How to Make Gnocchi

Ever encountered a food you find intimidating (and hard to pronounce), so you never make it at home because you think it’s super fancy and challenging to make? Then you realize it actually is pretty easy to do a homemade version. Say buongiorno to gnocchi.

Gnocchi are small, pillow-y potato dumplings. Usually served with a tomato sauce, pesto, or butter and cheese, gnocchi is the pasta-alternative for those wanting a heartier, but still delicate, dish.

I made my first attempt at homemade gnocchi, and documented the steps for you! Without further ado, let me chronicle Gnocchi Night:

The first thing you need to do is enlist two of your best girlfriends to help you. This lets you call a random Saturday night as Gnocchi Night. The extra set of hands will also come in handy for amateur gnocchi makers like me.

Buy 3 lbs of russet potatoes, and boil until tender.

Peel the skin off and do NOT pull a Snoop Dogg (don’t drop it while it hot)

Furiously mash the potatoes. In an ideal world, you will have a ricer (or you will remember to bring your masher) but since this is your first attempt at gnocchi, you realize that you can just call your lumpy dumplings “rustic”

Transfer to a bigger bowl (you should’ve used a giant bowl to start with, doh!) and add 1 cup parmesan cheese, 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour, and 1/4 tablespoon each of salt and pepper. Mix well until the dough is smooth and just slightly sticky (you may need to add more flour)

Take a moment to smile for the camera as you roll the dough into long logs (about 1 inch in diameter). Appreciate the extra set of helping hands. Friends make everything more fun!

Now ignore those friends as they laugh at and re-do the logs you made (“it looks like a snake that just fed on something”)

Cut the logs into 1-inch pillows, and roll each at the back of a fork to make ridges

Don’t worry if the gnocchi are uneven! This is your first time after all, and remember – you are going for “rustic”

To cook the gnocchi, simply boil some water with salt and drop the gnocchi in. They will float to the top as they cook. Stir gently, and cook for only a couple of minutes. We served the gnocchi with a few drops of truffle oil…

… and more parmesan cheese.

Each bite was soft and delicate, and I loved the simple parmesan flavor. It was a very encouraging first attempt at making homemade gnocchi. Next time I will cut the gnocchi into smaller bites, and also experiment with different cheeses, flavors, and sauces.

One of the things that inspired me to venture into gnocchi-making was receiving a recipe for Davio’s Homemade Potato Gnocchi. Executive Chef Rodney Murillo is one of the participating chefs at Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation fundraiser, which I am attending in a couple of weeks. Below is the original recipe, but I made some adjustments as I indicated above.

Homemade Potato Gnocchi

10 lbs Russet Potatoes
7 Whole Eggs
10 Cups Sifted Flour
7 Cup Parmesan Cheese (Grated)
Salt
Pepper

Boil Potatoes until tender. While hot, strain, peel and put through ricer. Set aside, let thoroughly cool (this can be done the day before). On a board, form a “mountain” with cooled “riced” potatoes. Add sifted flour, parmesan, salt and pepper. Make a hole at the top of the mountain and add the eggs into hole. Working from the eggs out, begin mixing eggs with potato until well blended. Cover with a slightly damp cloth or a bowl and let rest for 30 minutes. Roll dough into 2 foot long rolls about the size of a quarter in diameter. Cut into ½ inch pieces. Delicately dust with flour and place into a plastic container (only one layer with plenty of room). Cover and Freeze until ready to cook. (Once frozen, the gnocchi can be transferred into zip lock bags, the gnocchi can be kept frozen up to one month).

If you’re interested in Taste of the Nation, it is Boston’s largest hunger fundraiser, and it’s going to be held on April 14, 2011 at the Hynes Convention Center. The event will raise the critical funds needed to support Share Our Strength’s efforts to end childhood hunger in Boston and across the nation by 2015. You can find more info at the event site. I am looking forward to attending it!

I am also looking forward to eating more gnocchi.

Do you like gnocchi? Have you ever made it at home? If you have any favorite recipes, please post a link in the comments below – I’d like to try more variations!

   

27 Responses to “How to Make Gnocchi”

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    Emily @ A Cambridge Story posted April 5, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Nice job getting them to look uniform with those cute fork marks! I’ve had issues with my gnocchi presentation but nothing beats that homemade taste!

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    Victoria (District Chocoholic) posted April 5, 2011 at 9:51 am

    This was your first attempt? They look flawless!

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    Michelle posted April 5, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Yum! I love gnocchi and only recently made it for the first time! I’m also going to TON so I’m excited to see you there!

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    Meghan@travelwinedine posted April 5, 2011 at 10:07 am

    These look so incredible! I had a gnocchi disaster in college, but I really should try again!

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    Michelle Collins posted April 5, 2011 at 10:32 am

    These look great! I made gnocchi for the first time a few weeks ago, and mine came out deformed, albeit delicious!

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    Elizabeth posted April 5, 2011 at 11:01 am

    10 lbs of potatoes! That’s a lot!

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      Bianca Garcia posted April 5, 2011 at 11:02 am

      Haha yes that’s why I modified it and only used 3 :)

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    Megan posted April 5, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Ooohhh gnocchi! I’m in love with gnocchi-thanks for posting a homemade version! It looks like I can handle this :)

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    Lauren at Keep It Sweet posted April 5, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Sometimes food is SO much more satisfying when you make it yourself! Nice work:-)

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    Lesley Lifting Life posted April 5, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Your gnocchi looks delicious!! :)

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    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking posted April 5, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Bianca, this is a great recipe! I have always wanted to know how to make gnocchi, and your recipe will definitely come in handy. Thanks for sharing. You have a beautiful blog and I’m looking forward to exploring your recipes! :)

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    Daisy posted April 5, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    love that you turned this into a Saturday night event. your photo captions crack me up. I have never made gnocci from scratch but thinking about it soon, especially because you made it look so fun!!

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    Megan posted April 5, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    I still need to work on my homemade gnocchi making skills. Thanks for the step-by-step tips… and I’ll be sure to not pull a Snoop Dogg! See you at the event!

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    MelissaNibbles posted April 5, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    These look great. Gnocchi is very intimidating to me. Thanks for the steps!

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    Erica @ In and Around Town posted April 5, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    This attempt makes it seem so simple and the idea of making gnocchi is so intimidating to me! I definitely want to give it a try – your method makes it seem doable :)

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    Erin posted April 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Yay! My husband has been asking me to make gnocchi and I’ve been feeling very intimidated. Glad to see how beautiful yours turned out. Maybe, just maybe, I might be able to make them too! Thank you for sharing!

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    Bee posted April 5, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    I just made roasted beet gnocchi this weekend!–see my blog for my debacle with it, haha. I always make them far too large and bloaty, but they are SO fun to make. Try beet or sweet potato for some interesting flavor combos, I just found a recipe for goat cheese gnocchi, which will be next on my list.

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    christina posted April 5, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    i’ve always wanted to make gnocchi but haven’t yet. i need to get a bunch of my friends together to do it!

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    Corey @ the runners cookie posted April 5, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Homemade gnocchi sounds so amazing, but I think I’d have to built my kitchen confidence up to attempt it! Love that you served it with truffle oil and parm. I think I’d like a 2nd dinner now :)

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    Hannah posted April 6, 2011 at 12:58 am

    These look so lovely and not at all stodgy! I’ve had very limited experience with gnocchi (eating, have never made them), and have often been served sodden lumps of ookiness. I want yours!

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    Hannah @ Healthy Life posted April 6, 2011 at 3:27 am

    These look delicious!

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    Dana posted April 6, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Looks like a fun night and a delicious meal! Gnocchi has been on my list of things to make for a while… I really need to get to it!

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    Amanda L. (Tales from a Kitchen Misfit) posted April 6, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    I’ve made potato gnocchi and flour gnocchi. They taste pretty delicious but they aren’t lookers! That’s what I need to work on!

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      Bianca Garcia posted April 7, 2011 at 10:03 am

      Thanks Amanda! They were very fun to make and I can’t wat to try different flavors :)

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    Alicia posted May 1, 2011 at 9:14 am

    I can’t believe this was just your first try! They look gorgeous!

    I’ve made ricotta gnocchi before but never potato. It’s on my ‘to-do’ list though!
    http://www.thecleanplateclubblog.com/2010/02/ricotta-gnocchi.html

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    DB-The Foodie Stuntman posted February 19, 2012 at 5:40 am

    Hi,

    I just found your site when you made foodbuzz’s Top 9. Have you made potato gnocchi since this original post? If not, I recommend using Chef Anne Burrell’s recipe. There’s a cooking demonstration up on Food Network’s YouTube channel.

    A couple of hints for next time you make this recipe.

    1. Bake your potatoes (instead of boiling) before making your gnocchi dough. They’re easier to peel and the drier they are, the less flour the dough will need which will make the gnocchi lighter. Bake at 375 for 60 minutes or until fork tender.

    2. Invest in a food mill. Easier to use than a potato masher.

    3. I recommend making the gnocchi a day ahead and freezing them, as they will be less likely to dissolve or stick to the pot in the boiling water. No need to thaw, place them in the boiling water directly from the freezer.

    I hope this helps!

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    Michelle Charissa posted August 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Hii,i love your blog and the great recipe is just so amazing. Please visit my blog http://themichellefactorsencond.blogspot.com/ and drop some comment if you have time.

    Thank You,
    Michelle

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