I’ve tried making gnocchi dozens of times and the results are usually one of three: too hard (too much flour), too gummy (too much water in potatoes), or they fall apart in the water (think boiled mashed potatoes). I’ve then resorted to buying gnocchi from the store and all I can taste is preservatives? So, after lots of trial and error and thanks to my mamma here is the perfect recipe for pillowy clouds we Italians call- gnocchi! Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get them perfect the first time. This is a recipe that requires a little effort, but once you get it down, there is no going back. I made up this useful gnocchi phrase to help you- “no need to over knead the dough, if you are gentle they will be tender”.

Typically, gnocchi are rolled using a fork to make their signature marks. These marks serve a distinct purpose to soak up more sauce in each little bite. If you find the rolling tricky you can omit that step and just stick to the round shapes. Either way, I’m confident you will love the results. Here are some recommended sauces that are already on the blog:

Classic Pesto Genovese

Brown butter Sage (from the Butternut Squash Risotto recipe)

Sugo al Pomodoro

Polpette di Nonna Laura

Be sure to check out the step by step by step videos at the bottom of the post.

Made with Amore,

Elena and Roberta

Pillowy Soft Potato Gnocchi

Ingredients:

  •  2 pounds of potatoes  (recommended Idaho russet)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Cup All-purpose flour (you may need less)
  • 1 1/2  teaspoon salt

Potato Gnocchi Method:

  1. Start by poking the potatoes all over using a fork. Place them in a preheated 375°F oven for about an hour. After this, the skins should be crisp and the interior should easily pierce with a knife. This process dries out the potato, so you have to use less flour!
  2. Remove the skin with a clean cloth. This will allow more steam to escape. Less steam means less moisture, and less moisture means lighter, fluffier gnocchi. Cover with plastic wrap and let cool- you can do when they are warm it just might be hot on your hands.
  3. Once they have cooled down, pass them through the fine holes of a cheese grater (or a potato ricer). Once the potatoes are grated down to fluffy little bits- they will look like cauliflower rice, place them onto a rimmed baking sheet and measure to 450 grams or 1 pound. It is important to weigh your potatoes since they vary so much in size/weight.
  4. Add one beaten egg spread evenly across (1 beaten egg for every 450 grams potato). Incorporate egg with the potato with a fork, gently,  
  5. Sift (1/4 cup) at a time of all-purpose flour (with the salt added) across the potatoes. Gently toss with fork to incorporate. Add more flour little by little. You may not need all the flour if the potatoes are more dry you may need to add a little more. 
  6. Bring the potatoes into a ball of dough using a bench scraper (or the desired tool- a fork or rice cooker spoon works as well) to chop and mix everything up to make sure the egg and flour are evenly distributed. Start using your hands to press it into one cohesive mass.
  7. Once the mass is formed, start kneading for about 90 seconds. A phrase to remember, “no need to over knead, if you are gentle they will be tender.” You still need to knead until it is a solid mass, but just don’t go crazy.
  8. Make a big ball of dough, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 20 minutes on your counter. 
  9. Once the dough has rested, cut into 1 inch sections and roll it out into a fat little log and cut into four even pieces (see picture below). Sift some all-purpose flour onto a work surface then roll each piece of dough into a 1” thick rope. Press down any uneven spots until it is even.
  10. Then using a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut into little dumplings or into the desired size.
  11. For a classic gnocchi shape, press down against the tines of a fork using your thumb down and across the fork.
  12. Once all of the dough has been cut and shaped into the desired gnocchi shape, place onto a rimmed baking sheet and cover with a light dusting of all-purpose flour. For non-immediate cooking, place in the freezer to solidify for 1 hour, then scrape off and place in a bag and back into the freezer. They freeze great! For immediate use, cook with one of the sauces on this blog (recommendations below)!
  13. Cooking instruction: cooking is just like pasta. Bring a large pot of water to boil (do not let the water boil too vigorously or the gnocchi can fall apart) , salt it well, then scoot in your frozen or fresh gnocchi. Occasionally give them a gentle stir, but otherwise let them boil. Once they float to the surface of the water, you know they’re ready. Use slotted spoon and lift them out of the water and onto a serving dish then top with your favorite sauce!
    1. I recommend cooking 5 tester gnocchi’s before baking the whole batch. These are your testers to make sure the consistency is right.
    2. RESCUE METHOD: If for some reason they melt into the water you can gather the dough into a ball again and incorporate more flour to firm them.

* Gnocchi are so worth getting right! If you fail the first time- Try again! You will start to get a feel for the consistency.

Recommended sauces:

Classic Pesto Genovese

Brown butter Sage (from the Butternut Squash Risotto recipe)

Sugo al Pomodoro

Polpette di Nonna Laura

Pillowy Soft Potato Gnocchi

Wrap the ball of dough in a tea cloth or plastic wrap as you are cutting and rolling all the pieces.

Pillowy Soft Potato Gnocchi

You can leave them like this if you don’t want to roll each one with a fork.

Pillowy Soft Potato Gnocchi

Or, have some fun! Watch how to shape:

Print
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Pillowy Soft Potato Gnocchi

Pillowy Soft Potato Gnocchi

  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Savory
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

I’ve tried making gnocchi dozens of times and the results are usually one of three: too hard (too much flour), too gummy (too much water in potatoes), or they fall apart in the water (think boiled mashed potatoes). So, after lots of trial and error and thanks to my mamma here is the perfect recipe for pillowy clouds we Italians call- gnocchi!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 450 g potatoes or 1 pound (recommended Idaho russet)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Cup All-purpose flour (you may need less)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Start by poking the potatoes all over using a fork. Place them in a preheated 375°F oven for about an hour. After this, the skins should be crisp and the interior should easily pierce with a knife. This process dries out the potato, so you have to use less flour!
  2. Remove the skin with a clean cloth. This will allow more steam to escape. Less steam means less moisture, and less moisture means lighter, fluffier gnocchi. Cover with plastic wrap and let cool- you can do when they are warm it just might be hot on your hands.
  3. Once they have cooled down, pass them through the fine holes of a cheese grater (or a potato ricer). Once the potatoes are grated down to fluffy little bits- they will look like cauliflower rice, place them onto a rimmed baking sheet and measure to 450 grams or 1 pound. It is important to weigh your potatoes since they vary so much in size/weight.
  4. Sift (1/4 cup) at a time of all-purpose flour (with the salt added) across the potatoes. Gently toss with fork to incorporate. Add more flour little by little. You may not need all the flour if the potatoes are more dry you may need to add a little more. Before adding the egg the dough should start to come together when incorporating.
  5. Add one beaten egg spread evenly across (1 beaten egg for every 450 grams potato).
  6. Bring the potatoes into a ball of dough using a bench scraper (or the desired tool- a fork or rice cooker spoon works as well) to chop and mix everything up to make sure the egg and flour are evenly distributed. Start using your hands to press it into one cohesive mass.
  7. Once the mass has formed, start kneading for about 90 seconds. A phrase to remember, “no need to over knead, if you are gentle they will be tender. You still need to knead until it is a solid mass, but just don’t go crazy.
  8. Once the dough is smooth and no egg or flour streaks remain, cut into 1 inch sections and roll it out into a fat little log and cut into four even pieces (see picture below). Sift some all-purpose flour onto a work surface then roll each piece of dough into a 1” thick rope. Press down any uneven spots until it is even.
  9. Then using a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut into little dumplings or into the desired size.
  10. For a classic gnocchi shape, press down against the tines of a fork using your thumb down and across the fork.
  11. Once all of the dough has been cut and shaped into the desired gnocchi shape, place onto a rimmed baking sheet and cover with a light dusting of all-purpose flour. For non-immediate cooking, place in a freezer to solidify for 1 hour, then scrape off and place in a bag and back into the freezer. They freeze great! For immediate use, cook with one of the sauces on this blog!
  12. Cooking instruction: cooking is just like pasta. Bring a large pot of water to boil, salt it well, then scoot in your frozen or fresh gnocchi. Occasionally give them a gentle stir, but otherwise let them boil. Once they float to the surface of the water, you know they’re ready. Use slotted spoon and lift them out of the water and onto a serving dish then top with your favorite sauce!
    1. I recommend cooking 5 tester gnocchi’s before baking the whole batch. These are your testers to make sure the consistency is right.
    2. RESCUE METHOD: If for some reason they melt into the water you can gather the dough into a ball again and incorporate more flour to firm them.

Notes

Gnocchi are so worth getting right! If you fail the first time- Try again! You will start to get a feel for the consistency.

Recommended sauces:

Keywords: Potato Gnocchi, Gnocchi, Gnocchi Recipe, Home Made Gnocchi, Soft Potato Gnocchi, Soft Gnocchi Recipe