Whether you have made your own or purchased, you need to drain the ricotta before using. Line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth and put in your ricotta cheese in it. Let it drain for 8 to 24 hours in the refrigerator before using. You can also wrap it up like a ball in cheesecloth and give it a squeeze to help it along. Test for liquid by placing 2 teaspoons on a dry paper towel. There should only be a small wet spot under the cheese, otherwise it’s still too wet.
Bring about 2 cups of water to a simmer in the small pan.
MIX THE GNOCCHI: In the bowl of the stand mixer, beat the ricotta vigorously, then smash a little of the cheese against the side of the bowl. If you still see little firm curds, press the cheese through a strainer to break them up.
Stir in the eggs. Add the melted butter, chopped sage, and 5 chopped chives to the batter. Add the Parmigiano and salt and beat until the whole mixture is very soft and fluffy.
SHAPE: In the shallow dish, make a bed of flour. Use a spoon to scoop out about 2 to 3 teaspoons of the batter. Hold the spoon at an angle and draw it across the surface of the batter so it makes a little oval shape. Use your finger to flick it off into the flour. Gently shake the pan side to side and flip the gnocchi to coat all sides. It’s ok if the gnocchi has a few wrinkles, dimples or bumps (mine had plenty).
Test the first gnocchi in the simmering water. It should sink, then swell, roll, and float to the surface and should cook in about 3 to 5 minutes. If it spreads or starts to fall apart, the ricotta was probably too wet. You can try to fix it by adding a teaspoon or so of egg white to the batter. If the gnocchi seems very heavy, trying add 1 teaspoon of beaten egg. Test another gnocchi to make sure it works.
Finish forming the gnocchi and just leave them on a the floured sheet pan. Cook right away or refrigerate uncovered for about 1 hour. The resting and cooling makes them easier to cook and handle. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours.
Bring 2 to 3 quarts of water to boil in wide pan. Add 1 teaspoon of water per quart. Add the gnocchi one at a time, adjusting the heat as you go to maintain a simmer. The gnocchi will puff and float to the surface.
Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to remove and drain the gnocchi. Roll them in the browned butter and serve immediately with chopped chives for garnish.
While cooking the gnocchi, melt the 8 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the chopped sage and cook until the butter browns. Keep warm.