main dishes

Be Very Alfredo

By 01/06/2023May 13th, 202417 Comments

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Warning…this recipe here is dangerously delicious spooky comfort food. It’s high calorie, high fat, and high in Halloween spookiness with these pillowy-soft gnocchi skulls.  It’s been raining here in Southern California probably more these last 4 weeks than its rained all of 2022, and I LOVE IT. I’m a rainy day, cold weather ghoul and I love being able to cook something warm and comforting when the weather turns blustery. So I spent the day making this super fun Halloween version of Ricotta Gnocchi with Basil Alfredo Sauce and I must tell you, it is SCARY delicious! Enjoy!

Be Very Alfredo

Pillow-soft ricotta gnocchi molded into festive mini skulls smothered in a comforting basil infused Alfredo's scary delicious!
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Halloween Food, Italian
Keyword: Alfredo sauce, Halloween, Ricotta Gnocci, skull pasta
Servings: 6


  • cups whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. white pepper

Basil-infused Alfredo Sauce

  • ½ cup butter, unsalted
  • 1 clove garlic, grated on micro plane
  • cup cream
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese (plus more for garnish)
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • ¼ tsp. salt (to taste)
  • ½ tsp. white pepper
  • 6-7 leaves fresh basil leaves torn(plus more minced for garnish)


Basil-infused Alfredo Sauce

  • In a medium saucepan, melt butter and add grated garlic and cream and heat over low heat for 5 minutes. Add parmesan and cream cheeses, and heat stirring frequently until cheeses are melted. Add basil and heat over low heat until the sauce thickens. Add more cream cheese to thicken further as needed. Salt and pepper to taste. Turn off heat and set aside.

Gnocchi Skulls

  • Drain ricotta cheese by placing it on a few layers of paper towels and press to release some of the liquid until you get 12 ounces of drained ricotta cheese. Scrape cheese into a bowl. Add egg yolks and stir briefly until combined. Add flour, parmesan, salt and pepper and stir until combined. Try not to over mix.
  • Shape into a flat disk and place on a floured surface and cut into 8 wedges. Roll out one wedge into a 6-7 inch length rope and cut into 1 inch pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and press into a well floured silicone skull mold. Gently peel mold from the gnocchi and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Cover with a towel and repeat molding gnocchi skulls. (Makes 50-55 mini skulls)
  • Bring salted water to a boil and drop gnocchi skulls into water in small batches and boil until gnocchi floats to the surface. Remove from water and transfer to a large skillet. Repeat until all skulls are cooked. Remove basil leaves from Alfredo sauce and pour sauce into the gnocchi and heat through. Serve with minced basil and parmesan.


Skull silicone mold from Amazon


  • Sarah says:

    5 stars
    I tried this out last week and it was really good. The whole family loved it.

    Any tips on how to stop the gnocchi skulls from losing their shape? They started to get very blurry when placed in water.

    • Lori Castellon says:

      Thank you Sarah, so glad you enjoyed them. Hmm. I’m not sure why they lost their shape, usually they hold up well. My guess is maybe your ricotta wasn’t drained enough? Question? When you mixed the dough how was the texture? Was it sticky? It should’ve been soft and easy to work with. So if maybe the ricotta wasn’t drained enough you might’ve needed to add a bit more flour. Let me know a little more info and we can try to troubleshoot for you.
      Lori 🖤

  • Angie says:

    Can you freeze these? Would you recommend it? If not, can they be made ahead of time? Thanks for your help! – Love your site!

    • Lori Castellon says:

      Hi Angie
      Yes, although I have not tried to freeze these but pasta usually freezes well. Freeze in a single layer and then transfer to a freezer bag. Make sure to bring them to room temp first before boiling. Glad you’re enjoying my creations my dear. Thank you for commenting.

  • ariel says:

    5 stars
    This came out so good! I got a good deal on a giant tub of ricotta so I doubled the recipe and it took a lifetime to make all the tiny skulls. They came out so tender and delicious though so totally worth it! I froze some and I’m going to test to see how they hold up when thawed

    • Lori Castellon says:

      Awesome Ariel! So glad you made them. They are a ton of fun to eat and I totally think they are worth the extra time too. Thank you for taking the time to comment, makes me very happy! Happy Halloween!🎃

    • Megan says:

      Ariel, how did the freeze test fare with the gnocchi skulls?

  • Em says:

    5 stars
    So very delicious and spooky fun!

  • Hollis says:

    This looks so cute and spooky! I can’t wait to try it out! About how big are the skulls?

    • Lori Castellon says:

      Hi Hollis
      These skulls are about 1 inch in height so they’re just about the same size of homemade gnocchi. Hope that helps.

      • Hollis says:

        Yes that helps a lot! Just making sure I’ll have enough XD I’m gonna have a Halloween party and these are PERFECT!!!! Thank you so much!!!

  • Colette says:

    5 stars
    Delicious! The dough seemed soft, but rolled out well and popped out of the silicone molds with no problem and held their shape with boiling and tossing with the sauce. The skull detail did get lost a bit due to the thickness of the sauce. Everyone raved about them!

    • Lori Castellon says:

      Wonderful to hear Colette! Yes, the ricotta makes them pillowy soft. Glad everyone enjoyed them.

  • Katie says:

    5 stars
    This was my first time ever making gnocchi and it turned out better than I was anticipating! The recipe was really easy and really good! I made a different alfredo just to save a few calories 😂 but truly the gnocchi was the STAR of the show! It was so fun to watch the little faces float to the top of the pot. I was shocked to see how much moisture was in the ricotta so I really appreciate your attention to detail in making sure the reader understood it needed to be drained! You have been such an inspiration to me this month as I work my way thru 31 fun recipes and really enjoy the season! It is so fun seeing your recipes come to life and they are all really tasty and impressive!

    • Lori Castellon says:

      Aw.Thank you so much Katie! That means so much to me. I so glad you enjoy my creations as much as I do. Wishing you a wonderful Halloween my dear.

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