Homemade Gnocchi are the perfect substitute for traditional noodles in just about any pasta dish. If you haven’t had these perfect potato-based morsels before, get ready to swoon!
Homemade gnocchi are sure to impress. They will elevate your dish and make you look like a seasoned Italian chef. I mean, you are one anyways, right?
Surprisingly simple to prepare, this recipe only requires a bag of russet potatoes and a few ingredients you probably already have on hand.
So, What Exactly is Gnocchi?
There’s a big debate amongst foodies about whether or not gnocchi is part of the dumpling or pasta family. Typically, pasta is made from eggs and flour. Because gnocchi is made from eggs, flour and potatoes, their texture comes out more chewy and gummy than pasta. For all intents and purposes, gnocchi are a great substitute for pasta in just about any dish, but they have the texture of a dumpling. Therefore, I would argue that gnocchi is a hybrid of the two. See? There’s no need for a war!
Select the Right Potatoes for Gnocchi
Yukon potatoes are the basis of any perfect gnocchi. Why? They are most similar to the gold-fleshed potatoes native to Italy — the birthplace of this magnificently simple, yet delicious pasta sauce conduit. I also find that the flesh has a sweeter and nuttier flavor that elevates the gnocchi beyond a simple boiled ball of dough. If you must, you can use russet potatoes as well. Just remember that they are a bit more bland than yukons.
How Do You Make Gnocchi From Scratch?
You. Got. This. Don’t be intimidated by the luxurious nature of these morsels. Follow this step-by-step guide and you’ll get perfect gnocchi every time:
- Four ingredients = heaven. You only need FOUR ingredients to make gnocchi. Isn’t that awesome? Gather up your eggs, salt, all-purpose flour and yukon potatoes and let’s get started!
- To boil or bake? Some chefs boil their potatoes for gnocchi, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Why? Too much moisture can really impact your dough and ruin the texture of your gnocchi. Baking or air frying your potatoes ensures that you don’t run into this problem.
- Ricing your potatoes. Cut your potatoes in half and scoop out all that beautiful flesh. (Hot tip: Leave enough flesh on and use those skins to make a batch of potato skins. I mean, you shouldn’t waste food, right?) Using a potato ricer, rice the potatoes into tiny crumbles. Take special caution to not compress or smash the crumbles more than necessary. This will keep your gnocchi nice and light.
- Creating that perfect dough. Whisk your eggs first. Then, pour over your riced potatoes. In a separate bowl, combine your flour and salt. Finally, sprinkle the salt and flour mixture over the potatoes, knead the dough just enough to combine all the ingredients together. Layering the dough ingredients like this makes for a consistent dough with no lumps!
- Shaping your gnocchis. Using a butcher knife or bench scraper, cut off a portion of your dough and roll it into a long string about 1-inch wide. Again, using a knife or bench scaper, cut the string into ½-inch thick pieces. Finally, take each piece and roll it down the tines (or prongs) of a well-floured fork to get the signature gnocchi marks.
- Hot tip – Be extra fancy and purchase a gnocchi board to create the marks.
- Shaping the Gronnochi- To make them in even pieces, roll out the dough into a string. you can use a gnocchi board or just simply cut the dough.
- Hot tip – press the dough against the back of the floured fork and it will create similar marks on the gnocchi.
To cook your gnocchi, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Dump roughly 15-20 gnocchi into the pot at a time. Once they float to the top, give them roughly 10-15 more seconds of cooking time before removing them with a slotted spoon. Place them on a serving platter spread with olive oil (or a little of the pasta sauce you plan to serve them with) to prevent sticking. Continue cooking your batches until you run out of dough.
Hot tip: Some chefs like to give the gnocchi a little pan fry when they come out of the boil. If this sounds like you, heat a skillet over medium heat with a little olive oil. Crisp up boiled gnocchi to your desire, then toss with your sauce as per usual.
What Do You Eat Gnocchi With?
The possibilities are endless. Toss gnocchi in a simple marinara or alfredo sauce. Or, be extra authentic and brown some butter and sage, add your gnocchi and season to taste with salt and pepper. A generous grating of fresh parmesan cheese and olive oil will do the trick for you purists out there.
You can also make our favorite chicken gnocchi soup.
Making Gnocchi Ahead
Gnocchi is one of the best foods to make ahead of time! Here’s how to store them for later use:
Place gnocchi on a well-floured surface. Then, generously sprinkle more flour right on top of them to prevent any sticking. Once the gnocchi hardens at room temperature, transfer them to a Ziploc bag or an airtight container and pop in the freezer. Frozen gnocchi should keep for up to 3 months.
Hot Tip: When you are cooking frozen gnocchi, boil them in smaller portions than you would fresh ones. Frozen gnocchi cool down boiling water, so it’s best to leave some extra room to prevent sticking.
Cook your gnocchi according to instructions. Allow them to cool down. Then, place gnocchi in an airtight container for up to five days in the fridge. Reheat them in a skillet or in the microwave.
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- Bake Potatoes at 400 °F for about 1 hour. Use a fork to check if they are cooked. Allow them to cool enough to be able to handle them.
- Cut potatoes in half, spoon out the inside. Leave the potato skin thick enough, if you plan to use it. Run the scooped potato through a ricer or a grinder. Let it cool down.
- Whisk eggs in a separate bowl. Drizzle the egg mixture over the potatoes.
- Mix salt into flour. Sprinkle flour over potatoes. Work the dough, just enough to combine everything together.
- Cut off a small piece of dough and roll it into a straight line. Cut it into half inch sized pieces. Take each piece and roll it down the tines of a well floured fork.
- To cook gnocchi, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add gnocchi to the water and stir to prevent it from them sticking together. Cook until gnocchi will float to the top. Serve with your favorite pasta sauce or butter.