Gnocchi is a pretty easy Pasta dish. Homemade Potato Gnocchi is simple to make and has only 4 or 5 basic ingredients. Served in a simple homemade sauce, or even a store bought favorite, these light fluffy pillows of pasta will please everyone.
There are a few ways to make gnocchi, I find this to be the best way I have found. With just potatoes, flour, eggs and salt & pepper you can’t go wrong.
Gnocchi is basically a round or oval pasta that are boiled and then tossed in a sauce. Pretty simple, right? you can buy gnocchi but my experience with store bought (shelf stable) gnocchi was not good. It was dense, heavy and tough. I didn’t enjoy it. Once I decided to learn how to make my own I never looked back. The thought of making it is really more daunting than the actual making of it, I promise.
You really don’t need much in the way of specialized equipment, but I would recommend a potato ricer, which yields a fluffier potato (than mashing) which ultimately gives a fluffy gnocchi. Whatever way you choose to cook your potatoes DO NOT peel them until after they are cooked. Peeling the potatoes prior to cooking lets too much moisture into the flesh of the potato and you will get a gummy gnocchi. Not ideal.
If you want a simple and delicious sauce for the gnocchi, you can find the recipe for my homemade Easy Tomato Basil Sauce here
- 1 potato ricer
- 1 med pot for cooking gnocchi
- 4 large Russet potatoes *wash but leave the skin on
- 2 large eggs
- 3 cups all purpose flour *more if needed
- 1 tsp fine salt
- dash white pepper (optional)
- Wash the potatoes and put them in a medium pot, cover with cold water
- Cook the potatoes until fork tender (about 40 minutes)
- Remove the potatoes from the water and let them sit until they are cool enough to handle. As soon as you are able to handle them, remove the peels by scraping them off.
- Rice the potatoes (the hotter the potatoes are the fluffier the riced potatoes will be).
- Spread the riced potatoes out into a thin layer to cool. Expose as much of the potato as you can to the air.
- Put a large pot of salted water (new, clean water), on to boil over high heat.
- On your cool surface, gather the riced potatoes into a loose mound and make a well in the center.
- In a small bowl, beat the eggs, salt and pepper
- Pour the eggs into the well and start working the potatoes and eggs together while gradually adding as much flour as necessary to form a firm but moist dough. Use your hands and stop often to scrape up any dough that has stuck to the work surface and incorporate back into the dough.
- The dough should take no more than 10 minutes to come together. Do not overwork the dough as it will become tough and heavy. The less flour you use the lighter and fluffier the gnocchi will be. As you work the dough, dust it, your hands and the work surface lightly with flour when the dough starts to feel sticky.
- cut the dough into 4 equal portions and using your outstretched hands, roll each portion into a long rope about 1/2" thick. Cut the rope into pieces about 1/2" wide and sprinkle them with more flour. At this time you can form the pieces into a ball, or leave them long and press and roll them down the tines of a fork with your thumb to create ridges. Dip your thumb in more flour if needed to prevent the dough from sticking.
- Place the gnocchi on a baking sheet with a lightly floured tea towel or parchment paper.
- Repeat for the other 3 balls of dough.
- The gnocchi must be cooked or frozen at this point
- To cook the gnocchi drop them into the rapidly boiling, salted water. Once they float to the top they are done. Remove them with a slotted spoon into your waiting sauce.
- If you want to freeze the gnocchi, place the entire tray in the freezer for 4 hours or overnight. Once the gnocchi is frozen, remove from the tray and place in freezer bags. The gnocchi can be cooked from frozen. Do not thaw, once they float, they're ready for the sauce.