Homemade Gnocchi

When I was living in France after college, my kitchen was very, very small. It consisted of two hot plates, a sink, and about six inches of counter space. With no oven and very few pots and pans, I was forced to get creative with my cooking. I made a lot of one pan skillet meals for myself, and I would frequently buy refrigerated gnocchi from the Monoprix close to my apartment.

One of the meals that was always on repeat was pan crisped gnocchi tossed with sautéed vegetables and pesto from my favorite market. I’ve got a certain nostalgia attached to gnocchi as a result.

Step by Step Guide to Homemade Gnocchi

So when I moved back to the US and had access to US sized kitchens again, I really wanted to try to make homemade gnocchi. The first few times, however I failed miserably. My homemade gnocchi was always, always too tough.

My biggest offense was over working the dough. Gnocchi dough is not pasta dough, and gnocchi dough is not bread dough. The same kneading that makes homemade pasta toothy and homemade bread chewy ruins the light and pillowy gnocchi.

Step by Step Guide to Homemade Gnocchi

I’ve picked up a few other tricks over the years so you don’t have to make the same mistakes I did! Homemade gnocchi is really satisfying to make, and it freezes wonderfully so you can take a Sunday afternoon, make a lot of it, and enjoy the fruits of your labor for many meals to come.

Homemade Gnocchi

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 lbs russet potatoes
  • 2 ½ – 3 cups flour, plus more for rolling out dough
  • 4 large egg yolks, brought to room temperature
  • ½ tsp kosher salt

Step by Step Guide to Homemade Gnocchi
Start by preheating the oven to 450 and wash your potatoes. Russet potatoes are the best for making gnocchi due to their low water content. You want a starchy potato for gnocchi, not a waxy one. Poke holes in the potatoes to allow steam to escape and bake them on a baking sheet or directly on your oven rack for 50-55 minutes.

Baking the potatoes instead of boiling them helps to reduce the water content of your dough, which means less flour, and more potato in the dough.

Step by Step Guide to Homemade Gnocchi

Remove the potatoes from the oven and let them cool slightly until you’re able to handle them comfortably. Cut the potatoes in half to allow the steam to escape. Remove the flesh of the potatoes from their skins.

The potatoes at this point will be hard and crumbly, but you want them to be light and airy when you’re making your dough. The best way to do this is to rice the potatoes using a ricer or to grate them using a box grater. Either method works well!

Step by Step Guide to Homemade Gnocchi

Grate or rice your potatoes so that you have fine potato pellets and spread those out over a clean work surface. Beat the egg yolks and drizzle over top of the potatoes. Egg yolks help the dough to bind to itself, and although some gnocchi purists might disagree, I find the addition very helpful.

Step by Step Guide to Homemade Gnocchi

Finally sift the flour over top of the potatoes and egg yolks and sprinkle with kosher salt.

Start cutting the flour into the potato and egg yolk mixture. I find a pastry cutter works really well here and it keeps me from over working the dough. Once things start to become incorporated, then I starting bringing the dough together with my hands.

Step by Step Guide to Homemade Gnocchi

Once the dough comes together, knead it a few times so that the dough stays together but be carful not to over mix.

Form a log with the dough. Use a pastry cutter or knife to cut off a slice of the log at a time. Roll that slice into a long rope that’s about an inch thick, then cut that rope into little gnocchi.

Step by Step Guide to Homemade Gnocchi

You can leave the gnocchi as is at this point in time, or you can use a fork to create the ridges you see on traditional gnocchi. These ridges help sauce to stick to the gnocchi after cooking, and they look oh so pretty, but they’re not supremely necessary.

Step by Step Guide to Homemade Gnocchi

If making ridges with a fork, press an individual gnocchi down onto the fork with your thumb and roll it over onto itself to reform a cylindrical shape. This video shows a good tutorial.

Step by Step Guide to Homemade Gnocchi

 

Place the gnocchi on a floured baking sheet. Set them aside if you’ll be cooking the gnocchi right away. If you’re not cooking it right away, put the baking sheet in your freezer and allow them to freeze completely. It should take a few hours. Once frozen, remove them from the baking sheet and store them in a gallon sized freezer bag. You can cook them straight from the freezer then.

Step by Step Guide to Homemade Gnocchi

If you are cooking them right away, boil them in heavily salted water until they float. Stir occasionally to prevent them from sticking to each other or to the bottom of the pan. Toss them with your favorite sauce and serve!

Step by Step Guide to Homemade Gnocchi
5 from 1 vote
Print

Homemade Gnocchi

A step by step guide to light and pillowy gnocchi every time!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs russet potatoes
  • 2 ½ - 3 cups flour plus more for rolling out dough
  • 4 large egg yolks brought to room temperature
  • ½ tsp kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 and wash your potatoes. Poke holes in the potatoes to allow steam to escape and bake them on a baking sheet or directly on your oven rack for 50-55 minutes.

  2. Remove the potatoes from the oven and let them cool slightly until you’re able to handle them comfortably. Cut the potatoes in half to allow the steam to escape. Remove the flesh of the potatoes from their skins.
  3. Grate or rice the potatoes using a cheese grater or a ricer.  Spread the potatoes out over a clean work surface

  4. Beat the egg yolks and drizzle over top of the potatoes. Sift the flour over top of the potatoes and egg yolks and sprinkle with the salt.

  5. To form the dough, cut the flour into the potato and egg yolk mixture. A pastry cutter works really well here.  Once things start to become incorporated, bring the dough together with your hands.

  6. Once the dough comes together, knead it a few times so that the dough stays together, but be carful not to over mix.

  7. Form a log with the dough. Use a pastry cutter or knife to cut off a slice of the log at a time. Roll that slice into a long rope that’s about an inch thick, then cut that rope into little gnocchi.
  8. You can leave the gnocchi as is at this point in time, or you can use a fork to create the ridges you see on traditional gnocchi. 

  9. If making ridges with a fork, press the an individual gnocchi down onto the fork with your thumb and roll it over onto itself to reform a cylindrical shape. 

  10. Place the gnocchi on a floured baking sheet. Set them aside if you’ll be cooking the gnocchi right away. If you’re not cooking it right away, put the baking sheet in your freezer and allow them to freeze completely.  Once frozen, remove them from the baking sheet and store them in a gallon sized freezer bag.

  11. If you are cooking them right away, boil them in heavily salted water until they float. Stir occasionally to prevent them from sticking to each other or to the bottom of the pan. Toss them with your favorite sauce and serve!



2 thoughts on “Homemade Gnocchi”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.