Making pillowy and delicate fresh potato gnocchi at home is truly worth trying if you have a bit of extra time on hand. Similar to making fresh pasta at home, homemade potato gnocchi takes a little extra effort and patience but will be well worth it in terms of flavor and texture.
Store-bought gnocchi can be a convenient option if you want to whip up dinner during a busy workweek, but if you have some free time and a few basic ingredients we highly suggest you try your hand at homemade.
What You’ll Need for Homemade Gnocchi
To make homemade potato gnocchi, you only need four basic ingredients:
- Potatoes: Yukon Gold or Russet are ideal as they have a high starch content which will help yield a light and fluffy texture.
- Flour: No need for anything fancy, AP flour works great here. Always have a little extra on hand both for rolling and shaping and for the dough itself. The exact amount of flour you will need for the dough varies depending on the moisture content of your potatoes.
- Egg: While egg is an optional ingredient in some gnocchi recipes, we find that it adds richness and helps bind the dough together.
- Salt: To season both the dough and the pasta water, always use kosher salt for the best flavor.
You do not need any fancy equipment to make these potato gnocchi at home. No pasta machine required! All you will need are the following basic kitchen tools:
- Potato masher or ricer: A potato ricer will help you achieve a light texture, but a simple potato masher will work just fine.
- Large pot: For boiling both the potatoes and the gnocchi.
- Large, smooth surface: A clean, smooth surface like a countertop or cutting board, for rolling and shaping your gnocchi.
- Fork: For creating ridges or grooves on the gnocchi. This is essential for helping the sauce cling to the pasta.
To Pair With This Recipe
- Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina
- Perfect Homemade Pesto
- Creamy Gnocchi With Sauteed Mushrooms & Peas
- Pasta al Pomodoro
- 30-Minute Gnocchi Bolognese
Homemade Potato Gnocchi
- 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, whole, unpeeled
- 1 cup All Purpose flour, plus up to 1/2 cup extra for dusting and shaping
- 1 medium egg, beaten, room temp.
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
Prepare the Potato Gnocchi
- Rinse the potatoes, place them whole and unpeeled in a large pot, and cover with cold water. Over high heat, bring the pot to a boil and cook for 35-40 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Test for doneness by sticking the potatoes with a knife. When they are done, the knife should easily slide in with no resistance.
- When the potatoes are tender, drain and set aside until they are cool enough to handle. Peel the skin off the potatoes with your finders or with the help of a teaspoon. If cooked properly, the skin should slide right off. While they are still warm, mash the potatoes using a potato masher or press them through a potato ricer.
- Place the mashed potatoes and flour in a large bowl. Use your hands to mix in some of the flour before adding the beaten egg and salt. Mix everything together with your hands until a shaggy dough forms.
- On a clean, smooth surface sprinkle a little flour down before tipping out your gnocchi dough. Knead the dough for about 2-3 minutes until it is smooth and soft to the touch, incorporating more flour as needed. Do not over-knead the dough or it can become tough. The dough will be sticky, but not so sticky that it can't be kneaded. Use a bench scraper as needed to help release the dough from the bench while kneading.
- Once the dough is formed, use a bench scraper or butter knife to cut the dough into three or four pieces. On the clean, floured surface roll each piece into a snake-like shape, about 1/2 inch thick. Using the bench scraper or butter knife, cut the long piece of dough into approximately 1-inch long gnocchi pieces.
- Flour the fork and flip it over on the counter so that the tines are facing downward. Roll the gnocchi over the back of the tines using your thumb or index finger. The dough piece should curl around your finger as the fork leaves a striped impression on the outside. If done correctly, the outside of your gnocchi should have ridges from the fork and the underbelly will have a fold where your finger was.*
- Place the formed gnocchi on a plastic or parchment-lined, lightly floured sheet tray, leaving space between each one.**
- When ready to cook, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Once the water is at a rolling boil, add the gnocchi and cook for 2-3 minutes until they float to the surface. Drain and toss with pasta sauce*** promptly so that the gnocchi do not have a chance to stick together. Serve immediately.
- 1 potato ricer or masher
- 1 large bowl
- 1 fork
- 1 sheet tray, lined with parchment or plastic wrap
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