Peter Klein’s Gnocchi & Quick Marinara

Here’s another recipe from our dear friend and chef, Peter Klein. We’ve shared more wonderful meals with Peter K. over the years than we can count.

You may find that this recipe appears a bit more complex than others we’ve shared, but it’s actually fairly simple and well worth a little extra effort. Your family and friends will be blown away when you serve this home-made dish up.


Gnocchi & Quick Marina

Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Yields: 4 - 6 servings


  • 1 pound of fresh Ricotta Cheese (drain in a sieve if watery)
  • 2 x-tra large Eggs
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Cheese for Gnocchi + ½ cup for garnish
  • ¼ cup fresh Basil Pesto
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Salt for Gnocchi + 1 tbs salt for sauce
  • 1 tbs fresh ground Pepper
  • 1 ¼ cup All Purpose Flour
  • 2 x 28 oz. cans of whole San Marzano Tomatoes
  • 2 tbs Olive Oil + 2 tbs to serve
  • 3 large cloves of Garlic, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp crushed Red Pepper
  • 2 tbs Tomato Paste
  • 1 tsp fresh ground Black Pepper
  • fresh rough cut Italian Parsley or Basil


  1. In a large mixing bowl combine ricotta cheese, eggs, nutmeg, salt and pepper, stir together.
  2. Add in pesto and stir.
  3. Add in parmigiano cheese, stir well.
  4. Pour flour into a pile on a smooth surface countertop or a glass or marble board, create a well in the center of the flour.
  5. Pour ricotta/egg/cheese mixture into the well and fold flour into mixture until well mixed together forming a dough like bread loaf.
  6. Divide loaf into 3 pieces. Take one piece at a time and roll it into a 1 inch thick rope on a lightly floured surface.
  7. With a floured knife, cut rolled rope into 1” to 1.5” pieces, set pieces on a sheet pan lined with lightly floured parchment paper. Repeat with additional dough pieces.
  8. Cover sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook (can be refrigerated for up to 2 days).
  9. Pour tomatoes into a large bowl and crush tomatoes with your hand so that you have nice chunky pieces.
  10. In a heavy-bottomed sauce pot add olive oil and heat over medium heat.
  11. Add sliced garlic and crushed pepper, saute lightly (1-2 minutes) so that garlic just begins to get a touch of golden color.
  12. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
  13. Add tomato paste then lower to a simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes.
  14. Don’t forget to check the seasoning and adjust to taste, ok?
  15. Bring a large pot of water to a boil – add 2 tbs salt.
  16. Make sure the pan you have the Marinara sauce simmering on low in, has high enough sides to accommodate the gnocchi your going to add. (If need be, remove some sauce and set aside in a bowl prior to adding the cooked gnocchi.)
  17. Add gnocchi to the boiling water, gently stir and let it cook for approx. 2 minutes.
  18. Remove gnocchi from water and drain excess water (a slotted spoon or small strainer works best for removing the gnocchi from the boiling water). Set aside on sheet pan until all Gnocchi are cooked.
  19. Add the gnocchi into the pan with sauce over a low flame and mix it with the sauce for 1 to 2 minutes.
  20. Drizzle olive oil over the mixture followed by sprinkling grated parmigiano and fresh herbs over the entire pan.
  21. Serve on a platter or individual plate finished with more grated parmigiano and fresh herbs for final presenation.


New York City is Peter’s home as well as his “favorite city in the world,” yet he draws inspiration from travel to Europe and other parts of the world. He's been head chef at famed NYC restaurants such as China Grill and El Teddy's and was chef / owner of Chow Bar & Chino's. He's now consulting with Culinart. Peter has taught Culinary Arts at The New School, Institute of Culinary Education and De Gustibus Cooking School at Macy’s.

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