When one thinks of gnocchi, she thinks of the potato gnocchi, a dense and filling dish often served in a tomato or cream (gorgonzola) sauce. Here is an example I had at a recent Union Square Cafe lunch, Potato Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Fonduta, Radicchio, and Vin Cotto:
Another variation is the ricotta gnocchi, in which ricotta is used instead of potato. I had not had these prior to dining at Union Square Cafe. I was eager to try their Ricotta Gnocchi, Tomato-Basil Passatina, Pecorino Romano:
Both variations were perfectly prepared and flavorful. Of course, the biggest difference is the lightness of the ricotta gnocchi as opposed to the denseness of the potato. Normally, I can’t finish a serving of potato gnocchi because it is so heavy, so ricotta gnocchi is a light alternative. However, especially with the tomato sauce, it had a very ricotta flavor. My family sometimes serves a dollop of ricotta on top of certain pastas with tomato sauce, and it reminded me very much of that flavor. I’d like to maybe try ricotta gnocchi with a different type of sauce though I’m not sure what–just something besides tomato that is also light. In all, both dishes were delicious and I probably prefer the taste and texture of potato gnocchi better, but I found the ricotta gnocchi to be a refreshing take.