How to cook Gnocchi? All the questions answered

How to Cook gnocchi

So you have succeeded making your first batch of gnocchi (if not check our simple guide to making potato gnocchi at home) or bought a pack from the store (or Amazon) and wondering how to cook them. Keep on reading and you will find out the easiest way we cook gnocchi along with a ton of other Gnocchi information that might concern you.  We have gathered a number of questions and answers or tips about this amazing Italian dish. Navigate with the table of content to quickly jump to information you seek.

How to boil gnocchi

The first step is boiling salted water using high heat. Make sure that the water boils intensively because after we drop the gnocchi in water temperature will drop so we need to keep it as high as possible.

 After the water has boiled, the gnocchi should be dropped into the water a few at a time to avoid them sticking together.  Don’t forget to continuously and gently stir the pot with a wooden spoon. After Gnocchi rises to the surface, they should be cooked for approximately 30-60 seconds. Usually fresh homemade gnocchi takes less time to cook and store bought ones a bit longer since they are tougher.

How do you know when Gnocchi is done?

It is very easy to know when Gnocchi is done because once these fluffy pillows heath through they will float to the water surface. Then give them another minute or two for store-bought ones to simmer around and they are done!

 Another way of knowing that gnocchi is done is by checking its “feel” if the gnocchi is soft and tender it’s time to scoop them out of the pot.

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Can you pre-cook Gnocchi?

It is possible to pre-cook gnocchi but we wouldn’t advise it. Boiling gnocchi takes just a few minutes so if you pre-cook gnocchi ahead of time you will lose that freshness and softness. Pre-cooked gnocchi will require you to heat it in the microwave, just like you would do with leftover gnocchi, but won’t be as soft and tender as freshly cooked ones.

 How does gnocchi taste like?

Gnocchi that has been cooked properly is supposed to be very tender and light, like a pillow. You should be able to squish it with your tongue to the top of your mouth. Simple potato gnocchi will have just that, a light potato flavor, it should not be sour, salty, sweet or spicy by its own. Different gnocchi flavors are always determined by the sauce.

What goes well with potato gnocchi?

Potato gnocchi is usually served along with a nice sauce and grated parmesan cheese but plays well with other meals as well. Check out a few suggestions with recipes below:

Meaty stews

Gnocchi can be a warm and hearty meal during the cold season when it is served with gravy and meat. Serving such a meal with gnocchi ensures that you have a balanced meal as it provides starch in the meal.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Gnocchi

Spinach and nuts

Gnocchi can also be a light meal. Try serving gnocchi tossed in pesto sauce complemented with pine nuts or leeks. You can also sauce the gnocchi in a pan with a bunch of spinach.

Parmesan Spinach Gnocchi

Brown Butter Gnocchi with Spinach Pine Nuts

Cheese and cream

Gnocchi goes well with dairy products given that it has mashed potatoes as the main ingredient. Most popular are cream, milk, butter and cheese sauces.

Creamt Alfredo Gnocchi

Herb Garlic Cream Sauce Gnocchi

Three Cheese Sauce Gnocchi

Tomato-based sauces

The second most popular sauce after cheese or cream sauce is definitely tomato sauce for gnocchi. You can use any variation of spices in your tomato sauce. Use your imagination and favorite flavors to play around with the sauce and discover different tasting gnocchi every time!

Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella Gnocchi

Pomodoro Sauce Gnocchi

Gnocchi and Tomato Bake

Can you freeze your homemade gnocchi?

How to freeze gnocchi

Yes you can freeze your homemade gnocchi to cook later. One of our friends Gustavo who always makes homemade pasta usually prepares 4-6 meals worth of gnocchi and if he does not cook them all at once, especially if he’s preparing them for himself, he just freezes them. This makes a quick and easy meal for next time.

To freeze the gnocchi arrange them on a baking sheet sprinkled with flour. Make sure the gnocchi don’t touch each other and are not stacked on each other, they stick very easy. Place them in the freezer for 2-3 hours until they are solid. You can put the frozen gnocchi in a container or a bag to take less space. Frozen gnocchi should not be kept in the freezer more than 8 weeks.

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Can you freeze store-bought gnocchi?

Yes. It does not matter whether gnocchi is homemade or store-bought. As explained above, the best way to go about freezing uncooked is to place them on a baking pan so they are not clumped up or placed on top of others. This means that you will have to open a store bought gnocchi pack and separate them on a baking sheet before freezing. We don’t advise leaving the frozen gnocchi more than 2 months with the freezer.

How to cook frozen gnocchi?

Frozen gnocchi can be prepared in just a few simple steps:

  1. Fill a big pot with salted water and seasoning quite heavily.
  2. Heat the water until it boils vigorously during that time you can remove the gnocchi from the freezer and unwrap them.
  3. Use a slotted spoon or a spider strainer to put the frozen gnocchi into the boiling water. Ensure you are stirring the pot from time to time.
  4. Ensure that cooking continues for at least 1 minute after the water boils again and wait until they start floating to the top.
  5. Taste one gnocchi if it’s tender the gnocchi are ready for serving.
  6. Drain all the gnocchi straight away and serve. If you leave gnocchi in the water they will become mushy and slimy.

If you have any questions that we haven’t answered please comment and we will be more than happy to help you out!