Homemade gnocchi is not difficult to make and only requires five ingredients. Mashed potato is formed into a dough with flour and eggs to create soft pillow-like dumplings that cook in boiling water for a couple of minutes. Toss them with your favorite sauce for a delicious dinner. They are also freezer-friendly so you can make a big batch to have on hand.
I love Italian food. A while back, I saw a post by Food Noveau, sharing a step-by-step gnocchi recipe. I had never thought to make my own gnocchi, but upon reading the post, it seemed like something I could do.
Gnocchi is traditionally made with potatoes. They are plump, light, and have a texture similar to dumpling skins.
What I like about them is that you don’t need a bunch of ingredients. Only a handful of simple ones and you can make a batch of homemade gnocchi.
- Russet potatoes
- All-purpose flour
- Egg yolks
- Extra virgin olive oil
I made sure to thoroughly study the step-by-step instructions and photos before attempting to make my first gnocchi. The actual making of the gnocchi was simple but they did take some time.
To my delight, my first attempt was a success and tasted delicious. I loved them. They were soft, light, pillowy, yet still managed to also be thick with a slight chew.
I served mine with pesto because that’s all I had. Next time I might try them with some marinara sauce.
First, clean the potatoes and then boil them until they are fork-tender. You don’t have to peel them before you boil them.
Once they are cooked, remove the peels and discard them. Place the potatoes in a large bowl and mash them. I used a fork, which took a long time so next time I’m going to buy a potato ricer or use a potato masher to make it easier.
Let the mashed potatoes cool to room temperature. You want all of the steam to escape so you don’t end up with excess moisture in your potato dough.
Mix the flour and salt in a small bowl. Add the egg yolks and olive oil to the cooled potatoes and mix until combined. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the top and then gently mix it into the potatoes.
The dough is mixed when it has a crumbly texture.
Take the dough out of the bowl and place it on a clean work surface lightly dusted with flour. Gently knead it a few times. You don’t need to do this for more than a minute. If you over-knead the dough your gnocchi will be tough.
Your dough should feel soft and smooth. If it is sticky, you can add a little more flour, but just remember any extra flour will make your gnocchi dense instead of light.
Place the dough back in the bowl and clean your work surface and then flour it again.
Take about a lemon-sized ball of the dough and place it on the floured surface. Roll it into a rope approximately 3/4” thick. Slice it into approximately 1-inch pieces.
Use a fork to make indentations on each gnocchi by pressing the tines of a fork into the dough. Making the indentations (or ridges) makes it easier for the gnocchi to hold whatever sauce you toss them in. You can also keep them smooth, but I recommend reading the post on Food Nouveau for tips about that.
Place the gnocchi on a sheet pan in a single layer. You can keep them out at room temperature for a few hours or you can freeze them and cook them later.
When you’re ready to cook them, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop them in 12 to 15 at a time and cook them until they float to the surface. This usually only takes a couple of minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon and allow the water to drain off. Place them in a bowl. You can cover the bowl with plastic to keep them warm while you finish cooking the rest.
Toss the gnocchi with a sauce like butter sage sauce, pesto, tomato sauce, or marinara sauce. I like to sprinkle shredded Parmesan cheese and chopped herbs over the top for garnish.
Now that I know how to make homemade potato gnocchi, next time I’ll make more and freeze them. I also plan on trying to make purple potato ones.
More Italian Recipes
- 1 kg (2.2-lb) russet potatoes, about 5 large potatoes
- 300 g (1 ½ cups) all-purpose flour
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Wash the potatoes and leave them with their peels on. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the potatoes for approximately 35 to 45 minutes for large potatoes.
- Drain the potatoes and let them cool until they are cool enough to handle. Peel the potatoes and place them in a large bowl. Using a potato masher or potato rice, mash the potatoes until there are no lumps (or as few as possible). Cool the mashed potatoes to room temperature.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the egg yolks and olive oil to the mashed potatoes and stir until combined. Sprinkle the flour over the top of the potatoes and carefully mix them together until the flour is moistened and the dough looks crumbly.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Gently knead the dough for about one minutes. You don’t want to over-knead the dough otherwise your gnocchi will be tough. The dough should feel soft and smooth. If it’s sticky you can add a little more flour, but any extra flour you add may make your gnocchi heavy and dense. Transfer the dough to a bowl and cover it with a clean dish towel.
- Wipe off the work surface and let it dry. Lightly coat it with flour. Grab about a lemon-sized amount of the dough and roll it into a rope approximately ¾ of an inch in diameter. Cut the rope into bite-sized pieces. Make indentations on each piece of gnocchi by rolling them across the tines of a fork. Or leave them smooth. Refer to the link in the notes section to learn more when to leave them plain or to indent them.
- Place the gnocchi in a single layer on a baking sheet (they should not be touching). At this point they will keep at room temperature for two to three hours or you can freeze them in freezer bags for two months.
- To cook the gnocchi, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil the gnocchi, 12 to 15 at a time, until they rise to the surface of the water. This only takes a couple of minutes. Scoop them out of the water with a slotted spoon and place them in a bowl. Cover them with plastic wrap to keep them warm while you boil the rest. I served my gnocchi tossed in pesto sauce.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.