Gnocchi is an easy to make Italian pasta made from potatoes. Incredibly versatile these make for a quick meal and don’t take long to cook. Top with your favorite sauces and protein and you have a wonderful meal in a short amount of time.
You can never go wrong with gnocchi. I have always loved the light and soft texture of the pasta. It is like biting into a billowy cloud. Many liken them to a lighter dumpling, and they work with many different sauces and cooking methods. The groves and curl are perfect for holding any sauce you want to cook them in.
In this recipe
There are very few ingredients to this recipe and the main one being potatoes and flour.
Potato: a good russet is the best kind of potato for this recipe as it is very starchy.
Flour: this will help the potatoes stay together as well as give the pasta shape.
Egg: this will bind the pasta together
Choose a starchy potato
There are three kinds of potatoes starchy, waxy, and all-purpose. Waxy potatoes are just what their name implies a potato that has more water and a waxy texture due to less starch in them. These aren’t the best for making gnocchi as you might get a gummier pasta. Starchy potatoes such as russet are very low in moisture and are drier than their waxy counterparts because of the high starch content. These make them perfect for gnocchi and they will absorb the flour and egg to give a soft dough. All-purpose are a mix of both type of potatoes and work in a pinch however russet work best.
Cooking and Mashing
One of the important things is to start the potatoes in cold water when cooking. If the water is warm then the outside will be done while the inside is still raw. Then by the time the whole potato is cooked it will have started breaking apart and absorbed too much water. The best way to prepare the potatoes for mashing is to use a ricer however if you don’t have one a box grater works as well. Over mashing will make the potatoes gummy so you don’t want to overwork the dough.
Shaping the dough
Once the dough is ready you will want to gently roll it out into long ropes about half an inch wide. Then you will cut the ropes into small pieces. This will be roughly the size of your final gnocchi. If you have a gnocchi board than lightly dust it with flour along with your hands and gently press down and away from your body. This will cause the gnocchi to curl and get the characteristic grooves in the gnocchi, if you don’t have a gnocchi board then you can use a fork to lightly press grooves into the top of the pasta.
How to cook gnocchi
One of the best parts of gnocchi is how long it takes to cook. It only takes a couple of minutes. Once the gnocchi is added to the boiling water it will sink to the bottom. Once they start to float they are done. This should only take a couple of minutes and you can toss them in your favorite sauce. If you would like them to have a little crisp then you can sauté them in a pan of olive oil for a couple of minutes and then toss in sauce.
Looking for other pasta recipes?
Easy Homemade Gnocchi
- Potato ricer
- Gnocchi board or fork
- Mixing Bowl
- Spatula or spoon
- 2 pounds russet potatoes 3-4 large
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Wash off potatoes and place them in a pot or saucepan of warm water. Bring to a boil and cook for 45-60 minutes or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a knife.
- If using a box grater peel and grate the potatoes. If using a potato ricer cut into quarters and pass through the ricer into a large bowl.
- Add the flour, beaten egg and salt. Gently mix until it forms a soft dough. Do not overmix once it comes together.
- Cut the ball into 8 equal portions and gently roll into a rope about 1/2 inch thick. Using a knife cut 1 inch long sections of the rope. Using a gnocchi board lightly floured gently press down and away to cause the gnocchi to form into a roll with ridges. You can also use a lightly floured fork and gently press to firm small ridges.
- To cook the gnocchi add to boiling water and remove once they start to float, about 2 minutes.