• Yield: 4 servings as a main course and doubles easily

  • Time: 1 hour; 1 hour to 2 days refrigerator time prep, 45 minutes cooking, 1 hour 45 minutes, active total

This is the homemade pasta to make with little kids; anyone who can work with Playdough can make these gnocchi with expertise.


Tender, milky and virtually foolproof to make, these gnocchi no doubt had clouds as ancestors -- they are that light. The saffron in the sauce opens up once the sauce and dumplings come together.


With so few ingredients, this dish hinges on their quality, which brings us to the ricotta. It’s tough to find good store-bought ricotta, so make your own. It’s crazily easy and the flavor will blow you away. Another advantage to your own ricotta is the dough becomes easier to handle than when made with store-bought.


Both the sauce and the gnocchi dough can be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated. Once cooked, serve and eat immediately.


Wine: Pair this delicate pasta with a light and delicate red from Italy, such as Barbera, Pinot Nero, Valpolicella, or a fresh, young Chianti.





1. Bring 5 quarts of salted water to a boil in a 6-quart pot. Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water and cook until they rise to the surface and float, about 3 to 4 minutes.


2. Drain the gnocchi in a large colander, or scoop them out of the water with a big slotted spoon. Toss them gently in a large warmed serving bowl with the tomato sauce until uniformly covered. Sprinkle lightly with cheese and serve.

From The Splendid Table®'s How to Eat Weekends by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift (Clarkson Potter, 2011), © copyright 2011 American Public Media.

Sally Swift
Sally Swift is the managing producer and co-creator of The Splendid Table. Before developing the show, she worked in film, video and television, including stints at Twin Cities Public Television, Paisley Park, and Comic Relief with Billy Crystal. She also survived a stint as segment producer on The Jenny Jones Show.
Lynne Rossetto Kasper
Lynne Rossetto Kasper has won numerous awards as host of The Splendid Table, including two James Beard Foundation Awards (1998, 2008) for Best National Radio Show on Food, five Clarion Awards (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014) from Women in Communication, and a Gracie Allen Award in 2000 for Best Syndicated Talk Show.