A simple, step-by-step guide on how to make gnocchi. Soft potato pillows that are a light and delicious alternative to pasta that can be paired with almost any light sauce.
I would say that most of us at one time or another have had gnocchi, or at least seen them on a menu in a restaurant. When you taste good gnocchi, they should be light and almost melt in your mouth. I have had heavy, dense and tough gnocchi and that’s just a case of using too much flour and over-kneading the dough.
Home made gnocchi, not as scary as you might think and when they are right, they are nugget dumplings of goodness that just melt in your mouth. The word ‘gnocchi’, derived from the Italian word ‘nocchio’, means a knot is in wood. But it’s not only a dish served in Italy, gnocchi are served in France where they are known as ‘gnocchis à la parisienne, in Croatia they are called ‘njoki’, and South America, called ‘nhoque’.
With only 3 ingredients, potato, flour and salt, this makes them easy to prepare and there’s not really anywhere you can make a mistake.
Other than super soft potatoes, the other key to soft fluffy dough is to only add enough flour to bring the dough together. Do not over-knead the dough which will develop the gluten in the flour and make them tough.
Wonder how you get those ridges? Rolling the gnocchi over a gnocchi board or fork to make the ridges, helps sauce to adhere to the them. If you don’t have a board, a fork can be used for the same effect. You can purchase the board very inexpensively through Amazon. It is in my collection of items I use in my kitchen through my shop link > click here (you are buying directly rom Amazon and will not pay more using these links).
You like the look of this dish above? This could be your first recipe using your homemade gnocchi, it’s baked gnocchi with sage and cheese. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.
Not ready to cook the gnocchi? No problem, just spread them out onto a baking sheet or plate and freeze (this will stop them from sticking together) for about 2 hours then transfer them to a ziptop back. If your freezer is small, you may need to do this in stages.
I’ve created a video tutorial so you can see how the recipe is made. Just press play!
- 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes whole with skins on
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour plus more for dusting
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- Fill a large saucepan with water.
- Add the potatoes and bring to a boil.
- Boil the potatoes until they are very soft, about 45 minutes.
- Drain and allow to sit until cool enough to handle and the skins should remove easily.
- Mash, run through a food mill or ricer for nice smooth potato.
- On a clean work surface mix together the potato, flour and salt, make a well in the center. Knead for about 4-5 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth. Only add enough flour so the dough comes together and is not tacky.
- Add the egg and mix using your hands until it forms a ball. If it is wet and sticky, sprinkle with flour.
- Only add enough flour so the dough comes together and is not tacky.
- Cut the a little of the dough and roll into a 3/4 inch log.
- Cut the log into 3/4 inch pieces.
- Roll the pieces over a gnocchi board or the back of a fork with your thumb to create ridges and place them onto the floured sheet pan in a single layer.
- Repeat with the rest of the dough.
- You can either freeze them, or cook right away.