How To Make Gnocchi

in Dinner, How-To

Gnocchi

Growing up I had an obsession with gangster movies. It started when I was like ten years old and my film buff of an uncle showed me Reservoir Dogs. When my parents picked me up from his house later that day and I started telling them my favorite lines from the too-grown-up-for-me movie I had just seen, they knew he had corrupted me. My parents were pretty bummed that I now wanted to trade in my Disney princesses for mob dudes, but I’m happy they let me watch all the shoot-’em-up movies I wanted. It made me a more well rounded child, I think.

So, When I used to think of gnocchi, my brain would first think of The Godfather 3, which, by the way, never see. Truly awful. It was the world’s first introduction to Sofia Coppola. She was sitting on a table in a velvet black dress, looking drop dead gorgeous, rolling gnocchi. While the movie was a total bust and super sad because it could’ve been good, the gnocchi scene is still one of my favorite food scenes.

If you’ve ever made gnocchi, it’s hardly diffcult, but much like pupusas, it’s very touch and feel. And I do think making it for the first time might be a little intimidating, so I figured doing a little how to on making gnocchi might be helpful.

Make Gnocchi

Gnocchi begins by roasting starchy potatoes. In this instance, I used good ol’ russett potatoes. They take about an hour to cook all the way through.

A little slice in the top releases some of their steam so you can handle them.

I used to make mashed potatoes by mashing them with one of those hand mashers, but ever since I started using this ricer, I’ll never, EVER go back. A potato ricer is a dreamy kitchen tool.

All of the potato gets scooped out and put through the ricer.

It’ll come out in pretty little strings that are ridiculously fluffy.

Personally, my favorite gnocchi is gnocchi that’s light and fluffy.

Some people love using an egg, but I’m more of a fan of the potato and flour combo. I find it lighter and more pillowy, which I think is the ultimate goal with gnocchi.

Half of the flour is added to your kitchen counter or cutting board and the riced potato is poured out.

The next step is kneading the potato and flour together.

This is when it’s very much by touch. If it’s not kneaded enough, the dough won’t stick together; if it’s kneaded too much, the potato will turn into a gummy mess.

I go little by little until everything starts to come together.

After it’s kneaded a few times, the rest of the flour is added.

A bit more kneading…

And then the test! A small piece of gnocchi is rolled out, cut and dropped into a pot of simmering hot water.

If the gnocchi falls apart, then it wasn’t kneaded enough, which is totally fine because you have the rest of the dough to correct.

You know the gnocchi is perfectly kneaded when it rises to the top of the pot after a minute or so and comes out only slightly ragged around the edges. A little bit of raggedness is fine.

Then the rolling and cutting of the rest of the dough happens.

Roll.

Make Gnocchi

Roll some more.

Roll Gnocchi

And cut. Couldn’t be easier!

After your gnocchi is cut, you could make it right away, or you could freeze it for later. Like, make a big batch, flash freeze it and then whenever you’re hungry, boom! dinz!

Tomorrrow I’m going to share a sauce I paired it with. Hope you found this a little helpful. And I hope this means gnocchi is in your near future.

xo
Adrianna

Make Gnocchi

How To Make Gnocchi

Print this recipe!

2 pounds (about 2-3) russet potatoes
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more if needed

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake until they’re tender when poked with a fork. This should take about one hour. When the potatoes are done, immediately slice them open to let the steam out.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add a few pinches of salt. Scoop out the potato flesh and transfer it to a potato ricer or food mill. Push that thing down and repeat until you’ve passed all of the potato through the ricer. Sprinkle the potatoes with the salt and adjust according to your liking.

3. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of flour onto your clean counter or cutting board. Knead the potatoes with it, sprinkling in the remaining 1/4 cup flour, until the dough just comes together. If it’s still pretty shaggy, add more flour one tablespoon at a time.

4. Now for the test! Pinch off a piece of dough and roll out into a tube. Cut it into a few pieces and boil it to make sure it holds its shape. If it falls apart in the water, this means you’ll knead the dough a bit more. When right, the gnocchi will float to the top and look a little ragged, but hold together, when ready.

5. Roll the rest of the dough into ropes that are about 1/2-inch thick, then cut the ropes into 1/2-inch lengths. Transfer the gnocchi to a parchment-lined baking sheet, being sure the gnocchi don’t touch each other.

6. Add the gnocchi to a boiling water a few at a time. Adjust the heat so the mixture doesn’t boil too vigorously–it should be more like an aggressive simmer. When the gnocchi rise to the surface of the water, they’re done. Remove them with a slotted spoon or mesh strainer and transfer them to your sauce or to a paper towel.

Serves 6

Adapted from Mark Bittman

Make Gnocchi

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle April 3, 2013 at 12:25 am

Wait — you ‘had’ an obsession with gangster movies? Where did it go?!

Gnocchi is the best. So forgiving. So delicious.

PS – Great nail polish.

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Adrianna April 3, 2013 at 10:21 pm

I feel like I’ve seen all the good ones. I haven’t watched a good (and new) gangster movie in ages. AGES!

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Antonia @ Health Inspirations April 3, 2013 at 2:48 am

I love gnocchi and they are so worth making.The home-made kind is 1000x better than the store-bought ones. Loving the nail polish :)

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thecitygourmand April 3, 2013 at 3:26 am

Must. buy. potato. ricer. That gnocchi looks too good!

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Adrianna April 3, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Totally worth it.

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Abby @The Frosted Vegan April 3, 2013 at 3:56 am

Sooo good, snd worth the work!

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Elisa @ Insalata di Sillabe April 3, 2013 at 3:57 am

Gnocchi are a staple here in Italy and I usually make them quite often, especially on Sundays! I’ll try your recipe, since you completely got me when talking about fluffy and light gnocchi…interesting! I’ll let you know how they turn out :)

xo, Elisa

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Adri {Food-N-Thought} April 3, 2013 at 6:43 am

My child obsession was gnochi actually, I remember begging my mom to go to the local Italian market where they would sell them by the pound, I actually have a little tool to make gnochi she gave me, not really sure how it works but I might go figure it out with this recipe ;)

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Marie @ Little Kitchie April 3, 2013 at 7:54 am

Fabulous tutorial! I’ve made sweet potato gnocchi before and it’s one of my favorite meals! P.S. Your nail polish is cute, as always :)

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Jen @ Fresh from the... April 3, 2013 at 8:48 am

Oh man, I love gnocchi! I once had a boy make it for me, but have yet to try making it myself. Perhaps I’ll give it a go now!

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Eileen April 3, 2013 at 10:10 am

Those gnocchi look beautiful! We’ve successfully made sweet potato gnocchi, but have somehow never tried the classic with plain potato–maybe that will have to change. :)

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Chloe Moon April 3, 2013 at 10:59 am

I’m utterly enamored with this post!! My boyfriend always orders gnocchi when we go out to an Italian restaurant so this recipe is right up my alley! You put the potatoes in a ricer to shred? Can you grate a potato with a normal grater instead? I would really love to know because I would love to make this recipe!

Thanks!

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Adrianna April 3, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Hmm…maybe you can. I’ve never done it that way. The ricer is worth the investment, I feel like. It results n the fluffiest potatoes EVER. But if you don’t want to buy one I’d recommend roasting the potatoes and then grating them with the grater.

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Sarah April 3, 2013 at 11:54 am

Thanks for the step-by-step tutorial!

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sandra April 3, 2013 at 12:02 pm

these look so good – but I always think of gnocchi as lumpy, bumpy and not so uniform as the ones you made (or the ones Deb from Smitten Kitchen made – so what do I know). Also, this recipe requires a ricer, which I don’t own. What might work as a substitute for one of those handy but too-big-for-my-little-kitchen devices?

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Adrianna April 3, 2013 at 10:25 pm

I think the ricer is key in giving you that light and fluffy gnocchi. I do think shredding the cooked potatoes with a grater might work too.

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Michelle Ritchie | Delicious Karma April 3, 2013 at 12:15 pm

LOVE gnocchi! I made them once, a long time ago, with an ex who had spent 6 months in Italy learning how to cook. It was fun! But I have not made them since. This inspires me to try them again…maybe now with my hubby. :-)

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Adrianna April 3, 2013 at 10:27 pm

Doooo it!

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Kasha the FarmGirl April 3, 2013 at 12:18 pm

They look so simple when you make them. It must be the manicure ;)

Have you ever made them with BLUE potatoes? Gorgeous!

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Adrianna April 3, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Dude! No, I haven’t but that sounds beautiful. Must try this soon!

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Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) April 3, 2013 at 1:07 pm

I’ve made all sorts of gnocchi but never the original! I should try :)

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Iris April 3, 2013 at 1:13 pm

I now have an excuse to buy a potato ricer.

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Stu Borken April 3, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Roll each segment over the back of a fork just once to make grooves, they hold your sauces more effectively.
I love fluffy gnocchi, the heavy ones sit like lead in your stomach. Fluffy good, lead bad.

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Jayne April 3, 2013 at 7:06 pm

I never really developed a taste for gnocchi. Maybe because the ONE time I ever had it, it was just weird. This might be a case of making it myself to see if I like it or not. Seems easy!

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Tieghan April 3, 2013 at 7:41 pm

Friday night, these are my date!

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Liria April 3, 2013 at 10:17 pm

Thank you so much for this recipe. I tried once to do gnocchi and it was quite difficult. The were very tasty but gave me too much work to do. I’m going to try your recipe and see how it works, the one I used before had an egg so maybe this one works better for me.

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Natashia@foodonpaper April 4, 2013 at 1:20 am

I always thought making gnocchi was difficult until I made it a couple of months ago, but it’s super easy and so much better than what you buy in the shops! I like adding a bit of grated parmesan in mine to give it that extra kick of flavour.

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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar April 4, 2013 at 11:30 am

I’ve been wanting to try this for so long! Looks awesome!

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Katie @ Blonde Ambition April 4, 2013 at 12:21 pm

I made gnocchi for the first time a few months ago with sweet potato, and was pleased to see that it’s not as difficult as one would imagine! You definitely lay it out super clearly here, and your gnocchi look beautiful!

I don’t have a ricer or food mill so I used a box grater. The final gnocchi had a little bit of texture to it, but none of my taste testers minded :)

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Bryan April 5, 2013 at 9:29 am

I need to find a potato ricer!!!!

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Adrianna April 5, 2013 at 9:32 am

I hyperlinked the word “potato ricer” taking you to one on Amazon that’s good and isn’t too pricey.

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Ayla April 7, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Oh my lordy, gnocchi is on the menu!

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Sophia @ NY Foodgasm April 10, 2013 at 7:20 pm

WOW, just beautiful and looks soooo good!

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Denise April 10, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Making gnocchi has become an obsession for us this year – so easy and so tasty. Isn’t it? I made a bit batch last month and served it with a pea mint pesto – very refreshing, and the perfect way to say hello to spring.

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Chrissy November 1, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Hi there! I was trying to make a glueten free version with almond flour but it fell apart when I put it in the boil :-( I think the boil was too vigorous but then I thought maybe the almond flour ruind it. What do you think?

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Adrianna Adarme November 2, 2013 at 8:12 am

Oof. I actually think the it was a combo of the almond flour and the vigorous boil. Next time I’d try a soft boil and I’d use rice or potato flour.

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Andrea March 31, 2014 at 8:25 pm

Why did you roast the potatoes and not boil them

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Adrianna Adarme April 1, 2014 at 9:55 pm

Roasting the potatoes concentrates their flavor and avoids excess water. I prefer roasting them but you can boil them if you like, just make sure to drain them thoroughly.

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