Spelt Gnocchi with Fava Beans and Walnut Cream Sauce

Spelt Gnocchi with Fava Beans and Walnut Cream Sauce | Naturally Ella

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  • 1, 16 oz container of ricotta
  • 1 large egg (50 g)
  • 1/2 cup vegetarian-friendly parmesan ( 1/4 oz grated)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (108 g) spelt flour, plus extra for rolling

Walnut Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/3 cup water , plus extra for thinning
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chives
  • 2 teaspoons dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb fava beans (roughly 1 cup peeled and shelled)
  • Pea shoots or fava greens , for garnish


  1. Place the ricotta in a strainer lined with cheesecloth. Allow the ricotta to drain for an hour. Place the ricotta in a bowl and add the egg, parmesan, salt, and flour. Stir until well combined and a ball of dough has formed. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. The dough should feel tacky but not stick to your hands covered with a little flour. Add a tablespoon more flour as needed to reach this consistency, refrigerating dough after each flour addition.
  2. While the ricotta is draining, cover the walnuts with filtered water and let soak for an hour (or longer, if desired). Drain, rinse, and place in a blender along with the remaining ingredients for the walnut sauce. Puree until smooth, adding more water as needed to thin the sauce. Taste and adjust herbs/lemon flavor as desired. Set aside.
  3. On a floured surface, divide the dough into 8 balls. Roll each ball into a rope that is about ½” thick and using a bench scraper, cut the dough into ¾” long pieces. Transfer to a lightly floured baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough. Transfer half the gnocchi to the freezer to save for a later meal.
  4. Bring a pot of water to a boil with a hefty pinch of salt. Add the gnocchi. Let cook until the gnocchi come to the surface and continue to cook for one minute after that, roughly 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi to a clean sheet tray and set aside.
  5. If using favas still in the pods- remove the fava beans from the pods. Use the boiling gnocchi water and blanch the fava beans for 60 seconds. Transfer to a boil with ice water to stop the cooking process. Using a paring knife, shell the favas and set aside.
  6. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter followed by the gnocchi. Cook, tossing occasionally, until the gnocchi is golden and crisp. Turn off heat. Add the shelled fava beans and walnut sauce to the pan, using the gnocchi water to thin more if desired. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh pea or fava greens.


Recipe Notes

Tips & Tricks: To freeze the gnocchi, place the gnocchi on a sheet tray covered with parchment paper, making sure the gnocchi are not touching. Freeze until solid then transfer to a freezer-safe container. Store for up to three months.

Stock up: get the pantry ingredients you will need: spelt, walnuts, herbs

Link: This ricotta gnocchi technique comes from the kitchen.