It’s easy and fun to make light, tender homemade potato gnocchi. Toss with walnut-parsley pesto or your favorite sauce!
This is my go-to homemade potato gnocchi recipe, the one I make over and over again.
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 this beautiful wintergreen-colored pesto made with toasted walnuts and parsley.
Can you freeze parsley 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.
How to make homemade gnocchi
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 secret to the cloud-like texture of these gnocchi is to bake the potatoes rather than boiling them.
You get lighter gnocchi because the spuds don’t absorb too much water.
The best potato to use 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!
- 2 pounds Russett baking potatoes, about 3 or 4 potatoes
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 – 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
- 1 1/4 cups Italian parsley leaves, thicker stems trimmed
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
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.
- 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.
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.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1897 Total Fat: 34g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 24g Cholesterol: 100mg Sodium: 1940mg Carbohydrates: 365g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 32g Sugar: 41g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 51g