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Saturday
Nov152008

How to Make Homemade Gnocchi

It's gotten cold outside and so it's time to make gnocchi. I hardly ever make this in the summer, but in the winter, this is such great comfort food. Gnocchi is a lot of fun to make - it's like playing with Playdough. I've included a video in this post to show you how easy they are to roll out and cut. You can make them when you don't have anything else around for dinner because the ingredients are all things you have on hand anyway - flour, potatoes and eggs. And now it takes me even less time to make them. Most cooks think you have to run the finished gnocchi over a fork or grater to get those ridges that will catch the sauce. That's how my mom and I used to make it.  However, when I have gone to Italy and ordered gnocchi, it is very often made without those ridges.  They are just nice fluffy little pillows.   I know that Todd English makes them this way, also.    And I have come to actually prefer the texture of the gnocchi without the ridges.

There are two pieces of equipment that you really should have to make gnocchi. One is a potato ricer. The consistency of the potato is important and you can really only get it with a ricer. The other piece of equipment is a pastry scraper. It will make it a whole lot easier to use a pastry scraper because it is ideal for cutting the gnocchi and then you have to lift the gnocchi gently after they are made and it also helps afterward with cleanup of the flour on the counter.

The potato for gnocchi should be dry. Lots of recipes, including Marcella Hazan's,  call for boiling the potato in the skin to reduce the chance of water getting into the potato. But why boil it? I bake the potatoes so they are nice and dry and perfect for making gnocchi.

Gnocchi

 

 

for a printable recipe, click here


Ingredients:
  • 2 medium baking potatoes, about 1.5  pounds total (doesn't have to be exact)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • almost 2 cups flour (you may not use all the flour)
 

Instructions:

Bake potatoes in oven until tender. Let cool just until you can skin them, right before you make the gnocchi. The potato needs to be warm, or else the gnocchi will not turn out right - the flour and potato will not bind with the egg.

Scoop out potato flesh and put through ricer into a bowl. Add slightly beaten egg yolks. incorporate about 1.5 cups of the flour and mix until a dough is formed. Place on counter. Using some of the rest of the flour, knead lightly until you have a nice dough formed, one that is not too sticky but yet is not super firm.  If you feel you have obtained the right texture for the dough, do not continue to use all the flour.

Cut the dough into three sections with a pastry scraper. Roll out the sections into cords and then, with the pastry scraper, cut the cords into one inch little gnocchi. Set gnocchi on a lightly floured towel until ready to use.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add half the gnocchi and put on a lid. When the water comes back to the boil, remove lid. When the gnocchi float to the top, cook for one minute longer. With a spider, remove gnocchi and place into a serving dish and toss with your sauce. Repeat with remaining gnocchi.

You can serve the gnocchi with any sauce you like - just olive oil and cheese, a marinara sauce or even a meat sauce. If you've never eaten homemade gnocchi, give them a try. It's much easier than you think!

 

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Reader Comments (41)

Elaine,
My favorite kind of pasta hands down. I remember watching my Nonna make these when I was a kid. I'm going to make them with Sam.

November 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDeb S

Brava!

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMaryann

I could eat gnocchi until the cows came home...my favorites! Looks like I have got dinner for tonight!

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTartelette

Can I just tell you how good this looks Elaine! I like what you said about the no ridges in Italy. Great tip with baking the potatoes too. I Haven't made this in years! Loved your video too you made it look so easy. Great post!

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterProud Italian Cook

Beautiful, heart-warming post... need I say more? Thank you for sharing this with us!

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjesse

That was really helpful - and who could say not to homemade gnocchi? Certainly not me!

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChocolate Shavings

Great! Just perfect! Ciao from Italy :-)

i love this post so much - because it's on my short list to make and now you've done all the work for me. i can just follow you. because YOU i totally trust...

i cooked from A16 last night. post to come soon.

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercook eat FRET

I haven't made gnocchi yet this season, but you have totally inspired me with your wonderful pictures. And your sauce looks delicious. Thank you so much, Elaine. This was a lot of work.

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSusan from Food Blogga

i remember going to my nonna's as a kid to help turn the pasta maker! and watching her make homemade pasta, especially gnocchi! I love it! I haven't ever made it myself, but this makes it look easy! Thanks for sharing!

November 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAlicia

hey..

i am so happy to see someone else doing a couple of things that i do with my gnocchi as well.... first being baking and second being no gnotches (yes... spelled correctly... pointless extra work that goes only gnocchi.. ha)
any ho.. looks wonderful and we are a once a month gnocchi household!

take care and keep doing what you do!

jonathan
dailydesignspot.com

November 19, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdailydesignspot

I've learnt something new here - thanks. I think the idea of baking the potatoes would give them more flavour. I'm going to try your method, but I don't have a ricer or scraper - yet!

November 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercasalba

These look so delicious! I just felt like I was in your kitchen, making gnocchi and drinking wine.

November 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterIrene

Well, you make it sound less scary, that's for sure. Fun even.

And your end result looks truly beautiful.

November 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermelissa

Hmmm, my favorite. I'll eat Gnocchi when it's 97 degrees and so humid I'm dripping with sweat.

Love, love, love it.

November 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Culinary Sherpas

great pics. ur post reminded me so much of a wonderful trip i took to italy 10 yrs ago. i ate at this fantastic resto in florence where the rissoto was amazing. but the gnocchi at a resto in Rome beat everything else! congrats on making it!

November 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBren@Flanboyant Eats

Awesome, You Rock! I lived with an Italian last year would make scratch gnocchi. I have often lamented losing access to her encyclopedia of italian food - but no more: for I've found you!

Great work, all of it.

November 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEllena Lush

me loves gnocchi.

just a tip, if you don't own a ricer, shredding the potato on a box grater works perfectly. that's how we make it and i can vouch for the fact that it works.

you're so right about the ridges... not totally necessary!

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWe Are Never Full

They look great! it nice to have the family make them together, some how they taste better!!
Thanks for sharing, Chef Chuck

December 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChef Chuck

I sooo need to try this. Gnocci is one of my fave dishes so to make it at home would be so much better than some of the lackluster versions around here in Orlando.

Now, excuse me a moment while I go order myself a potato ricer ;) Thanks for the recipe and video!

January 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLys

I love gnocci, every time I try to make them they are hard enough to break a window. I can't wait to try to make them this way.

December 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTina

I just tried making these and they turned out fantastic! muuuuch better than my last attempt a few years ago that ended up like glue! I don't have a potato ricer so I used the coarse grating method mentioned in one of the comments. yum!!

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKezz

I made Gnocchi for the first time today and wish I had found your MOST helpful himts first! 5 hours and a big mess. Too moist, too sticky, used the ice water bath, slimy!!!! They ended up tasting great, but WAY too much work. Your steps could have saved me about 4 1/2 hours! I can't wait to try them again and I will definately try your way very soon.

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

Best potatoes...Yukon Gold...dry and perfect for gnocchi...easiest pasta in the world to make...but I use the whole egg...not just the yoke...

January 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

I also freeze them on a flat pan before I cook them so they don't stick together

January 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Your gnocchi looks amazing. I'm dying to try it. In the picture it looks like you've used marinara sauce but I can't find a recipe for that on your site. Can you tell me what kind of red sauce you used? And whether the recipe is on your blog? Thanks!

October 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

From The Italian Dish:

Heather: Yes, I just used a simple marinara sauce. It doesn't matter - just use any sauce you like. If you like a certain jarred sauce, that's fine. I haven't posted a recipe for marinara. I guess I should! I just saute a little onion and garlic in olive oil, add crushed tomatoes and basil and simmer. Sometimes I add a little grated carrot for sweetness. In Sicily, sometimes they add a little sugar to cut the acid of the tomatoes. Simple.

October 19, 2010 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

Great! Your marinara sauce sounds very similar to mine. Yours just looks so incredibly appetizing I thought I'd better ask. Thanks so much for the info. I'll be trying your recipe very soon. Great blog! I'm hooked! : )

October 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Can I substitute sweet potatoes? Have you ever made gnocchi and frozen it?

December 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSheila

From The Italian Dish:

Sheila: Actually, I'm doing an upcoming post on Sweet Potato Gnocchi! Yes, you can use sweet potato. And I've frozen gnocchi plenty of times. Lay them on a baking sheet in the freezer in a single layer until they are frozen and then put them in ziplocks to store. Don't thaw them out before you boil them.

December 20, 2010 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

Incredible! thank you!!!! and yes, it is easier than it seems :) wished this recipe gave instruction for stuffing, and if it did i must have missed it!!!

January 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

Oh, I'm so glad I found your blog! That was the best gnocchi recipe to date. I made them a little too big, so they took a little longer to cook, but they were completely delicious. Thanks so much for your posts xxxx

June 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

One of the reasons why I like visiting your blog so much is because it has become a daily reference I can use Viagra Online in order to learn new nice stuff. It's like a curiosities box that surprises you over and over again.

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDarth Aradi

What a lovely "blow by blow" tutorial on how to make gnocchi! Todd English's recipe is the one I generally use but will try baking the potatoes instead, as above. It makes sense - why introduce more liquid when the desired result is a pile of dry, fluffy mashers? I like to add roasted garlic, saffron or tomato paste to the dough.

I have directed several people to your blog for this nice lesson!

September 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChiffonade

A woman after my own heart, I too bake my potatoes for gnocchi - definitely without question the best way to make gnocchi, a bit like not stirring your risotto, but shaking the pan, if it's good enough for Nonna it's good enough for me! Ci vediamo presto!

October 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate El Idrissi

okay so im just 17 but i love to cook and ive seen this being made in cooking shows and it always looked so good! but im wondering if its actually pasta or dumplings or what? shouldnt there be salt or some kind of seasoning added to it? and if its eaten with a sauce then doesnt the sauce overpower the taste of the gnocchi? also do we need the rice thingy? cant we just mash the potato and add the eggs and flour to that? i shall try to make this soon and im hoping it turns out as good as it looks =) !

October 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterzarin

Hi,
I've made your sweet potato gnocchi and they turned out great however when I made these they tasted like little tiny baked potatoes... not ideal. Can you help me determine what I've done wrong? I'm thinking perhaps I let the potatoes cool too much?

Thanks for the help!

May 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKristina

My mouth is watering while I read this recipe and look at your pictures. The pictures on this site are beautiful. Great job.

August 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEd at Blender Reviews

I just made these and they were SO good. I love the idea to bake the potatoes, it really cuts out the extra moisture that can make gummy gnocchi. Thank you!

September 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley @ Sensibly Gourmet

I have some homemade sauce in my freezer, I know what I'm going to pair with it. I've never had Gnocchi but I know I will love them! Thinking I may just make some artisan bread (your blog post) to go along with this because we all know a good crusty bread makes everything better! I love your blog. such great recipes with great photos.. You should do more videos please!!

November 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersherice@foodieluvsfitness

Love these. Always make a red sauce flavored with whole cloves-this is how all my Italian relatives make it. This is the only recipe we use cloves in. Have never seen a recipe like this in any Italian restaurant or cookbook

January 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJo

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