Gnocchi: Easy Homemade Fresh Pasta

Gnocchi: Easy Homemade Fresh Pasta

Jun 07, 2024Federico Milone

Dreaming of homemade pasta but scared of the commitment? Gnocchi are your answer! Forget rolling pins and resting dough: this rustic pasta is incredibly easy to make by hand and lends itself to a thousand recipes.

The secret ingredient? Potatoes! Boil them in a pot until tender, then transform them into soft dough that can be shaped in minutes.

How to cook gnocchi?

In boiling water: the classic method. Cook them for a couple of minutes, until they float to the surface, for a soft and fluffy result.

In a pan: for a more decisive taste. Sauté them in oil or butter for a couple of minutes, obtaining a crispy exterior and a soft heart.

Mastering the Art (or Lack Thereof):

This recipe offers two methods for making gnocchi, both with and without eggs. No matter which method you choose, the result will be light, pillowy dumplings perfect for a range of sauces.

Think classic “alla sorrentina” (with tomato sauce and mozzarella), creamy zucchini cream, or a rustic gorgonzola and spinach combo. Feeling adventurous? Try a decadent four-cheese sauce or walnut and speck gnocchi. For firmer gnocchi, cook them in slightly salted boiling water.

Freezing for Later:

Gnocchi freeze beautifully! Simply arrange them on a baking sheet in a single layer, freeze completely, and then transfer them to a labeled freezer container. They'll stay fresh for up to 3 months. When ready to use, cook them from frozen with an extra minute of cooking time.


  • 4 large russet potatoes (about 3 pounds total)
  • 2 large eggs (optional)
  • 2 cups (240 g.) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for water
  • Semolina flour, for dusting


    1. Roast the Potatoes.

    Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Pierce the potatoes all over with a fork. Place them directly on the oven racks and roast for about 1 hour, or until easily pierced with a knife. Let cool slightly.

    2. Mash the Potatoes (Choose one method).

      • Without Eggs: While the potatoes are still hot, mash them directly on a lightly floured surface.
      • With Eggs: Once cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh. Discard the skins. Pass the potatoes through a ricer or mash them well with a fork. Transfer to a large bowl and add the eggs, flour, and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until a dough forms.

        3. Knead the Dough 

        Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently for about 3 minutes, until smooth and slightly elastic. Avoid over-kneading, which can make the gnocchi tough.

        4. Shape the Gnocchi:

          • Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope about ½ inch (1.25 cm) in diameter. Dust with semolina flour as needed to prevent sticking.
          • Cut the ropes into 1-inch pieces.
          • Optional Shaping: Using the back of a fork, gently roll each piece down the tines to create ridges.
          • Arrange the gnocchi on a baking sheet dusted with semolina flour.


          5. Cook the Gnocchi 

          Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Gently add the gnocchi in batches to avoid overcrowding. Cook for 2 minutes, or until they float to the surface. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to your desired sauce and toss to coat.


          So next time you're craving a delicious and comforting pasta dish, ditch the store-bought varieties and give homemade gnocchi a try! They're surprisingly easy to make, requiring minimal effort and ingredients. Plus, the versatility of gnocchi allows you to explore a vast array of flavors by pairing them with your favorite sauces. So go forth, experiment, and enjoy the satisfaction of creating this delightful Italian staple from scratch!


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