 heaping tbsp. at a time, stirring and checking the consistency.
  3. Once the consistency is just right {not wet, and not too dry}, generously flour your kitchen counter and knead the dough until formed into a ball.
  4. Then cut into 4 triangles. Roll out each of these triangles and cut into 1cm thick gnocchi.
  5. In a skillet heat up 3-4 tbsp. of olive oil or butter {I recommend butter} and fry the gnocchi batch by batch. Try not to crowd them. Once fried, set aside.
  6. Next heat up a knob of butter and a drizzle of olive oil in the same skillet. Sautee the onion. Once soft, add in 10g of parmesan, chili flakes. Stir until combined.
  7. Before serving transfer the gnocchi back to the skillet and toss in the sauce.
  8. Serve with a sprinkle of parsley and freshly grated parmesan.

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  • Reply Bec November 10, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    This is such a great idea for a weekend meal! I love gnocchi – because my mums family is Italian (I mean literal immigrants to Australia) when I was younger I remember have gnocchi making days where the women in the family would gather in the kitchen making gnocchi, pasta and lasagne while the men in the family played bocci and smoked and chatted. I always wanted to join the guys but was forced to stay with the women. I was awful at cooking back then so all I got to do was use the fork to make the indents in the gnocchi dough.

    Anyyywaaaayyyyy point is, I’m glad you shared this recipe – its a hell of a lot easier! :)

  • Reply Kathryn November 11, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    I love ricotta gnocchi but I usually cook it in boiling water rather than frying it – love this idea!

  • Reply Meghan@cleaneatsfastfeets November 12, 2012 at 3:49 am

    These look delicious and I don’t even know what quark is…enlightenment so I can make them please…..
    I sautéed perogies the same way… good.

    • Reply Antonia November 12, 2012 at 7:41 pm

      Quark is a really popular cheese here in Germany and can be used to make dips and to add creaminess to sauces. It’s sort of like a mix of sour cream, ricotta and cottage cheese.

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