This post contains an affiliate link. Learn more.
This recipe for foolproof gnocchi is based on one from My Italian Kitchen by Luca Manfé. (See one of Luca’s risotto recipes here.) The original is Spinach Gnocchi with Smoked Ricotta, which sounds delicious, but I’ve never made it! I have, however, used Luca’s gnocchi method on several occasions and it’s proven to be practically foolproof.
The method works equally well with white and sweet potatoes (seen in this post). I’ve even used red-skinned potatoes with good results! You’ll need about a pound of potatoes to make two to three servings. For me, this is usually two smaller potatoes or one really big one.
I’ve also included my method for sautéeing the gnocchi once they’ve been boiled. It’s not necessary, but it is highly recommended! This step is easiest in a nonstick skillet–I recommend the GreenPan Rio, a ceramic-coated pan.
- 1 lb potatoes
- 1 egg
- 1 cup flour (I use half whole wheat, half all-purpose)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to serve
- 1 tbsp olive oil, for sautéeing
- sauce of choice
- Cook the potatoes. You have several options: a) Bake them: Poke holes in the potatoes with a fork, wrap in foil and bake at 400F for about an hour, or until tender. b) Boil them: Place unpeeled potatoes in a pot and cover with water by at least an inch. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 30-40 minutes, or until tender. c) Microwave them: Poke holes in the potatoes with a fork, place on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for 5-7 minutes, or until tender.
- Once the potatoes are cooked and slightly cooled, remove the peel. (With sweet potatoes, you can usually just pull it off. For regular potatoes, try rubbing the peel off with a dry paper towel or use a knife.) Place the potato in a medium mixing bowl. Meanwhile, set a pot of salted water on the stove to boil.
- Mash the flesh until smooth. Use a ricer or handheld masher for this task because you want the potato to maintain some texture.
- While the potatoes are still warm, beat the egg briefly and then add it to the potatoes. Work the egg in with a fork.
- Add 3/4 of the flour and all of the salt and work them in, either with a spoon or your hands.
- Work in the cheese. Add more flour if the dough seems too sticky.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it just a few times to bring it together. Cut the dough into 4 to 6 equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll the dough into a log about 3/4-inch in diameter. Cut the log into 1-inch pieces and toss the gnocchi onto a plate or baking sheet with additional flour to keep them from sticking together. Repeat until all the dough is used up.
- When the water is boiling, drop about 10 gnocchi into the pot and stir once to keep them from sticking together. Meanwhile, heat a sauté or frying pan over medium heat and add the olive oil.
- When the gnocchi float, scoop them out with a slotted spoon and drop them directly into the sauté pan. Add more raw gnocchi to the boiling water as each batch is removed, and continue to place the boiled gnocchi in the sauté pan as they finish cooking.
- Cook the gnocchi in the olive oil, turning occasionally, until they become golden brown on both sides.
- Reduce the heat to low and add your sauce of choice to the pan, tossing the gnocchi in the sauce. You can add a little pasta water to thin the sauce, if necessary. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese.
- For a simple sage butter sauce, push the gnocchi to the edges of the pan and melt a few tablespoons of butter in the center. When the butter foams, add a few dried sage leaves. You can let the butter brown if you wish, or just wait until the foam subsides to continue. Add salt and pepper to taste and then toss the gnocchi in the sauce.
- You can also freeze the raw gnocchi to cook later–just place the plate or baking sheet in the freezer for an hour or so. Once the gnocchi are solid, you can remove them to a freezer bag. Toss frozen gnocchi directly into boiling water without defrosting, and cook as usual.
*Nutrition facts provided for white potatoes. Using 1 lb sweet potatoes = 349 calories (60 g carbohydrates, 10 g protein, 8 g fat)
You can also freeze the raw gnocchi to cook later–just place the plate or baking sheet in the freezer for an hour or so. Once the gnocchi are solid, you can remove them to a freezer bag. Toss frozen gnocchi directly into boiling water without defrosting, and cook as usual.