Colu Henry’s Pecorino and Ricotta Gnocchi with Asparagus and Herbs Recipe

May 31, 2022

Colu Henry’s Pecorino and Ricotta Gnocchi with Asparagus and Herbs Recipe

Pecorino and Ricotta Gnocchi with Asparagus and Herbs


Serves 4


For the gnocchi:

1 container (15 ounces) good-quality whole milk ricotta cheese, such as the Calabro brand, drained if cheese has excess moisture (see Note)

4 ounces finely grated pecorino cheese (about 1 cup)

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a large bowl, put the ricotta, pecorino, egg and egg yolk, and the flour. Season well with salt and pepper and gently stir to combine. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface

and gently form into a ball. With a bench scraper, cut the dough into quarters. Working with one-quarter at a time and using your hands, roll each piece of dough into a log about 6 inches long.


Using the bench scraper, cut each of the logs – into roughly 6 to 8 gnocchi. Transfer to a lightly floured sheet pan or parchment paper and gently toss with a bit more flour to prevent the gnocchi from sticking. Cook in well salted boiling water until they rise to the surface, roughly 30 seconds, and toss gently with sauce.


For the sauce: 

½ bunch of asparagus, ends snapped, and sliced on the bias, about 1-inch long

Olive oil, roughly 3 tablespoons

1 spring onion, thinly sliced

Kosher salt and black pepper 

1 head of green garlic, finely chopped

2 tablespoons butter

Parsley, Mint and Chives, roughly chopped 

Lemon zest 


Bring a pot of water to boil over high heat and season generously with salt. Lightly blanch the asparagus until just slightly crunchy, about 1 minute, and shock the asparagus in ice water. To build the sauce, add the olive oil to a large saute pan and set over medium heat. Add the spring onions, a pinch of salt and black pepper and saute for a few minutes until tender. Add in the green garlic and butter and saute for a minute more. Sizzle in a generous pinch of parsley and mint and set the sauce aside until you’re ready to cook the gnocchi. 


Delicately place the gnocchi into the boiling water and cook them until they float to the top of the pot, about 30 seconds. Return the sauce to high heat and land the cooked gnocchi and a small ladle of pasta water into the pan and simmer them together briefly. Serve the gnocchi in shallow bowls garnished with more fresh herbs and a little lemon zest. 


A Note. To drain the ricotta, line a sheet pan or a plate with a few layers of paper towel, spread the cheese onto the paper towel–lined tray and cover with a few more layers of paper towel. Press down to blot any additional moisture, about 20-25 minutes. When ready to use, simply remove the top layer of towels and scrape the ricotta into a bowl.