Making homemade gnocchi with the original Italian recipe

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Potato gnocchi are one of the most representative dishes of Italian culture: with the usage of simple and easily available ingredients (it’s just water, potatoes and flour!), they are versatile and make everyone happy. The recipe to make potato gnocchi at home, although it may seem otherwise, is among the most simple and requires less time than expected.

As with all the classic recipes of Italian tradition each family ad each person within a family has its own; generally it relies on personal taste but the convention establishes that it should be used 1/3 of flour compared to the quantity of potatoes needed (e.g., 1kg potatoes/300g of flour [5.27oz potatoes/2 1/2 cups, etc).

There are, however, things to remember to avoid mistakes and a disaster but also to avoid your gnocchi to be tasty and not too mealy.

The rules on how prepare the perfect homemade potato gnocchi

  1. Use, when possible, floury potatoes that are easier to work but, above all, contain less liquid than the other types and for this reason require a lesser quantity of flour which results in a more digestible “gnocco”;
  2. Do not overwork the dough otherwise, because of the gluten in the flour and starch into the potatoes, it will become too sticky;
  3. The potatoes have to be mixed with the flour when still warm because the heat allows the ingredients to assemble better and more easily;
  4. The gnocchi, once ready, must rest for up to 30 minutes covered with a cotton cloth and lightly sprinkled with flour so that the folds on the surface will stabilize and dry out slightly;
  5. Once prepared but not cooked the potato gnocchi can be frozen: just organize them, spaced apart, on a baking sheet and place them in the freezer. Once frozen they can be transferred into plastic bags for foods. When needed cook them in boiling salted water when they’re still frozen so as to avoid that they will break and lose firmness;
  6. Do not wait longer than 4 hours to cook gnocchi or they will begin to stick to each other. To prevent sticking, cover them with a damp cotton rag so they will harden slightly only on the surface.

Homemade potato gnocchi: ingredients for 4/6 portions of gnocchi

2 1/2 lbs. of potato
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus 1/2 cup or more for the dough)
salt as needed
1 egg

Homemade potato gnocchi: recipe

  1. In a large pot with unsalted water boil potatoes with their skins on until fork tender. Remove potatoes and drain well then peel them also removing any brown spots that might be below the skin.
  2. Place the flour on a pastry board or a dried work surface then add the potatoes, the egg and a pinch of salt.
  3. Add all the ingredients and knead with your hands to form dough. You can add flour at this stage without exaggerating otherwise with too much flour you’ll get very hard gnocchi.
  4. Shape the dough into a long rectangle and obtain 8-10 pieces. Roll each piece by gently pushing with your fingers spread then cut each piece into 1-inch pieces. Toss them with extra flour to prevent sticking.
  5. Use a fork to create ridges on the surface of your gnocchi. The ridges allow the dressing to adhere better.
  6. Cook your gnocchi in salted water after having removed any excess flour. The gnocchi are cooked when they float to the top of the pan.

Preparation time: about 2 hours

Follow my video recipe if you want to learn the art of making Italian gnocchi at home:

[Pics by Giuseppe Milo]

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Categories: Main dishes, Pasta and rice
Article written by Veruska Anconitano aka La Cuochina Sopraffina
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