This homemade gnocchi recipe elevates home cooking to a new level. Nothing is quite as comforting or desirable as the soft, smooth texture of these little Italian dumplings. Toss your freshly cooked homemade potato gnocchi in butter, salt, and freshly chopped herbs!
Making homemade potato gnocchi from scratch is straightforward. In fact, you’ll be wondering why you always used store-bought gnocchi until this point! Once you’ve made your first homemade potato gnocchi, there are endless ways to combine it with sauces and various ingredients to make varied meals that will impress family and friends.
Try combining your homemade potato gnocchi with this Basil Pesto Recipe, Garlic Parmesan Sauce, or add it as an ingredient to bulk up a recipe such as my Tomato Bisque. This Chicken Gnocchi Soup proves just how easy it is to use your homemade potato gnocchi!
- Homemade gnocchi can be made with just 5 pantry-staple ingredients!
- The texture and flavor of homemade gnocchi is always superior to any store-bought alternative – a sure way to impress family and guests.
- This homemade potato gnocchi can be enjoyed with a simple coating of melted butter, seasoning, and freshly chopped herbs or you can combine it with your favorite sauce and other tasty add-ins. Of course, it’s also a great way to bulk up soups and bisque.
What Ingredients do I Need for Homemade Potato Gnocchi?
- Potatoes – I’ve used medium Russet potatoes since russet potatoes have a good amount of starch which helps to hold the shape of the gnocchi.
- Egg – Beaten. Always use high-quality eggs when making homemade gnocchi.
- Ricotta – Use full-fat ricotta cheese for the best flavor and texture.
- Flour – I’ve used all-purpose flour which is sturdy. You could use gluten-free flour instead.
PRO TIP: While some recipes don’t call for the addition of beaten egg into the gnocchi dough mixture, I highly recommend it as it helps to bind the dough so that it retains its shape while cooking.
How to Make Homemade Potato Gnocchi
PREP: Wash and peel the potatoes and cut them in half to boil in a pan of boiling water until fork tender. Remove the cooked potato and allow it to cool enough to handle before mashing it through a potato ricer.
FORM THE DOUGH: Mound the mashed potato and create a deep well in the center. Whisk the eggs, ricotta cheese, and salt and pour them into the center of the mound and work it into the potato mixture. Scoop up the potato mixture and dump the flour onto the work surface. Place the potato mixture on top and work the flour into the mixture with your hands. Work the dough for long enough that it is no longer sticky and is slightly pliable.
SHAPE AND COOK THE GNOCCHI: Cut the ball of gnocchi dough into eight equal pieces and then start to shape each piece into a long roll (about the thickness of your finger). Cut the rolls into even pieces, about 3/4″ wide. Take each piece of gnocchi dough and press a fork against it to create an indent. Wrap the gnocchi around your finger so that the indented side faces the front and the dough is wrapped in half.
Once all your gnocchi dough pieces are shaped, either place them on parchment-lined baking trays to be stored in the freezer or add them immediately to a pot of salted boiling water. You should only cook gnocchi in small batches and they will float to the surface once cooked (about 2-3 minutes). Once cooked, toss them in butter, salt, and fresh herbs. Enjoy!
- Frozen gnocchi can be added directly to your salted boiling water. No defrosting is required, making it super convenient.
- Parchment paper used to divide the gnocchi layers in your container for storage will prevent the dumplings from sticking together. Do this for freezing in containers as well as for refrigeration storage.
- Cooked gnocchi will float to the top of your pot – that’s completely normal and shouldn’t raise any concern.
- While adding the ricotta cheese is optional in this recipe, it does make the dough more pliable which is great for cutting and shaping the dough. You also won’t notice any distinct ricotta cheese flavor in your homemade gnocchi.
- Using a potato ricer is a must to achieve a smooth consistency. You are likely to still get a few lumps from using a potato masher and even the smallest of lumps will affect the consistency of the dough.
- Gnocchi dough starts to turn a greyish color if left out which is why you should either freeze your freshly made gnocchi or cook it immediately. While this doesn’t affect the flavor, it is definitely less aesthetically pleasing.
While the gnocchi is made from potato, many people mistake it for a type of pasta, especially since it originates from Northern Italy – the homeland of pasta! While it may feel, taste, and cook the same way as pasta, it’s not pasta in the strictest sense.
- Ricotta cheese is an optional ingredient in this homemade potato gnocchi and can be omitted. I prefer including the full-fat ricotta as it makes the dough more pliable which is easier for cutting and shaping the gnocchi.
- Some gnocchi recipes exclude eggs but I find that it helps to prevent the gnocchi from losing shape or falling apart while cooking.
- I’ve used Russet potatoes in this recipe but you can use another high-starch potato such as Yukon Gold.
- Consider adding finely chopped mixed fresh herbs into the gnocchi dough for more flavor.
Freshly made gnocchi can be refrigerated for up to three days and then must be cooked. If freshly made gnocchi is sealed properly, it can be refrigerated for up to one month, but once the seal has been broken, it is advised that it is used up within two days.
Alternatively, homemade gnocchi can be frozen for 4-6 weeks. Simply place your gnocchi on a cookie tray in the freezer for about twenty minutes and then put it in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.
This homemade potato gnocchi can be served with various sauces, depending on your preference. Sauces with tomato and pesto pair beautifully with gnocchi, but there are many pasta-based sauces that you could choose from.
Apart from the sauce selection, homemade gnocchi can also be served with leafy vegetables and cheese. One combination that comes to mind is spinach and ricotta cheese!
If possible, always use a high-starch potato when making gnocchi. These potatoes hold their shape better when being formed into a dough. You will notice that these potatoes are dryer and do not hold as much water after cooking.
More Italian-Inspired Recipes
Homemade Gnocchi Recipe
- 2 medium Russet potatoes about 2 pounds
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large beaten egg
- ⅛ cup ricotta full fat
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Peel two pounds of potatoes and cut in half. Bring to a boil in a pot of salted water and cook until softened all the way through when pricked with a fork.
- Drain potatoes and allow to cool until you are able to handle.
- Squeeze the cooked potato chunks through a ricer to make completely smooth potato mash.
- Mound the potatoes and form a deep well in the center.
- Whisk together egg, ricotta, and salt in a small bowl and then pour into the well in the potatoes.
- Use your hands to mix the potato and egg mixture together until combined.
- Scoop up the potato mixture and dump 1 cup of flour onto the work surface. Place the potato mixture on top of the flour.
- Use your hands again to work the flour into the potatoes, just enough to form a smooth and soft dough. The mixture should be soft and not overly sticky. Work the dough just enough that it is not longer sticky and feels just a bit pliable.
- Shape the dough into a ball and cut into 8 equal pieces.
- On a floured surface, roll out each piece of dough into a rope until it is about the thickness of your finger.
- Cut the rope into even pieces about ¾” wide.
- Press a fork against each piece to indent and wrap the piece of dough in half, fork indents on the outside, to form the gnocchi.
- Continue rolling, cutting, and shaping the gnocchi for all the pieces.
- Spread gnocchi in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet and place in the freezer or cook immediately in a pot of salted, boiling water.
- Cook gnocchi a handful at a time. They will float to the top of the water when they are done cooking (about 2-3 minutes). Lift from the boiling water to drain.
- Toss cooked gnocchi with butter, salt, and chopped herbs.
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