How to Make Gnocchi

Gnocchi (nyoh-kee) is a deliciously filling small potato dumpling dish. Gnocchi is very easy to prepare by mixing flour, egg, and potato. It is traditionally served as a pasta dish. Variations include semolina, ricotta, pumpkin, sun dried tomato and spinach. This recipe serves 2-3 people.


  • 1 kg or 2 1/4 lb potatoes (King Edwards are recommended - try to find potatoes that are neither too floury, nor too waxy)
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • 300 g or 10 2/3 oz (2 cups) flour (OO flour - very fine flour; or plain flour, you may need more depending on the potatoes used)
  • Rock salt
  • Pepper


  1. Image titled Make Gnocchi Step 1 preview
    Boil the potatoes. Place unpeeled potatoes into a large saucepan and add enough water to cover them. Place on a high heat, add 3 tsp (1 tbsp) of rock salt, then leave to boil. Check the "Warning" section below, however.
  2. Image titled Make Gnocchi Step 2 preview
    Drain potatoes. When the potatoes are tender, after about 20 minutes of boiling, turn the heat off and tip them into a colander to drain.
  3. Image titled Make Gnocchi Step 3 preview
    Peel the potatoes. To protect your hands, use a tea towel to hold the potatoes as you peel away the skins with a knife.
  4. Image titled Make Gnocchi Step 4 preview
    Mash the potatoes. Pass the still hot potatoes through a passatutto (or potato ricer). Or you can grate them. This method is recommended as air gets trapped in the potatoes making for a lighter gnocchi. If you don't have a passatutto handy, you can use a masher instead.
  5. Image titled Make Gnocchi Step 5 preview
    Add the egg and flour. Add 2 generous pinches of salt and a pinch of pepper. Crack the egg and stir in quickly before the temperature of the potato cooks it. (The egg is optional, though.) Add 2 handfuls of flour. Mix until fully absorbed.
  6. Image titled Make Gnocchi Step 6 preview
    Form a dough. Turn the potato onto a wooden surface and tip the rest of the flour on top. Use your hands to mix it together. After a minute or two it will form into a dough. Knead lightly. When it reaches a pliable consistency, it's ready.
  7. Image titled Make Gnocchi Step 7 preview
    Form the gnocchi.
    • Sprinkle the surface with flour. Slice a fist-sized piece from the dough ball and roll out into lengths that are about 3 centimeter (1.2 in) thick.
    • Working quickly while the dough is still warm, use a flexible knife to cut off 2 centimeter (0.8 in) pieces. Slice off another fist sized piece and repeat until you have used all of the dough.
    • Place the gnocchi onto a tray, leaving a space between each piece to prevent them from sticking together.
  8. Image titled Make Gnocchi Step 8 preview
    Boil water. Fill a large pan with water and add 3 tsp of rock salt. Place over a high heat, put on the lid, and bring to the boil.
  9. Image titled Make Gnocchi Step 9 preview
    Tap the gnocchi from the tray into the boiling water. This method will stop the water from splashing your hands. Give them a little stir and leave to cook.
  10. Image titled Make Gnocchi Step 10 preview
    Wait for them to reach the surface. When the gnocchi have all bobbed to the surface, they're ready to serve. Scoop them out with a sieve, shake off the water and transfer them to a tray. Drizzle a little oil over them and give the tray a shake.
  11. Image titled Make Gnocchi Step 11 preview
    Stir the gnocchi into a warm sauce of your choice. As a final touch, you can grate a little Pecorino cheese over the top. This dish works exceptionally well with a rose wine.


  • Rather than just cutting the gnocchi, you can push them individually off the tines of the back of a fork using your thumb, imprinting them with little ridges. The ridges hold sauce better and promotes even cooking in the center.
  • Instead of using potato, you can use pumpkin. It makes both the taste and the colour different, so it's more interesting.
  • Add cheese to the dough for a rich taste.
  • The cooked gnocchi can be stored in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Cook from frozen for 6-7 minutes in boiling water.
  • Baking the potatoes also works. You will end up with dryer potatoes which allows you to use less flour. This will make your gnocchi less doughy. It is slightly harder to strike the right flour/potato balance but can result in very light, fluffy gnocchi.
  • You can also re-roll the cut up gnocchi. This will make it prettier.
  • Instant mashed potatoes can be substituted for the potatoes, though the gnocchi will likely turn out "heavier."
  • You can make oval shaped balls out of the dough and roll the oval shaped ball on a fork gently to get the perfect gnocchi instead of a gnocchi roller.


  • When boiling the potatoes, don't put cold potatoes into already-boiling water; this will cause the skin to split, and make the potatoes soggy.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 large saucepan
  • 1 passatutto (a food mill - if you don't have one, a regular potato masher (or food grater) will do
  • 1 flexible knife
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • 1 colander
  • 1 tea towel
  • 1 large tray or plate
  • 1 sieve
  • 1 teaspoon

Sources and Citations

  • VideoJug A video of making gnocchi. Shared with permission.

Article Info

Featured Article

Categories: Featured Articles | Pasta and Noodles | Italian Cuisine