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Homemade Potato Gnocchi

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It’s easy and fun to make light, tender homemade potato gnocchi. Toss with walnut-parsley pesto or this easy homemade marinara.

Homemade gnocchi on a wood board

This is my go-to homemade Italian gnocchi recipe, just like my grandma would make.

It’s a recipe that never fails, and they are so fun and easy to make.

The gnocchi turn out light and fluffy, as any respectable potato dumpling should be.

They’ll be delicious with our favorite easy marinara tomato sauce or just a never-fail simple garlic-butter sauce.

I happen to love them sauced with a beautiful fresh green pesto made with toasted walnuts and parsley.

How to make potato gnocchi from scratch

The process of making gnocchi is really fun, especially if you have willing kitchen helpers.

My kids loved getting their hands on the dough when they were wee ones  — and they’re still pretty good at it!

The basic steps are:

  • Bake potatoes until tender, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  • Peel the potatoes.
  • Scoop out the flesh and mash.
  • Make a dough with eggs, flour and salt.
  • Roll into logs and cut into bit-size pieces.
  • Boil, sauce and serve.

Want to know the secret to making light, fluffy gnocchi?

The best gnocchi are made with baked potatoes rather than boiled. 

You get lighter gnocchi because the spuds don’t absorb as much water. That means you won’t need as much flour in the dough, which can make the dumplings heavy.

Cool, right?

The best potatoes for making gnocchi

I’ve tried different types of potatoes while testing this recipe over the years.

I recommend using a baking-type potato variety such as Russet or Idaho to make gnocchi dough, because they are drier and have more starch than waxy and/or yellow potatoes.

The starchy potato merges gracefully with the flour and egg, making a pliable, easy-to-handle dough.

If you don’t have a wooden gnocchi board, you can just use a fork to make the distinctive grooves in each dumpling.

However, you will miss out on the pleasure of feeling just like an Italian mama!

Homemade potato gnocchi on a baking sheet

Can you freeze fresh pesto?

This recipe makes enough pesto for about four servings of gnocchi or a pound of pasta.

But the pesto is so good you might want to make a double batch and freeze it for a rainy day.

  • Transfer the pesto to small freezer-safe containers. Dribble a small amount of olive oil over the surface and cover the container securely.
  • Freeze up to 3 months.
  • Thaw in a bowl of very hot water before using or leave it out at room temperature for a few hours.

More Tasty sauces for homemade gnocchi

Italian gnocchi Recipe

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Homemade potato gnocchi on a wood board

Homemade Potato Gnocchi Recipe

Karen Tedesco
A foolproof recipe for homemade potato gnocchi. Learn the secret to the best, light and fluffy gnocchi from scratch. It's not as hard as you think!
Print Pin
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins
Course Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds (1000 g) Russet baking potatoes, about 3 or 4 potatoes
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cups (280 g) all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese
Parsley Pesto:
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) toasted walnuts
  • 1 1/4 cups (25 g) Italian parsley leaves, thicker stems trimmed
  • 1/3 cup (33 g) grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Instructions 

To make the gnocchi:
  • Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Poke the potatoes a few times with a fork and place directly on the oven rack. Bake about 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until tender when pierced.
  • When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skins (or scoop the flesh out with a spoon). Push them through the large holes of a food mill or ricer into a large bowl, or mash them by hand with a potato masher or fork.
  • Add the salt, egg yolks and 2 cups flour and mix together to form a shaggy dough. Turn the mixture out onto a floured surface and knead, adding a little more flour if needed, until the dough is soft and smooth.
  • Divide the dough into portions the size of the palm of your hand. On a floured surface, roll each into a rope about 1/2-inch thick. Cut into 1-inch lengths. Roll each wad of dough firmly over a gnocchi board or the concave side of a fork. Arrange the gnocchi on a floured baking sheet as you go.
  • Bring a large stockpot of  salted water to a boil. Drop the gnocchi, in batches, into the water and boil until they bob to the surface, about 3 minutes. Scoop out the cooked gnocchi into a colander set over a bowl to drain. Scoop 1/4 cup of the cooking water and reserve.
  • To serve, stir a about a tablespoon of reserved cooking water into the pesto sauce until it’s smooth. Toss the gnocchi gently with the sauce in a serving bowl, and top with grated Parmesan.
To make the pesto:
  • Put the walnuts in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the parsley, cheese, olive oil, salt and garlic. 
  • Process until the pesto is smooth.

Notes

Freezing potato gnocchi:
To be sure you always have a late-night gnocchi stash on hand, make a batch of gnocchi and freeze them, Lay them out in one layer on a tray and place in the freezer.
When they’re frozen solid, transfer the gnocchi to zippered bags. Keep frozen up to 3 months before cooking.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 694kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 882mg | Potassium: 1201mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1781IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 183mg | Iron: 7mg
Did you make this recipe? Mention @Familystylefood or tag #familystylefood on Instagram!!

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about making cooking fun and doable, with easy to follow tested recipes and incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

12 Comments

  1. If there is something that I don’t get enough of those are gnocchi. Thank you so much Karen for sharing your variation!

  2. Oh, well those look just scrumptious. I keep promising myself to try my hand at gnocchi again (there was a failed attempt a million years ago); maybe your recipe will get me to, er, pull the trigger.

  3. I am so sad that we are now home and not making gnocchi together this weekend. Should I order the paddle from Amazon?

  4. You are always an inspirations, Karen. These gnocchi look great!
    I’ve tried making some out of butternut squash, but the “dough” is always too wet, so I end up adding a lot of flour.

    Hope you had a good holiday. That’s wonderful that you get to spend so much time with family.

  5. The gnocchi looks perfect and the family fun is to be admired. Congrats on maintaining your food and family traditions

  6. Those gnocci look so yummy. I’ve never made them from scratch, but I bet they are wonderful. Sounds like you and your family had a wonderful time together over the holidays. What better way to spend time together than in the kitchen! Hope we get to meet at a great cook-off in 2008!

  7. The first time I ever had gnocchi I was a teenager at an Italian restaurant in Wasaga Beach. This past fall the entire old town burnt down…not that it was really a town but with arcades and amusements. A piece of history gone I suppose, but, I will always remember the gnocchi!!

  8. I love everything about making gnocchi from mixing the dough, to forming the pasta, to eating and eating and eating more of them. Did I mention I love eating them? 😉 Yours look perfect, Karen.

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