Michael Symon

Michael Symon

Award Winning Chef, Author and TV Personality

Easy Bolognese with Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi

Food Network star and Iron Chef Michael Symon walks you through how to make an easy potato-less gnocchi that ANYONE can do along with a quick and delicious bolognese that is sure to up your cooking game.

If you’re cooking along with us at home, find the ingredient and preparation list below or listen and enjoy for your next meal inspiration. 

COOK’S NOTE: This recipe begins with the Bolognese sauce and the Ricotta Gnocchi recipe follows. You will save some time is you have a pot of water boiling when you start cooking.

Makes 2-4 servings


For the Ricotta Gnocchi:

  • ¾ cup all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • ½ cup grated
  • Parmesan
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Grated zest from one lemon, optional
  • 1 cup drained whole milk ricotta
  • 1 large egg

For the Bolognese:

  • 1-pound ground meat (can use whatever you have: beef, pork, veal, chicken, etc)
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 oz.can tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup water
  • Fresh or dried thyme
  • Butter, for serving
  • Parmesan, for serving
  • Heavy Bottomed Pan
  • Large Bowl
  • Well-floured surface
  • Bench scraper or knife
  • Large Pot for Pasta


For the Bolognese:

Place a heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat and add about ¼ cup of olive oil. Add the ground meat and break up any lumps as it cooks. Cook until it begins to brown.

Add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic with a large pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables soften and begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste and toast it for a few minutes until it looks rusty. Add in the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook, partially covered for at least 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and reduced. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, cook the gnocchi in boiling salted water until just tender. Add to the Bolognese along with a pat of butter. Serve with freshly grated parmesan.

For the Ricotta Gnocchi:

Combine the flour, parmesan, salt and zest in a bowl.  Add the ricotta and egg.  Combine well with a wooden spoon or your fingers until the dough just comes together, taking care not to overwork, which could cause the dough to toughen.

Scrape the dough onto a well-floured surface and pat into a rough square.  Cut the dough into fourths using a bench scraper or knife.  Gently roll each piece into foot long ropes, about an inch in diameter flouring as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to the surface. Cut each rope into ½ inch pieces with a bench scraper or knife and set aside while your water comes to a boil.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the gnocchi in and cook for a few minutes, or until they float. Remove from the water and place directly into your Bolognese. Finish with a pat of butter and some freshly grated parmesan. 

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