Short Rib and Ricotta Gnocchi

By Erika on September 5th, 2013 / / 32 Comments

Short Rib and Ricotta Gnocchi | The Hopeless Housewife®

Short rib. Gnocchi. Rich sauce that you want to lick off the bowl when you are finished. Need I say more?? I always order gnocchi on any menu that has it, I absolutely love gnocchi but I have had some melt-in-your-mouth versions and some dreadful, awful, chewy and rubbery versions. This one is GOOD. And EASY. This entire recipe should stay in your file for a really, really good meal. The rich sauce, tender short rib and pillow-soft gnocchi are so flavorful and yummy, you might just have seconds! Gnocchi is really intimidating if you have never done it before but it actually is very easy when made with ricotta. I used to boil potatoes to make potato gnocchi and really had to learn how to NOT end up with lumpy, tough or starchy gnocchi (now I bake the potatoes, use a ricer and don’t over-mix them), but this ricotta version is so much easier and will have you wondering why you haven’t made it before!

Yield: 4 servings

Short Rib and Ricotta Gnocchi

Short Rib and Ricotta Gnocchi


For the short ribs:

  • 2 pounds bone-in short ribs (you can find these at the butcher or higher end grocery stores)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked pepper
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced finely
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf

For the gnocchi:

  • 1 15-ounce container whole milk ricotta
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper


  1. Start the short ribs. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. In a heavy oven-proof dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat and sear each side of the short ribs until they a a nice caramelized brown, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from the dutch oven and set aside (do not rinse out).
  2. Purée celery, carrots and onion in a food processor. Add to the dutch oven along with the minced garlic over medium heat. Sauté until tender, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in tomato paste and sauté another minute. Add wine and deglaze pan, making sure to incorporate any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add sage, thyme and bay leaf then beef stock and stir well, cooking until it starts to bubble.
  3. Add short ribs to the dutch oven and cover. I like to coat the ribs with the braising liquid. Place in preheated oven and cook for about 3-4 hours, until the short ribs are very tender and fall off the bone (I do mine in 3 hours and they’re quite tender). This will still need a seasoning of salt and pepper when it comes out of the oven.
  4. Start the gnocchi. When the short rib is about 30 minutes from coming out of the oven, start prepping the gnocchi. They can be cooked right before the ribs come out. Stir together the ricotta, eggs, the parmesan cheese, nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Add flour, stirring to form a soft, wet dough. If too sticky to roll out, add a little more flour. Shape the dough on a well-floured surface with lightly floured hands into 2 (1-inch-thick) ropes. Cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces with a lightly floured knife. Put in 1 layer on a lightly floured parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Bring a medium to large pot of salted water (3 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water) to a boil. Starting with half the batch, add few of the gnocchi at a time to the pot and stirring occasionally until half the gnocchi are in the pot. Cook until cooked through (cut one in half to check), 3 to 4 minutes per batch. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain in colander.
  6. Finish short ribs. Take the short ribs out of the oven and remove them from the sauce. With two forks, pull the meat off the bone, removing the fat/bones and discarding. I like to leave some big chunks of meat along with some shredded meat. Some ribs are more fatty than others. If there is a lot of fat on top of the sauce, use a baster and remove some of the fat. If the sauce is too thin, place on burner over medium- medium-high heat and reduce the liquid until the sauce is thicker. Season with sea salt/pepper to taste after reducing. Put the meat back into the sauce and toss to coat. Spoon sauce/ribs into each bowl or plate and top with gnocchi. I like to add some more sauce to the top. Enjoy!


Short Rib and Ricotta Gnocchi 2


show comments 32 responses

  • Rosa says:

    Thanks for sharing!! This looks absolutely delicious! I will try this over the weekend! 🙂

  • Suzanne says:

    This looks great! About how many servings will this make?

  • Hello,

    We showcase Mouthwatering Collection of World’s Best Recipes to our readers daily and would like to invite you to join our food community and let you to feature your best recipes on our website.
    Want to know more? Please Visit

    Recipes Gawker Team

  • Juatin says:

    Hey there,
    I really can’t wait till these short ribs are simmering on my stove. This is literally a hodgepodge of everything I love. I had to share on my, “Whacchoo Bloggin Bout’ section. Thank you for this!

    Justin & Garnet

    • Erika Erika says:

      Oh thank you, Justin and Garnet! I just read the post, you guys are hilarious!! I hope you like the short ribs…I made short rib sliders for a get-together last night and they were the first things to go…

  • Rosa says:

    Hi Erika!

    I made this on Sunday and it turned out sooooo good! It reminded me of my paternal Italian grandma’s cooking. 🙂

    The only thing I did different was that I cooked the sauce in the slow cooker. My husband had a spontaneously planned a day trip for us so we were gone most of the day. When we got home the house smelled so good from the sauce and the meat was fall-off-the-bone tender. Yum!

    The gnocchi were really quick to make. I just added an extra 2-3 tbsp of flour so the dough wouldn’t be so sticky. They were so soft and so tender, and they married well with the sauce. The parmesan flavour really shined through and I didn’t feel the need to top the dish with more cheese (which I always do with any tomato sauce dish).

    This recipe is a keeper and I will definitely make this again! Thanks again for sharing this recipe!!


  • This dish sounds absolutely perfect..warm, comforting, hearty…its making me CRAVE Fall! Can’t wait to try this soon!

  • I would clean off this plate so well if this were in front of me right now! Amazing!

  • Jacki says:

    This sounds great and I can’t wait to try it. With the celery/carrot/onion, do you literally puree it until it’s smooth, or do you still want some consistency there?

  • Pete says:

    These look awesome! Can’t wait to try them!

  • Emily says:

    OMG this was to die for delish! I doubled the recipe for the gnocchi, cooked it all and froze half… since this is the most time intensive part of the cooking process. This may replace our recipe for braised oxtails and potatoes! YUM! Thanks 🙂

  • Faye says:

    This has to be one of the best recipes I have ever seen! I love short ribs and have never made homemade gnocchi but I am willing to give it a try!

  • This looks awesomely delicious. I can’t wait to try it!!

  • Pam C says:

    This looks so delicious! I must make this!!!!

  • Mike Rocks says:

    This will be my Memorial Day dinner (a day late because of work) with my partner and a very close friend.

    I really can’t wait, it looks delicious. Unfortunately, the grocery only sold packs of fresh short ribs in larger bundles, and the smallest was 5 lbs, so it looks like I’ll be upping the recipe. Thankfully my other half works nights so my week will be chock full of amazing leftovers.


  • Philip says:

    Hey Erika,

    Can I make this a day ahead of time? I got a dinner party and I wanted to try and enjoy my guests I wasnt going to actually put the dish together just cook the shortribs and make the sauce, make the gnocchis and put it all together the night of the party.

    • Erika Erika says:

      Hi Phillip, I am so sorry– for some reaso this was in my spam comments– just now able to clean it out and I found your comment. I have never made this ahead of time but one thing you could do is make the short rib ahead of time for sure, then have the gnocchi ready ahead of time to throw in hot water the day of? Did you try this already? How did it turn out?

  • Carrie says:

    Hi, this looks delish! I am thinking about making this for Christmas dinner for 16 people. Can I make the gnocchi in advance and cook right before serving? I have never made gnocchi and I am nervous!

    • Erika Erika says:

      Hi Carrie! Yes, place the gnocchi on a baking sheet and dust with flour, then freeze on sheet until they harden, You can the put them in a ziplock in the freezer! Pull out and let thaw then cook as usual!

  • Kathy says:

    Thanks for this recipe. It looks so delicious. I was thinking of tripling the recipe and serving it at my smallish Christmas party (15 people) in two weeks. I wanted to make it the day before. Any suggestions on how to prepare the gnocchi (storage, reheating, presenting on buffet ?) I was thinking of keeping them cooked and warmed in a crockpot next to the Dutch oven with the short rib sauce. Will they be ok or will they stick together?

    • Erika Erika says:

      Hi Kathy! To make gnocchi aheaf of time, place the gnocchi on a baking sheet and dust with flour, then freeze on sheet until they harden, You can the put them in a ziplock in the freezer! Pull out and let thaw then cook as usual. The crockpot idea may just work if you have sauce with it to keep them from sticking together. You will need sauce with the short rib, too. Good luck!

  • Rita Masi says:

    Can I make the gnocchi the day before and store in the refrigerator?

  • Toots says:

    OMG was this amazing! Today is my birthday and it’s blizzard conditions outside. Dinner plans had to get canceled so this was a perfect day to make this since my husband and I were snowed in together. And it was fun for us to make the gnocchi together. Super easy to make and came out perfect. Ours were done in about 2.5 hours. We let them go the extra half hour while doing the gnocchi. I’m going to make this so many times now!

  • Julie B says:

    Made this tonight and my family loved it. We had lots of leftovers too! Made the short ribs a day ahead so I could pull all of the fat from the sauce. Added them back into the sauce on the reheat and the ragu was thick and delicious! First time making gnocci. It turned out really well.

  • Leave a Reply to Erika