How to Make Authentic Italian Potato Gnocchi

Potato gnocchi are a type of fresh Italian pasta usually made from potatoes, flour and eggs.

The ingredients are combined to form a soft dough, which is then cut into pieces and rolled into cylinders.

The cylinders are then cut into small portions and pressed with a fork or gnocchi board to create indentations. They are then boiled in salted water until they float to the surface.

potato gnocchi

Potato gnocchi can be served with a variety of sauces and toppings, such as meat sauce  (such as Bolognese sauce), tomato sauce, marinara sauce, butter and grated parmigiano cheese as in this recipe.

They can also be fried or baked to create a variety of tasty dishes, as for example Gnocchi alla Sorrentina.

A popular traditional Italian dish, potato gnocchi are loved around the world for their delicate flavor and soft, creamy texture.

potato gnocchi recipe

Follow this gnocchi recipe with all the step-by-step secrets to making homemade gnocchi and you’ll bring the best potato gnocchi to the table.

The softest and most delicious ever, with the delicate and dominant flavor of potatoes, perfect with any type of sauce.

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Homemade Potato Gnocchi Recipe

  • Prep Time: 40 Min
  • Cook Time: 5 Min
  • Resting Time: 20 Min
  • Servings: 4

Potato Gnocchi: Ingredients

For Potato Gnocchi

  • 500 g (1,1 pound) of potatoes
  • 150 g (1 cup) of “00” flour
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fine salt

For the Seasoning

  • 30 g (1/3 stick) of unsalted butter
  • 3 or 4 sage leaves
  • fresly ground black pepper
  • grated parmigiano cheese

potato gnocchi recipe

Kitchen Tools and Equipment

To make potato gnocchi you definitely need a pastry board to knead and cut the gnocchi. We recommend this reversible Woden Pastry Board with engraved ruler and pie board template. Really lovely and useful!

You can cut gnocchi just fine with a well-honed knife. But if you want something fancier and always useful in the kitchen, try checking out this multi-purpose stainless steel Bench Scraper-Chopper-Cutter.

Traditionally, the gnocchi are rolled lightly on a wooden gnocchi board at the end to give them their famous aesthetic shape. You can conveniently use a fork to do this. But have a look to this really nice Gnocchi Board Set.

Finally you need a Stainless Steel Potato Ricer and Masher.

How to Make Potato Gnocchi: Instructions

potato gnocchi recipe step 1b (1)

Step 1) – Peel and wash the potatoes in fresh water. Place the potatoes in a large pot of cold, salted water. Boil the potatoes with the skin on so they absorb less water.

Bring to a boil and cook for 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. Occasionally use a fork to check for doneness.

When cooked, drain and set aside until cool enough to handle but still warm. Then peel the potatoes. An easy way to peel the potato is to stick a fork in it and peel it with a knife.

Put the flour on your work surface and make a well in the center. Place the potatoes in a potato ricer and mash them right on top of the flour.

potato gnocchi recipe step 2b (1)

Step 2) – In a separate bowl beat the egg with a fork and add the fine salt. Stir and let the salt dissolve. Then add 2 tablespoons of the beaten egg to the potatoes.

How to Knead Gnocchi

potato gnocchi recipe step 3b (1)

Step 3) – Knead the ingredients with your hands, quickly and briefly. Long kneading will make the dough sticky. Potato gnocchi dough should be kneaded lightly, possibly while the potatoes are still warm, because the heat helps the ingredients come together.

Quickly form a ball. If the dough is too soft and sticky, add 1 teaspoon potato starch instead of flour. You want a soft but firm ball.

potato gnocchi recipe step 4b (1)

Step 4) – Cut a piece of dough about the size of an orange. Using your hands, roll the dough into a long rope, about 1 cm (1/2 inch) wide. If it’s too long, cut it in half and work one piece of rope at a time.

potato gnocchi recipe step 5b (1)

Step 5) – Cut the dough roll every 2 cm (about 1 inch) to make small cylinders. Set aside on a lightly floured surface. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

You can now use a previously floured gnocchi board. Slide your gnocchi onto the gnocchi board, pressing lightly with your thumb in the center. If you like, you can place a fork on your work surface and push each gnocchi from the base of the fork tines upward into a decorative shape.

Continue to make the potato gnocchi until all the dough is done. Allow the gnocchi to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before cooking.

potato gnocchi recipe

Why do the Potato Gnocchi Need to Rest Before Being Cooked?

Gnocchi are a type of pasta made from potatoes and flour, and resting at room temperature before cooking is important for two main reasons.

First, it allows the gnocchi to dry slightly, making them less moist and easier to work with. This way the gnocchi will hold their shape during cooking and will not fall apart in boiling water.

Second, resting at room temperature allows the starches in the potatoes and flour to absorb the moisture in the gnocchi themselves. This process makes the gnocchi more compact and less chewy, creating a better texture during cooking.

We recommend that the gnocchi be allowed to rest at room temperature for at least 20 to 30 minutes before cooking.

How to Cook Potato Gnocchi

How to cook gnocchi step 1 (1)

Step 1) – Now you need to cook the gnocchi. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. When it comes to a boil, add the coarse salt.

Then add the gnocchi a few at a time, stirring once or twice to make sure they don’t stick.

Cook until the gnocchi float to the surface.

How to cook gnocchi step 2 (1)

Step 2) – When they float to the surface, remove them with a slotted spoon and place them in the saucepan with the sauce.

Now let’s see how to make the butter and sage sauce.

How to Make Sage Butter Gnocchi

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat and add the sage.

Drain the gnocchi with a slotted spoon and add them to the skillet. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring.

Add the grated Parmigiano and freshly ground black pepper. Stir and serve.

potato gnocchi recipe

What’s the Best Sauce for Seasoning Potato Gnocchi

There are many homemade sauces that work well with gnocchi. As we’ve seen, sage and butter is probably the easiest. If you don’t like the flavor of sage, just add butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano: quick, easy, and rich.

Probably the most popular sauce is a simple tomato sauce made with sauteed garlic, tomato passata and basil. If you add pieces of fresh mozzarella to the tomato gnocchi and put it in the oven for 10 minutes, you get the famous gnocchi alla Sorrentina!

Another very popular gnocchi sauce in Italy is pesto. Check out our authentic Italian recipe for Pesto Genovese.

Try gnocchi with Bolognese sauce. Why not!

Finally, how about Gnocchi al Gorgonzola? In a bowl, melt some Gorgonzola in the microwave, add the gnocchi and a little grated Parmigiano. Stir and serve!

potato gnocchi recipe

How to Store Potato Gnocchi

Uncooked potato gnocchi cannot be stored in the refrigerator, because they would immediately turn dark.

You can let them rest at room temperature and covered for no more than 30 minutes.

Leftover cooked gnocchi may be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 day. Reheat in the microwave.

Can I freeze Potato Gnocchi?

To keep the gnocchi for a long time, freeze them. Here’s how: Place the potato gnocchi on floured trays (wood, plastic, or cardboard), well apart. Place the trays in the freezer. Wait 2/3 hours, then put them in plastic food bags and put them back in the freezer.

Do not put the freshly made gnocchi in plastic bags when they are still soft or they will stick together! Cook the frozen gnocchi in boiling water (as described above) directly from the freezer. This will give them the softness and texture of freshly made potato gnocchi.

potato gnocchi recipe

What is the Best Potato to Make Potato Gnocchi?

When making potato gnocchi, it is best to use a dry, starchy variety of potato: the mashed potato will be less liquid and therefore require less flour. Less flour also means a better result; you will taste the authentic taste of potatoes.

The perfect potato is an old potato, not a new potato. New potatoes contain more water, which absorbs too much flour.

So if you can, use old, red-skinned potatoes. We recommend Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes.

potato gnocchi recipe

What is the Best Flour for Gnocchi?

Use an all purpose flour, even better if it’s a “00” flour. The latter will make your gnocchi even softer and more tender.

To get the best potato gnocchi, pay attention to the amount of flour used to make the dough. The smaller the amount of flour used, the softer and more palatable the gnocchi will be.

The right proportion of flour to be added to boiled and mashed potatoes is about 30% of the weight of the potatoes, maximum. 

Gnocchi Web Story

27 thoughts on “How to Make Authentic Italian Potato Gnocchi”

  1. Thanks very much indeed for this brilliant recipe!
    The instructions are so clear and concise it’s really impossible to not be successful.
    My gnocchi turned out ‘better than bought ones’… quite exciting really!
    I have tried gnocchi several times in the past, but never with such a successful outcome. Classic recipe = Classic results.
    Grazie mille, ammazza!

    Reply
  2. I tried using the gnocchi as an Italian twist to my homemade chicken and dumplings. Sometimes the dumplings can be too doughy. It turned out simply awesome. Everyone loved it. Now I use gnocchi as my dumplings every time. Thank you for this recipe.

    Reply
  3. Ciao tutti! This recipe was spot on. I have not had an issue with the potatoes being watery, but I also let them hang out a bit in a cauldron to get out the residual water. Thank you for the helpuful hints, always a family fav and so easy. Buon apetito!

    Reply
  4. I am having trouble finding the yukon or russet potatoes.
    At woolworths I can only find washed red potatoes and they could not help with my request. I intend to bake them dry and follow all your directions but I fear the outcome will not be successful.
    I live in Goulburn NSW,a country town and thete are not many choices
    Are there any other tips You can give me?
    Thankyou

    Reply
    • Ciao Alba!
      If you cook them in the oven, make them in foil, so that they do not dry out too much. Then mash them on a separate plate with the potato masher. If you see that the potato puree is too liquid, pass it through a sieve otherwise add the it to the flour. I’m sure your gnocchi will be delicious! Let me know 😉

      Reply
  5. Thank you for your recipe which I followed resulting in very good gnocchi but slightly watery. The next time experimenting slightly I pricked the potatoes all over and baked them at 200c in the oven for 1 hour rather than boiling. After ricing the potatoes they were less watery and the resulting gnocchi were just as delicious as boiling but had a better texture.

    Reply
  6. Thanks! I tried this potato gnocchi recipe and got a very good result first time, though gnocchi a tiny bit heavy. I had to use normal flour, so have bought 00 flour to try again.

    Reply
  7. I’ve never made gnocchi before and after going through recipe after recipe online, I stumbled upon this one. Easy ingredients, wonderful tips and the end product is wonderfully delicious. Keeping it simple and keeping it classic is the best way to go. Thank you for introducing me to not only a keeper recipe, but to also a new skill in my cooking repertoire! I’m already looking at your other recipes for dinner inspiration!

    Reply
    • Look, usually all-purpose flour is all right to make gnocchi, but pay attention because it has too much protein and high protein wheat usually result in chewy gnocchi. It would be better to use “00” flour.

      Reply
  8. I love Gnocchi. Most of the time I order Gnocchi with Gorgonzola at Italian restaurant. Today, because we have so much potato getting old, I decided to try my own. The tips and tricks here are so good that it couldn’t go wrong when you strictly follow. It was the best potato Gnocchi I’ve ever ate. Simply in butter, sage parmigiano. Very firm but tender in the mouth. Now it will be my recipe in pocket. Thanks for sharing it.

    Reply
  9. I have just made gnocchi from another recipe and they came out hard and flavorless. After reading your gnocchi recipe I seem to know why. Will try yours next time! Thank you.

    Reply
  10. Grazie per aver scritto una ricetta dettagliata e facile! I’m sure they will turn out perfectly, as most recipes use too much flour. Thank you also for the storage and how to cook later, advice. I don’t have much time during the day so preparing them in advance is a total win for me!

    Reply
  11. I had never made gnocchi before finding this recipe. I really appreciated the many tips and detailed instructions and managed to make perfect and delicious gnocchi the first time. Thank you so much!

    Reply

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