STEPS 6 INGREDIENTS 2 TIME 2 HRS
This weekend-friendly potato gnocchi recipe will help you produce super-soft, hand-made potato shapes that are perfect for smothering in your favorite sumptuous sauce or baking.
Taught to me on a rainy winter’s day by my mamma-in-law Marisa, this gnocchi recipe requires just 4 things:
• Potatoes (big ones)
• Time (a couple of hours)
• General purpose/plain flour
• And a really empty stomach!
Quick note: This page is designed to teach you how to make gnocchi. I don’t cover making sauce here – although I do offer an easy sauce recommendation.
How you serve your gnocchi is really up to you! So let’s make it…
800g/28oz large baking potatoes
Half a 500g/17.5oz bag of plain/general-purpose flour
Potato masher (my mamma-in-law uses a strong potato ‘ricer’ like this)
Large deep pan/skillet
STEP 1 – Peel the potatoes, cutting out any bad black spots.
STEP 2 – Boil in a large pan of water for around 45 minutes – until you can slide a knife right through without resistance.
Note: Unlike when cooking pasta, we don’t add salt to the water with potato.
STEP 3 – Mash the potato until there are as few lumps as possible left.
(Without normal mash potato’s butter and milk it won’t get super-smooth, but aim for as smooth as you can.)
STEP 4 – Generously flour a chopping board or clean surface and form the mashed potato into a circular mound.
– Add a ‘crown’ or frame of flour around the potato (see right).
– Mix together this flour and the potato with your hands. Really go for it here.
– As a dough begins to form, squash and fold together the mixture until it really starts to feel like real dough.
Add a little flour as you go – ideally the dough should be a little spongy and not
stick to your hands.
– Aim for a final dough ball that springs back to shape when you prod it with your finger.
STEP 5 – Re-flour your surface and we’ll make the gnocchi shapes…
– Cut a thick slice off the dough ball.
– Using very light hands (hardly press at all), roll this until it’s like a long, thin, 1-2 cm sausage shape.
– Chop this into 1cm or half-inch wide chunks. Try and ‘push’ forwards with your knife as you chop, to give the gnocchi’s sides a bit of character (see vid below).
– Using your first two fingers (or index finger alone if chubby-fingered), press into the middle of one chunk and swiftly pull/drag it downwards along the surface – towards you. This should ideally roll the chunk, giving it a seashell kind of shape (see vid below).
Tip: Keep your surface floured, as the potato can release water as pressed, and it’s important we don’t let this dough get sticky.
– Repeat and repeat until all those tasty chunks are rolled. (Trust me, you’ll get better at this the more you do – it’s really a case of learning by doing.)
STEP 6 – The final part of this gnocchi recipe is the boiling!
When all made, just boil the gnocchi – along with half a handful of salt – in a large, full pan of boiling water. When they float to the surface, they are ready.
Important: If you haven’t decided on, or made, a sauce yet, make that now (see below). Just keep the gnocchi spread apart on a plate or surface for the time being.
– Drain, smother in sauce or bake, and that’s one delectable, super-filling treat.
Easy sauce recommendation:
You cannot really go wrong with a flavorful, basil-packed tomato sauce for your first gnocchi attempt. Try the first sauce on this page.
Quick recommendation: If you’re a true carb-loving potato fan, I think you’ll love Judith Ramsey’s wonderful potato casserole recipes page on her excellent Best Potato Recipes site. Enjoy!