What spells comfort food more than pasta and potatoes? With gnocchi you get the best of both worlds! It’s the Italian version of potato dumplings with a soft pillowy and slightly chewy texture that is so addictive! This is my favorite homemade pasta on the planet because it’s so easy and delicious with no pasta machine required! The part that takes a few extra minutes is rolling out and cutting up your dough but the great thing about gnocchi is you can do that ahead of time, freeze it, and remove it to boil when you’re ready for it and it cooks up in about a minute! Store bought is a convenient option but it’s often not the same and does not give you the option to customize and control the ingredients in your gnocchi the way you can when you make it at home. It can be made with so many other veggies besides potatoes….spinach, cauliflower, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, or pumpkin, and even cheeses like ricotta and goat cheese! Yum! Once you try this and see how easy, delicious, and versatile homemade gnocchi is, you may never go back to store bought again! I know I haven’t!
Makes: Approximately 4 Cups of Gnocchi
Inactive Cooking Time: 8 minutes to 1 hour to cook potatoes and 10 minutes to boil gnocchi in batches
Active Prep Time: Approximately 30 minutes to make dough, roll, and cut
- 2 pounds (about 4) baking potatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 egg white or omit to keep it vegan-(You can add a couple tbsp of water in place of the egg to moisten the potato mixture to help it combine better with the flour if the mixture seems a bit dry)
- 1 to 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, or flour substitute (You can also substitute GF flour if you want to make this gluten free. You may need to add more or less depending on the size of your potatoes.)
Prick potatoes with a fork and bake in 400 degree oven for approximately 1 hour. Or microwave on high for about 8-10 minutes.
While potatoes are still warm slice in half and scoop flesh into a potato ricer, then press though into a bowl. (Potato Ricers are perfect for this because they create a super light feathery texture with the potato filling without any clumps. If you don’t have a ricer you can use a box grater by peeling each potato half and grating against the holes, just make sure not to allow any clumps of potato pass through or it will break apart portions of your dough.) Add salt, baking powder, egg white to the riced potatoes. Add the flour a little at a time and mix with your hands until the mixture forms a rough dough but be careful not to overwork the dough. Stop adding flour as soon as the dough comes together and starts to get more pliable. You will likely not need all the flour so don’t feel like you have to keep adding flour until it’s gone or else the gnocchi will become too dense and will not rise to the top of the pot as they should once they’re done boiling. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured piece of wax or parchment paper or use a cutting board. Gently knead the dough for 1 or 2 minutes until smooth, adding a little bit more flour, if necessary, to keep it from sticking.
Break off a piece of the dough and roll it back and forth into a rope, about the thickness of your finger. Cut the rope into 1-inch pieces. Gently roll each piece down the floured surface while pressing lightly with the tines of a fork. The gnocchi should be slightly curved and marked with ridges. This will allow the gnocchi to hold sauce better when served. If using gluten free flour, you will notice a different texture in the dough that tends to break more easily when rolling back and forth. To avoid this roll the ropes of dough gently and repeated in one direction, instead of back and forth.
Boil the gnocchi in batches of boiling salted water. The gnocchi are done in about 1-2 minutes, after they float to the surface. If the gnocchi start to break apart in boiling water, you need more flour. If the gnocchi don’t float after 2 minutes and are hard, you used too much flour.
Remove cooked gnocchis with a slotted spoon, and repeat until all gnocchis are cooked. Bathe in a rich delicious sauce and get ready for pasta heaven!
- Try these homemade gnocchi in my easy and delicious Gnocchi Cheat Sheet Pan Dinner with my Roasted Garlic and Red Bell Pepper Sauce. Click here for the recipe!
Recipe Tip: If not cooking immediately, place the gnocchi in a single layer on a baking pan dusted with flour. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to overnight. If they’re kept uncooked in the fridge any longer than that, the dough will start to oxidize and turn gray. To avoid that and save for later, freeze uncooked gnocchi and pull out as needed for recipes. To prevent your gnocchi from freezing together in a clump DO NOT add all fresh uncooked gnocchi pieces together in a large ziplock bag before they’ve been frozen. Place the uncooked gnocchi on a sheet pan and put in the freezer for about 30 minutes so they harden first. Then place all the pieces together in a freezer bag and store in freezer until ready to use.
Enjoy this recipe or have questions? Feel free to leave a comment!