You’ve had the most delicious fluffiest godsend potato pillows in a restaurant or your friends home and now want to make some more at home? Well, you are in luck because making potato gnocchi at home is actually really easy, does not require a lot of equipment and is cheap to make!
I used to eat out quite often with my partner, at least one meal a week in an Italian restaurant and we never skipped on potato gnocchi. While eating these fluffy potato pillows with rich tomato sauce I thought that this dish seems to be really simple but very tasty, I wonder if I could make potato gnocchi at home?
After doing some research I found out making gnocchi at home is really easy, cheap and actually fun!
In this guide, I have combined questions I had before starting making potato gnocchi at home. Hope this guide helps you out and saves hours of research that I had to do.
- 1 What ingredients do I need for potato gnocchi?
- 2 What equipment do I need to make potato gnocchi at home?
- 3 What potatoes are best for gnocchi?
- 4 Steps to making potato gnocchi
- 5 Potato Gnocchi Sauce Recipes
What ingredients do I need for potato gnocchi?
All you need for simple potato gnocchi is potatoes and flour. Some recipes use eggs in them some don’t. This is because some Italian regions always used to make potato gnocchi with eggs and others didn’t. I will not get into the discussion which ones are tastier and for the sake of simplicity won’t use any eggs, since even without eggs gnocchi are amaaaazing! However, in the end, I will provide some recipes that also have eggs for the variety.
What equipment do I need to make potato gnocchi at home?
The great thing about making gnocchi at home is that you actually might get away without any extra equipment. The minimum you need is a nice surface to roll your gnocchi dough and a potato ricer.
I personally don’t have a nice marble countertop on which I could work my dough so I use a pastry board. It allows me to properly work the dough without making a big mess. You can check out our Best Pastry Board Guide here if you don’t have one yet.
I also use a gnocchi board (Gnocchi Boards buyers guide) to roll my potato gnocchi. I like my gnocchi rolled so they have ridges in them to soak up as much sauce as possible when served. You can also use a fork to roll the gnocchi, it will just take a little practice to get used to it but works just as fine. I use the gnocchi board since it’s cheap and easy to use.
Finally, a good potato ricer will make your life much easier. A potato ricer will crumble the potato to produce very light gnocchi. A masher will work as well if you don’t have anything else, however, compressing the potatoes won’t produce as light gnocchi as a ricer would.
And that’s it! If you have a good countertop or a pastry board I would advise just getting a good potato ricer to make your life easier. Other than that you even don’t need any other special equipment to make gnocchi.
A quick recap and links for equipment I use:
Potato Ricer (Check our Best Potato Ricer article)
Pastry Board (Check our Best Pastry Boards article)
Gnocchi Board (Check our Best Gnocchi Boards article)
Dough Cutter (Check price on Amazon)
Let’s move on to the ingredients.
What potatoes are best for gnocchi?
To put it simply, the best potatoes for gnocchi are the ones that have less moisture and are dry or fluffy when cooked. Having dry potatoes will allow you to easily work the dough and make light-textured gnocchis.
You want to focus on mealy potatoes that have more dry starch in them. Keep away from waxy potatoes because they are rich in moisture. Most of red, yellow, and white potatoes in the US are waxy.
Best potatoes for gnocchi are Yukon, Russet, blue and purple varieties. If you can’t get any of these try to pick the ones for mashing or baking since they are usually the dry type ones.
Steps to making potato gnocchi
Here are a few very easy steps to making potato gnocchi:
Step 1: Bake or boil your potatoes
These days I see more and more chefs bake their potatoes so I jumped the bandwagon as well and the results are impressive! Baked potatoes are easier to make the dough with since boiling just does not draw out the moisture (duh!)
Make sure you puncture your potatoes 5-6 times before baking so the moisture can evaporate faster.
Boiling the potatoes is alright, you just might have a harder time working the dough.
Step 2: Rice the potatoes
After peeling the boiled or baked potatoes rice them with a fine ricer to produce small crumbles of potato. The small crumbles will release even more moisture out. As I mentioned, in the beginning, it is advised to avoid mashing the potatoes since it will lock up the moisture.
Step 3: Flour the potatoes
After ricing your potatoes you need to weigh them by feel or with scales if you want to be precise. You need about 1 cup of flour per pound of riced potatoes. Remember to weight the potatoes when they are already baked and riced because before cooking the potatoes will weight twice as much with all the moisture still in them.
You can use all purpose flour for gnocchi but if you want to be authentic and strive for perfection use Italian imported flour that is milled from soft wheat and has lower protein count than general all purpose flour.
Incorporate around ¾ of the flour into the potatoes and leave the rest. You will use it when rolling the dough.
Step 4: Roll the dough
Now you have your soft dough set aside, clear your working surface, dry it and flour it. Now take a bit of the dough (a lemon sized ball) and try to roll into a ¾ inch thick rope. Make sure you roll the rope equal in thickness so you have the same size gnocchi in the end.
Take the gnocchi rope and cut it into square bites. I use a pastry cutter since I make pasta at home, but you can use a knife if you don’t have a cutter in your kitchen. Do this for all of the dough.
Step 5: Ridge the gnocchi (Optional)
I like my gnocchi to have ridges to absorb more sauce when cooked. As I mentioned, in the beginning, I use a gnocchi board to quickly roll them. You can also substitute the gnocchi board and use a fork to make ridges!
It is hard to explain how this works so here is a quick video from Marie Asselin showing how to use a gnocchi board or a fork to ridge gnocchi
Step 6: Cook the gnocchi
And that’s it! You are left with raw gnocchi all you have to do is cook them and serve!
The most simple way I make potato gnocchi is boiling them in salted water until they rise to the top. Don’t overcook them! As soon as they go to the top scoop them out of the pot. If I am cooking for two or more people I like to boil gnocchi in batches so they have more space. Try to use 12-15 gnocchis per batch.
After you boil your fluffy potato bites butter your saucepan and dump your gnocchi in there. Saute them for a couple of minutes until golden, serve on a plate and sprinkle a ton of grated Parmesan cheese. This way is super simple, fast, but very tasty.
You can use your imagination and add various sauces like tomato, cream, or pesto.
Potato Gnocchi Sauce Recipes
You can use these recipes to make the sauce for your fresh homemade potato gnocchi!
Pomodoro Sauce from Foodiecrush https://www.foodiecrush.com/gnocchi-with-pomodoro-sauce/
Fresh Tomato and Basil Sauce from Sbs https://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/gnocchi-fresh-tomato-and-basil-sauce
Creamy Tomato and Spinach Sauce from BBCgoodfood https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/10338/gnocchi-with-creamy-tomato-and-spinach-sauce
Bacon Cream Sauce from Sweetteaandthyme https://www.sweetteaandthyme.com/gnocchi-bacon-cream-sauce/