A guide for easy homemade potato gnocchi that will have you rolling little fluffy pillows like a pro! Homemade gnocchi is very simple and doesn't require many ingredients or equipment. This guide will give you all the tips and tricks for perfect gnocchi that I hope you will make time and time again.
Hello! One of my most requested recipes is for potato gnocchi. It's almost embarrassing I focus on Italian food and I haven't had one on my website until now. Homemade potato gnocchi is relatively simple to make and there are a few really important tricks that ensure success.
My favourite way to cook gnocchi is to boil and then pan fry. The golden crisp outside contrasts so well to the soft inside. A sage butter is a simple go to if you want something quick, I always default to my 10 minute brown butter for pasta.
Why you'll love making potato gnocchi at home
- Making gnocchi is actually very simple and only has three main ingredients!
- Apart from the time it takes to bake the potatoes, it's pretty quick as the dough doesn't need any resting time.
- Making anything from scratch just tastes so much better.
- Potato gnocchi are so versatile! They will work with any sauce and can even be made gluten free if you use rice flour instead of plain flour.
Ingredients for homemade gnocchi
- Potatoes - I am in New Zealand and use what we call Agria potatoes. You need a floury baking potato, nothing waxy. Use what you would normally use to roast. In the US you could use Yukon Gold potatoes.
- Flour - I have used plain flour (all purpose flour) but you could use 00 also. I haven't tried it but you should be able to substitute the flour for a gluten free blend or rice flour.
- Egg - I use one large egg. Lots of recipes omit the egg entirely to make it vegan so I will test that at some stage, let me know if you try it!
- Scales - Like all my recipes you need scales to measure the ingredients. There isn't an alternative for pasta making.
- Baking tray - The potatoes are baked in the oven.
- Potato ricer - For making perfect homemade potato gnocchi you really do need a potato ricer. Mashing just won't give you light fluffy gnocchi, it will be heavy and dense. Seriously consider getting one if you don't have one.
- Wooden chopping board - you need to roll the gnocchi out onto a wooden board.
- Knife - Use a big sharp knife to cut the long ropes so you get nice clean edges.
Homemade potato gnocchi step by step
This is a fairly stock standard Italian gnocchi recipe, most recipes don't vary too much.
- Push the cooked and peeled potato pieces through a potato ricer onto a baking tray lined with a tea towel or paper hand towels. Let it cool.
- Mix the salt and flour into a bowl.
- Tip the potato into a bowl or onto a clean work surface. Drizzle the egg over and then sift the flour over top.
- With your hands (or a fork in a bowl) gently bring the mixture together.
- Use your hands to scrunch it into a ball and lightly knead for 1 - 2 minutes to bring it together. No more than that!
- You aren't looking for a perfect smooth dough here, the gnocchi dough will be dimpled and a little rough looking.
- If will be slightly sticky but shouldn't stick to any surface so sprinkle more flour if that is the case.
- Divide into 6 - 8 pieces and then roll each piece out into a long 2cm wide log on a wooden board.
- You need to start in the middle with your hands flat against the board and gently pull as you work your hands outwards.
- Cut the log into 2cm long pieces. I prefer to leave them as little pillow shapes but you can gently roll them on a gnocchi board or fork if you want ridges.
- Cook in well salted boiling water and pull them out about 30 seconds after they float to the surface.
- I love to pan fry them to add crisp up the outside or you can just add them straight into any sauce you like.
Tips for this gnocchi recipe
- Bake the potatoes - baking is the best way to cook potatoes for gnocchi. It removes moisture and ensures a light texture. I know it takes a long time but it's hands off, just throw them in the oven and walk away for an hour!
- Use a potato ricer - I knowwww it's so annoying to buy equipment but a potato ricer is pretty key to getting a good texture. Mashing will make the gnocchi really heavy.
- Use a light touch - in the whole process try and keep a light touch. Don't be vigorous when kneading like you would a regular pasta dough. Knead it very lightly until it just comes together. You aren't looking for a smooth dough, it will be slightly rough looking.
My favourite way to cook potato gnocchi
PAN FRIED BABY! You cannot beat pan frying gnocchi in my opinion. It makes the outside perfectly crisp which is an amazing contrast to the fluffy inside. I have a couple of gnocchi recipes that you must try! Try my Crispy Gnocchi in Brown Butter and make sure you cover it in freshly grated parmesan cheese OK?! For a fall twist make my Pan Fried Gnocchi with Pumpkin and Brown Butter.
You might think you can just throw the gnocchi in the butter and it will crisp but they actually need longer so pan fry them first before making a sauce.
How to pan fry homemade potato gnocchi
- Boil the gnocchi in well salted water until they float then give them 30 seconds extra. It's good to use a really large pot.
- Drain and pop onto a tray in an even layer so they don't stick.
- In a non stick fry pan heat a knob of butter and a drizzle of olive oil over medium - high heat.
- Fry the gnocchi, turning often for 5 - 6 minutes until golden brown.
How to store:
You can leave them out on the bench on a tray dusted with course semolina and lightly covered with plastic wrap for an hour or two. If you won't be cooking them for a long time or the next day or week then freeze them.
They cook beautifully from frozen. I find they get really sticky if stored in the fridge, so even if I am cooking them in a few hours I freeze them to preserve their texure.
How to freeze homemade potato gnocchi
- Put them on a baking sheet that is lined with baking paper and dusted with flour or course semolina.
- Place in the freezer open on the sheet until frozen. About 30 minutes.
- Transfer to a freezer bag or container.
- Cook straight from frozen in well salted boiling water.
You definitely can but I promise you the result won't be as good. Baking removes moisture which is key for a light gnocchi.
They can be if you use GF flour. You should be able to substitute the flour for a GF blend or rice flour you might just need to use a bit extra.
Gnocchi are so easy to cook as they tell you when they are ready! Cook in well salted boiling water and when they float to the top give them another 30 seconds then drain.
Yes! It's always my preferred method for storing any kind of pasta. Freeze open on a baking sheet or tray then transfer to a bag or container. Cook from frozen.
I have a recipe for gnocchi sardi which is made with semolina and water. It is a fantastic shape for beginners.
Which sauce is best for gnocchi?
After making this homemade gnocchi recipe you'll need a delicious sauce! Why not go for a classic tomato sauce? You could make my easy roast tomato pasta sauce, all the ingredients are roasted for maximum flavour. For something a bit more decadent you could try my creamy tomato pasta sauce. You could also do a simple basil pesto or they would be perfect in any meat sauce or ragu too.
Made this recipe and loved it?
I would love love LOVE if you could leave me a review down below and let me know what you thought! I love to hear any changes or adaptions you have made too. Also if you put a photo on instagram, please tag me so I can see, it makes my day!Print