Homemade Italian gnocchi is a light, pillowy, potato-based pasta that uses 4 easy to find ingredients! Pasta making has never been easier!
Easy gnocchi recipe
Gnocchi is steadily becoming my favorite pasta ever! Its smooth flavor compliments its pillowy and light texture. It’s pasta, but it’s more like an Italian dumpling.
These little bites of goodness are made with only 4 ingredients and are fun to make. I have made gnocchi many, many times, and each time I have tried a new method of making them.
The base of the gnocchi is made with a couple of cooked russet potatoes. Every recipe has calls for a different method to cook the potato and I am confident I have tried every. single. one. of these methods.
I’m a mom of three, which means I am a straight up lunatic and I have very little time to spare. Baking the potatoes for an hour in the oven, then still having numerous steps to make the gnocchi was not in the game plan.
Boiling the potatoes is another method of cooking, but can result in some really watery and dense gnocchi… and trust me, nothing is worse than putting in hours of work into a recipe that gets tossed in the trash.
Now comes the microwave cooking method. With baking and boiling the potato means it will take between 50-60 minuets of cook time. Cooking the two potatoes in the microwave took 18 minutes and I had my gnocchi cooking within 30 minutes. A true Italian miracle.
Gnocchi can be finicky if they are not made properly, but I’ve got all the tricks for you to make these like an old Italian chef! You’re going to throw your fingers in the air and exclaim a proud “mangia!” when you’re done cooking!
- Russet potatoes- Start with two large russet potatoes. Give them a good wash with some soap and water, then pat dry them.
- All purpose flour– Measure a scant cup of all purpose flour. When you are working with the dough, you may need a pinch more, and you will need more to scatter on your counter.
- Egg– Place the egg on the counter while the russet potatoes are cooking so it comes to room temperature. Using a room temperature egg will help fluff the gnocchi up when it’s cooking.
- Seasoning– Here’s where you can make this recipe fun! Start with a pinch of salt, then figure out which seasonings you’d like to use. I like to add a little garlic and onion powder.
- Pierce holes in the potatoes, then microwave them. After washing the potatoes, pierce 10 sets of fork holes in the potato. Place the potatoes in the microwave and cook them for 15 minutes. Check the potatoes and see if they are soft. Cook them for 3-5 more minutes if they need more time.
- Use a room temperature egg. While the potatoes are cooking, place the egg on the counter to allow it to come to room temperature. Using a warm egg creates a more pillowy texture.
- Mix it with your hands. The cooked potato needs to be mashed lightly, so it needs to still be grainy and not like creamy mashed potatoes. Mixing the gnocchi ingredients by hand to form the dough will keep the texture perfectly grainy to make that perfect pillowy gnocchi.
- Boil them until they float. “They all float down here.” If you know, you know. Hi Steven King! Love you!! Okay, back to the gnocchi. Get a pot of salted water to a rapid boil, then add the gnocchi. Boil them until they float on the surface, which will be about 2-3 minutes. Take them out of the water using a slotted spoon and place them in a serving dish with a dash of olive oil so they don’t stick.
How to make gnocchi
- Cook the potatoes. Wash and dry the potatoes. Pierce the potatoes with a fork about 10 times. Place both the potatoes in the microwave and cook them for 15 minutes. Check the potatoes to see if they are soft. Cook for another 3-5 minutes if they still need some cooking time. Remove the potatoes from the microwave and peel the skin. I found this process to be much easier using a paring knife and a fork.
- Hand mix the gnocchi dough. Once the potatoes are peeled, place them on a solid surface. Use a fork to lightly mash the potatoes so they are the same consistency. Do not over mash the potatoes, you want them to look and feel grainy, not creamy. Spread the potatoes out in a thin layer on your work surface. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, salt, pepper, and any other seasoning you are using. Dump the mixture on top of the potatoes, then sprinkle the flour over the whole laid out potatoes mixture. Start to mix the dough together with your hands until it comes together in a dough ball. Do not over kneed it, just until it comes together in a slightly sticky ball.
- Cut the gnocchi. Flour your work surface. Place the dough ball on top of the flour and cut it into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 1-inch thick rope. Cut the gnocchi pieces about 1 inch big.
- Cook the gnocchi. Bring a pot of generously salted water to a roaring boil. Work in batches so you do not overcrowd the pot. Place half the gnocchi in the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes until they float on the surface. Remove them from the water with a slotted spoon and place them in a serving bowl. Drizzle them with a little olive oil to prevent them from sticking.
How to cook gnocchi
Gnocchi is super versatile when it comes to ways of cooking it, which is why it’s such a well loved classic Italian recipe. You can toss them on a baking sheet and roast them, boil them like you would regular pasta, or pan fry them!
Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a roaring boil over high heat. Add the gnocchi to the boiling water and cook until the gnocchi floats on the surface, about 2-3 minutes.
Retrieve the gnocchi with a slotted spoon and place them in a serving bowl with a dash of olive oil so they do not stick.
If you are using a pasta sauce, simple take the gnocchi out of the boiling water and sauce them immediatly!
Since the gnocchi is made with raw flour, they need to be boiled for them to cook. Boil the gnocchi the same way as mentioned above.
Next, heat some oil in the pan over medium heat. Place the gnocchi in the pan and sear on each side for 2-3 minutes, or toss in with whatever ingredient you are cooking with.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the gnocchi on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and roast them for 10-20 minutes.
Place the uncooked gnocchi in the air fryer at 400 degrees for 5 minutes.
How to serve gnocchi
Okay, so we’ve gone over how to make gnocchi and how to cook it, but what do you serve with it? This is the fun part! Gnocchi has such a neutral flavor that it goes with just about everything.
You can sauté gnocchi with a splash of olive oil and add some parmesan and red pepper flakes. You can roast the gnocchi with vegetables, sausage, chicken, etc. Boiled gnocchi can be simple drizzled with olive oil and plopped right in some pasta sauce.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to the numerous ways to serve gnocchi. It just goes with everything!
How to store and reheat
While gnocchi is light and pillowy, it’s very filling! If you find that you need to store gnocchi, I’ve got a few tips!
In the fridge
Drizzle the gnocchi with olive oil to help prevent sticking. Place the gnocchi in an airtight container and place it in the fridge for up to three days.
In the freezer
Cooked gnocchi does not freeze well, so if you are making the gnocchi ahead of time to keep in the freezer, freeze it uncooked. After cutting the gnocchi, place them on a floured baking sheet in a single layer. Allow them to sit at room temperature for 1-3 hours. This allows them to rise so they will still be pillowy after being frozen. Place them in the freezer for 3-4 hours, then place them in a ziplock bag once they frozen completely. They will stay good in the freezer for 4-6 weeks.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the gnocchi for 10 minutes until they are heated through. You can also bring a pot of water to a boil and boil them again for 2-3 minutes.
What to serve gnocchi with
- One pot cream parmesan gnocchi with kale and white beans is an easy and quick dinner that packs some serious flavor.
- Gnocchi is great with this authentic Italian pasta sauce made from fresh heirloom tomatoes and basil.
- This Red Wine Pasta Sauce is full of robust flavors, making this sauce a meal in itself! This simple 10 ingredient sauce will have you swearing off canned sauce for good! Bold red wine, Italian herbs, and a pinch of honey makes this sauce an absolute hit!
- Gnocchi is delicious when roasted with vegetables on one sheet pan!
- Toss some gnocchi in the pan with this delicious pan roasted garlic broccoli dish.
Homemade Italian Gnocchi
- 2 russet potatoes
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- salt & pepper
- Cook the potatoes. Wash and dry the potatoes. Pierce the potatoes with a fork about 10 times. Place the potatoes in the microwave for 15 minutes. Feel the potatoes and check their softness. If they need more cooking time, turn them in the microwave and cook them for another 3-5 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the microwave and carefully remove their skin with a paring knife and discard the skin. Be careful- they are hot!
- Make the gnocchi dough. Lightly mash the potatoes with with a fork and spread it out in a thin layer on your work surface. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, salt, pepper, and any other seasoning you'd like. Place the egg mixture ontop of the potatoes. Sprinkle the flour over the potato mixture. Use your hands to encorporate the ingredients and make the dough ball. Kneed the dough until it creates a slightly sticky dough ball. Do not overakneed the dough.
- Cut the gnocchi. Flour your work surface. Place the dough ontop of the floured surface, then cut it into 4 equal parts. Roll each part into a 1 inch thick rope. Use a sharp knife to cut each gnocchi into 1 inch pieces.
- Cook the gnocchi. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a roaring boil. Work in batches. Place half the gnocchi in the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until they float on the surface. Use a slotted spoon to remove the gnocchi from the pot, then palce them in a serving bowl. Optional: Drizzle the gnocchi with a little olive oil to prevent them from sticking. Serve them immediatly. Mangia!
Pan searSince the gnocchi is made with raw flour, they need to be boiled for them to cook. Boil the gnocchi the same way as mentioned above. Next, heat some oil in the pan over medium heat. Place the gnocchi in the pan and sear on each side for 2-3 minutes, or toss in with whatever ingredient you are cooking with.
Bake/roastedPreheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the gnocchi on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and roast them for 10-20 minutes.
Air fryerPlace the uncooked gnocchi in the air fryer at 400 degrees for 5 minutes.
Nutrition values are estimates, for exact values consult a nutritionist.
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