Lamb Bolognese with Ricotta Gnocchi

The dish that earned FIG the nickname “the house that gnocchi built.”

The dish that earned FIG the nickname “the house that gnocchi built.”


  • For ricotta gnocchi (makes about 75 pieces)

    • 1 lb. drained ricotta

    • 1 egg, beaten

    • 50 grams (about ½ cup) freshly grated Parmesan

    • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

    • ¾ tsp. salt

    • 90 grams (about ¾ cup) 00 flour, plus more for dusting

  • For Bolognese sauce

    • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

    • 1½ tsp. crushed red pepper, or more to taste

    • 1 small red onion, diced

    • 1½ tsp. minced garlic

    • 1½ tsp. ground toasted fennel seed

    • 1 carrot, peeled and diced

    • 3 oz. pancetta, ground (or very finely chopped)

    • 1 lb. ground lamb

    • ⅔ cup white wine

    • 1 (28-oz.) can San Marzano plum tomatoes, pureed in a blender or food processor

    • ⅓ cup heavy cream

    • Coarse kosher salt, to taste

    • 6 oz. butter, cut into small pieces

    • 1 bunch fresh mint

    • 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped

    • Grated Parmesan, for serving

    • Sea salt, to taste


  1. Make the gnocchi: Combine ricotta, egg, Parmesan, nutmeg, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until just incorporated. Add flour and beat on medium speed for 90 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and beat for 30 seconds longer, making sure the flour is fully incorporated. Cover bowl and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour. Very lightly dust a clean work surface with flour. Work in batches to shape the gnocchi. Using two large spoons, form a medium-sized ball (quenelle) of dough and drop it onto the lightly floured work surface. Using your fingers, gently roll dough into smooth logs, about ½-inch in diameter. Cut logs into small rectangular pillows, each weighing about 13 to 15 grams (½ ounce). Gently roll each pillow on a gnocchi paddle, taking care to maintain a very plump, light pasta. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill until ready to cook.


  2. To cook, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rapid boil. Working in small batches, drop the chilled gnocchi into the boiling water and cook just until they start to float, about 3½ to 4 minutes. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and finish in the lamb Bolognese sauce as directed below.

  3. Make the sauce: In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, combine olive oil and crushed red pepper; toast over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add red onion and cook, stirring, until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, ground fennel, and carrots and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until carrots just begin to soften. Add pancetta to the pot and cook, stirring, until the fat has melted. Add ground lamb and cook until browned, breaking up the meat thoroughly with a wooden spoon so that no clumps form. Once the lamb has browned, stir in wine. Bring to a quick boil, then stir in the pureed tomatoes. Return mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Cover the pot and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir in cream and continue to simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt. When ready to serve, stir in butter and several sprigs of mint. Bring to a gentle simmer to melt butter and infuse mint. Stir in cooked gnocchi, thinning the sauce to your desired consistency with pasta water. Finish each plate with a pinch of finely chopped parsley, grated Parmesan, and a sprinkle of sea salt.