Potato Gnocchi: Recipe, Tips and Tricks

Potato gnocchi are apparently easy to make, but they hide a series of small pitfalls that can determine the outcome of a bad dish.

What are the secrets to make potato gnocchi that do not lose shape when cooked, that maintain a smooth texture, soft and palatable, and that have the slight taste of potato and not the annoying flavor of flour?

In this recipe we’ll show you a series of small tricks and tips necessary for those who are recently approaching potato gnocchi recipe and want a safe and satisfactory result on the first try.

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potato gnocchi recipe

Which work surface should I use?

For the dough definitely we suggest marble or plastic. Avoid wood surface, at least in the delicate part of the ingredients assembly. Try this non-slip silicone mat that sticks to the table.

What type of potatoes should I use?

When it comes to potato gnocchi, the best choice would be using a dry and starchy potato variety: their puree will be less liquid and therefore will require less amount of flour. Minor amounts of flour also means a better result; this way you will taste the authentic flavor of potatoes. So, if you can, use the Russet or the Yukon Gold potato and place the flour gradually.

If, as in most cases, you have bought potatoes yet and you don’t know what variety they belong, you have to use a series of small steps so that your gnocchi dish will be a success (read more just below).

Now let see how to start with potato gnocchi recipe step by step.


Potato Gnocchi Recipe

  • Prep Time: 40 Min
  • Rest Time:20 Min
  • Yelds: 4

Ingredients

  • 500 g (about 1 lb) of Russet potatoes or Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • 150 g (5,3 oz) of “oo” flour
  • 2 tablespoons of 1 beaten egg (about half egg)
  • fine salt

Directions

potato gnocchi step 1

Step 1) – Wash the potatoes with their skin under fresh water. Then cook them in a large pot with plenty of water. Occasionally, feel with a fork to check the cooking (from 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes). When they are cooked, drain and peel them.

potato gnocchi step 2

Step 2) – Place the flour on your work surface and make a well in the center then put the potatoes in a potato masher and mash-up, slowly at the beginning, to let out the excess water. Repeat this until all the excess water will be output from the holes. This way the potato masher have to release only the puree.

All this operation is worth to prevent the dough to soften too much: if this is your case, don’t make the error of compacting it by adding more flour. The best flavored potato gnocchi are those with less flour as possible. If the dough is still too soft, add a teaspoon of starch, but NOT flour.

potato gnocchi step 3

Step 3) – In a plate beat the egg with a fork. Then add a pinch of fine salt and 2 tablespoons of the beaten egg (this way yolk and egg white are portioned in equal amounts).

potato gnocchi step 4

Step 4) – Mix the ingredients with your hands, quickly and for a short time. A long process would make the dough sticky. Potato gnocchi dough has to be mixed very little and possibly when the potatoes are still warm because the heat favors the assembly.

potato gnocchi step 5

Step 5) – Quickly make a ball and absolutely do not add flour. If you have followed the instructions on how to boil and then drain the potatoes, you will see that it will not be necessary. You will get a soft ball but compact. Now you can work on a wooden surface, if you like. Cut a piece of dough and place it on the floured surface.

potato gnocchi step 6

Step 6) – With your hand make a long roll of dough as thick as a finger. Slice the roll every 2 cm (about 1 inch), so as to obtain small cylinders.

potato gnocchi step 7

Step 7) – Now you have to use a gnocchi board previously floured: slide your little gnocchi over the gnocchi board by pressing lightly with your thumb in the middle. Proceed to make potato gnocchi until all the dough is finished. Let rest gnocchi at room temperature for about 20/30 minutes before cooking.

Why potato gnocchi have to rest before cooking?

Resting time is important for many reasons: they completely cool and slightly dry out on the surface. This step is necessary so that gnocchi can retain their shape even after cooking.

In fact, if you put immediately potato gnocchi into the boiling water, they can glue to each other.

On the contrary, if you leave gnocchi rest more then half an hour, they may dry out and become dark and hard. The ideal resting time is around 20 minutes, maximum 30.

potato gnocchi

How to cook potato gnocchi

Gnocchi cooking should be made in a large pot with plenty of salted water. Gnocchi are dipped into boiling water after being slightly shaken by the flour. Do not stir too much during cooking and especially do not do it quickly. Potato gnocchi are ready when they come fully to the surface.

So drain them few at a time, with a perforated ladle (not with the colander!). Place them into a bowl with the seasoning you prefer (eg: melted butter, sage and lots of parmesan or pesto alla genovese or bolognese sauce or fresh tomato sauce). Stir slightly and serve.

How to store potato gnocchi? Freezing Gnocchi

Potato gnocchi should not be stored in the refrigerator, otherwise they become dark (potatoes should never be stored in the refrigerator!).

how to freeze potato gnocchi

In order to maintain for a long time gnocchi, you have to freeze them. Here’s how to do it: put potato gnocchi, well spaced, on floured trays (wood, plastic or cardboard). Place the trays with gnocchi into the freezer. Wait for 2/3 hours then transfer them in food plastic bags and put them back into the freezer.

Do not put freshly made still soft gnocchi in plastic bags, otherwise they will stick to each other! Cook gnocchi still frozen in boiling water (as indicated above), directly from the freezer to the pot. This way they will retain the softness and texture of freshly made potato gnocchi.

Gnocchi Recipes You Might Like

Try our recipe of Potato Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cheese and arugula pesto

Do you like pumpkin? Try our recipe of pumpkin gnocchi

29 thoughts on “Potato Gnocchi: Recipe, Tips and Tricks”

    • a fork!

      btw: no mention was made of the pleasure of FRIED GNOCCHI. in butter, anytime after boiling. with any topping, or with sauteed onions as a side dish, or by themselves as a snack.

      Reply
  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Thanks! I tried this 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. I have seen some people say to bake the potatoes so no water? What do you think?

    Reply
    • Hi Dean,
      I’m glad you got the recipe for the gnocchi.
      As for baking … I know that many recipes suggest it but I think it depends on the quality of the potatoes. Here in Italy we make gnocchi like this, with 00 flour and boiled potatoes; the quality of the potatoes is important and those suggested in the recipe are both excellent for making gnocchi.
      But if you have potatoes at home and don’t want to risk that they are too watery, you can try cooking in the oven, which I would do only in foil, or in the microwave. Well, considering my experience and thinking about all the times I have made the gnocchi recipe, I can tell you that I have never had a bad time with boiled potatoes.
      Of course you have to have some precautions, such as crushing them a bit before putting them in the flour to let out the excess water.
      Well, I hope I have helped you. Let me know about your experiments! 😉

      Reply
  5. 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
  6. I love Gnocchi. Most of the time I order Gnocchi with Gorgonzola at Italian res. Today because we have so much potato getting old, I decided to try my own. The tips and tricks are here so good that it couldn’t go wrong when you strictly follow. It was tastiest Gnocchi I ever ate. Simply in butter, sage parmiggiano. Very firm but tender in the mouth. Now it will be my recipe in pocket. Thanks for sharing it.

    Reply
  7. 1. Use russet(brown skin) or Yukon gold potatoes – some potatoes have too much water in them.
    2. too much water is the enemy of a perfect gnocchi dough. bake the potatoes to ensure drier dough.(*I learned this later on- no longer boil)
    3.never add more flour (only a little starch if absolutely necessary.
    4. Also, better to form dough while still warm THEN
    5. Roll out dough – once made, let rest at least 20 min.

    Reply
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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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