Homemade Authentic Italian Potato Gnocchi Recipe

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Homemade Authentic Italian Potato Gnocchi! Let’s make the best pillowy soft potato gnocchi! When you master this pillow-soft gnocchi recipe, you will make it for all your family and friends. This is a tried and true Italian family recipe we’ve perfected to give you the best homemade potato gnocchi!

We love this soft and light gnocchi. The homemade gnocchi is served with an easy homemade pesto recipe and our Italian bread

Simple sauces to serve gnocchi: Gnocchi in Creamy Red Pepper Sauce and Gnocchi in Garlic and Brown Butter Sage Sauce. More sauce recipes are listed below. 

You will also love this Baked Gnocchi recipe!

If you love to make fresh pasta, try:Authentic Homemade Pappardelle Pasta Recipe. And learn How To Store Homemade Pasta Without Sticking!

Homemade Potato Gnocchi Recipe

Homemade gnocchi has a soft texture that melts in your mouth while still being firm enough for easy chewing. This is the most traditional Italian gnocchi recipe!

You will love this no-fail recipe with all the tips and tricks you need to create restaurant-style potato gnocchi in your Cucina (kitchen)!

Start today. This is a recipe you will treasure for years to come. 

Simple Ingredients

Authentic Italian gnocchi only has a few ingredients, making them taste so fresh and delicious. 

Authentic Italian Potato Gnocchi Ingredients

  • Potatoes (recommended Yukon Gold or Russet)
  • Egg
  • All-purpose flour or “00” flour  (you may need less)
  • Parmigiano or parmesan cheese
  • Salt

Suggested Tools 

Homemade Authentic Italian Potato Gnocchi Recipe shaping gnocchi

How to make Authentic Italian Potato Gnocchi Recipe (step-by-step)

See the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Baking the Potatoes 

  1. Start by poking the potatoes all over using a fork. Place them in a preheated 400°F oven for about an hour. After this, the skins should be crisp and the interior should easily pierce with a knife. This process dries out the potato, so you have to use less flour!
  2. Remove the skin with a clean cloth. This will allow more steam to escape. Less steam means less moisture and less moisture means lighter, fluffier gnocchi. 

Making Gnocchi 

  1. Pass the potatoes through the fine holes of a cheese grater (or a potato ricer). Once the potatoes are grated down to fluffy little bits, they look like cauliflower rice.
  2. Weigh potatoes on a scale to get 450 grams or 1 pound. It is important to weigh your potatoes since they vary so much in size/weight.
  3. Sift (1/4 cup) at a time of all-purpose flour and salt across the potatoes. Gently toss with a fork to incorporate. Add more flour little by little. You may not need all the flour if the potatoes are drier, or you may need to add a little more if they retain more water. Before adding the egg, the dough will be crumbly. 
  4. Add one beaten egg and the parmigiano cheese- spread evenly across the potato and flour mixture (1 beaten egg for every 450 grams of potato). 
  5. Bring the potatoes, flour, and egg into a ball of dough by using a bench scraper (or the desired tool- a fork works just as well). Mix gently to make sure the egg and flour are evenly distributed. Start using your hands to press it into one cohesive mass.
  6. Once the mass has formed, start kneading for about 90 seconds. A phrase to remember is “no need to over knead. If you are gentle, they will be tender. You still need to knead until it is a solid mass, but don’t go crazy. Once the dough is smooth and no egg or flour streaks remain, cover the dough with a cloth and let it rest for about 15 minutes. 

Shaping Gnocchi

  1. Divide the dough ball into 8-10 sections. Sift some all-purpose flour onto a work surface and roll each piece of dough into a 1” thick rope. Press down any uneven spots until it is an even rope.
  2. Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut into little 1-inch dumplings or into the desired size.
  3. For a classic gnocchi shape, press down against the tines of a fork using your thumb down and across the fork, or use a gnocchi board.
  4. Once all of the dough has been cut and shaped into the desired gnocchi shape, place it onto a rimmed baking sheet and cover it with a light dusting of all-purpose flour.
  5. For non-immediate cooking, place in a freezer to solidify for 1 hour, then scrape off and place in a bag and back into the freezer. They freeze great! For immediate use, cook with one of the suggested sauces.

Gnocchi Cooking Instructions

  1. Cooking is just like fresh pasta. Bring a large pot of water to boil, salt it well, then scoot in your frozen or fresh gnocchi. Occasionally give them a gentle stir, but otherwise, let them boil. Once they float to the surface of the water, you know they’re ready. Use a slotted spoon and lift them out of the water and onto a serving dish then top with your favorite sauce!
    1. I recommend cooking 5 tester gnocchi before baking the whole batch. These are your testers to make sure the consistency is right.
    2. RESCUE METHOD: If for some reason they melt into the water you can gather the dough into a ball again and incorporate more flour to firm them.

Authentic Italian Potato Gnocchi (finished)

Shaping Authentic Italian Potato Gnocchi 

  1. Cut. Then, using a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut into little dumplings or into the desired size.
  2. Shape. For a classic gnocchi shape, press down against the tines of a fork using your thumb down and across the fork. (See video below.)
  3. Rest. Once the dough has been cut and shaped into the desired gnocchi shape, place it onto a rimmed baking sheet and cover it with a light dusting of all-purpose flour.

    Best Potatoes for Making Potato Gnocchi 

    I recommend Yukon Gold potatoes or Idaho Russets.

    Yukon Golds have more of the nutty flavor of the yellow-fleshed boiling potatoes used by the Italian and Provençal cooks who have mastered gnocchi.

    When I am in Italy these are the kind of potatoes we buy for most of our dishes that use potatoes. I love the taste and they produce great gnocchi! Try this recipe: Oven Roasted Potatoes (Italian Style)

    Idaho Russets work well for gnocchi since they are firm and starchy. This creates an easy dough to handle.  

    What Flour is Best for Making Gnocchi?

    If you want to be truly Italian, look for imported Italian flour- “00” flour which is milled from soft wheat with low protein content.

    You can also use regular all-purpose flour if that is all you have. 

     

    What Does the Word Gnocchi Mean in Italian?

    The word gnocchi is thought to come from nocca, which means knuckles, or from the Lombard word knohha, which means knot (such as wood knot) or walnut—all words that imply the small, tight, rounded shape of gnocchi that we know today. 

     

    Common Mistakes When Making Gnocchi 

    I’ve tried making gnocchi dozens of times, and the results are usually one of three: too hard (too much flour), too gummy (too much water in potatoes), or they fall apart in the water (think boiled mashed potatoes).

    I then resorted to buying gnocchi from the store and I did not love those either! 

    So, after lots of trial and error and thanks to my mamma, here is the perfect recipe for pillowy clouds we Italians call- gnocchi.

    Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get them perfect the first time. This is a recipe that requires a little effort, but once you get it down, there is no going back.

    I made up this useful gnocchi phrase to help you- “no need to over-knead the dough, if you are gentle they will be tender”.

Storing  

For non-immediate cooking, place the uncooked gnocchi in the freezer to solidify for 1 hour, then place them in an airtight container or freezer bag and back into the freezer. 

They freeze great and last up to three months. For immediate use- make one of the sauce recipes suggested. 

How to Cook Homemade Potato Gnocchi

Cooking gnocchi is just like cooking fresh pasta. In a large pot of salted boiling water (do not let the water boil too vigorously or the gnocchi can fall apart), gently scoot in your frozen or fresh gnocchi.

Occasionally give them a gentle stir- use my favorite tool, but otherwise, let them boil. 

The gnocchi has a short cooking time. Once they float to the surface of the water, you know they’re ready- usually a few minutes. Taste test one to make sure they are firm with a slight al-dente bite. 

Use a slotted spoon and lift them out of the water and onto a serving dish then top with your favorite sauce! Buon appetito!

Top Tips for Cooking Gnocchi 

    1. I recommend cooking 5 tester gnocchis before baking the whole batch. These are your testers to make sure the consistency is right.
    2. RESCUE METHOD: If for some reason they melt into the water you can gather the dough into a ball again and incorporate more flour to firm them.

* Gnocchi are so worth getting right! If you fail the first time- Try again! You will start to get a feel for the consistency.

Best Sauces for Gnocchi

Here are some recommended good recipes for sauces that complement gnocchi:

Classic Italian Ragu Recipe (Meat Sauce)

Classic Pesto Genovese

Brown butter Sage (from the Butternut Squash Risotto recipe)

Sugo al Pomodoro (simple tomato sauce)

Polpette di Nonna Laura

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce (with ricotta)

Italian Pink Sauce Pasta Recipe (Tomato Cream)

How to Shape Gnocchi with a Fork (VIDEO) 

You can use a gnocchi board, or simply use a fork to shape your gnocchi. 

Gnocchi FAQ’s

Are gnocchi a type of pasta?

Gnocchi is not a form of pasta. It is actually an Italian potato dumpling made out of potatoes, flour, and egg.

Why do gnocchi fall apart when cooking?

If the gnocchi fall apart or appear to be dissolving around the edges, it can mean one of two things: You let them cook for too long or, even worse, you didn’t combine the potato and flour into true dough. See “rescue method” in post.

Can you over-knead gnocchi dough?

Yes! Over-kneading the dough creates too much gluten and will leave your gnocchi rubbery and tough. Work the dough so it comes together in a workable ball and you’re able to roll it out, then stop. See the recipe post for details.

From my Cucina to your table, made with amore, Elena.

Don’t forget to leave a star rating and comment! I love connecting with you through the recipes.

This is the best homemade gnocchi recipe! Once you make this easy gnocchi recipe- you will never go back to the store-bought variety!

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Authentic Italian Homemade Potato Gnocchi

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5 from 6 reviews

Let’s make the best pillowy soft potato gnocchi! You will love this no fail recipe with all the tips and tricks you need to create restaurant style potato gnocchi in your cucina (kitchen)! Start today. This is a recipe you will treasure for years to come. 

  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • About 4 medium potatoes *Important to weigh potatoes AFTER baking and shredding to get 450 gr or 1 pound. You may have a little shredded potato leftover after since potatoes vary so much in size/weight (recommended potato variety Yukon Gold or Russet)
  • 1 egg
  • 120 gr (about 1 cup) “00” flour or all-purpose flour (you may need less)
  • 2 tablespoons of parmigiano cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Baking the Potatoes 

  1. Start by poking the potatoes all over using a fork. Place them in a preheated 400°F oven for about an hour. After this, the skins should be crisp and the interior should easily pierce with a knife. This process dries out the potato, so you have to use less flour!
  2. Remove the skin with a clean cloth. This will allow more steam to escape. Less steam means less moisture, and less moisture means lighter, fluffier gnocchi. 

Making the Gnocchi 

  1. Pass the potatoes through the fine holes of a cheese grater (or a potato ricer). Once the potatoes are grated down to fluffy little bits- they will look like cauliflower rice.
  2. Weigh potatoes on a scale to get 450 grams or 1 pound. It is important to weigh your potatoes since they vary so much in size/weight.
  3. Sift (1/4 cup) at a time of all-purpose flour and salt across the potatoes. Gently toss with a fork to incorporate. Add more flour little by little. You may not need all the flour if the potatoes are drier, or you may need to add a little more if they retained more water. Before adding the egg the dough will be crumbly. 
  4. Add one beaten egg and the parmigiano cheese- spread evenly across the potato and flour mixture (1 beaten egg for every 450 grams of potato). 
  5. Bring the potatoes, flour, and egg into a ball of dough by using a bench scraper (or the desired tool- a fork works just as well). Mix gently to make sure the egg and flour are evenly distributed. Start using your hands to press it into one cohesive mass.
  6. Once the mass has formed, start kneading for about 90 seconds. A phrase to remember is “no need to over knead, if you are gentle they will be tender. You still need to knead until it is a solid mass, but just don’t go crazy. Once the dough is smooth and no egg or flour streaks remain cover the dough with a cloth and let it rest for about 15 minutes. 

Shaping the Gnocchi

  1. Divide the dough ball into 8-10 sections. Sift some all-purpose flour onto a work surface and roll each piece of dough into a 1” thick rope. Press down any uneven spots until it is an even rope.
  2. Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut into little 1-inch dumplings or into the desired size.
  3. For a classic gnocchi shape, press down against the tines of a fork using your thumb down and across the fork, or use a gnocchi board.
  4. Once all of the dough has been cut and shaped into the desired gnocchi shape, place it onto a rimmed baking sheet and cover it with a light dusting of all-purpose flour.
  5. For non-immediate cooking, place in a freezer to solidify for 1 hour, then scrape off and place in a bag and back into the freezer. They freeze great! For immediate use, cook with one of the suggested sauces.

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Cooking is just like fresh pasta. Bring a large pot of water to boil, salt it well, then scoot in your frozen or fresh gnocchi. Occasionally give them a gentle stir, but otherwise, let them boil. Once they float to the surface of the water, you know they’re ready. Use a slotted spoon and lift them out of the water and onto a serving dish then top with your favorite sauce!
    1. I recommend cooking 5 tester gnocchi before baking the whole batch. These are your testers to make sure the consistency is right.
    2. RESCUE METHOD: If for some reason they melt into the water you can gather the dough into a ball again and incorporate more flour to firm them.

Notes

Gnocchi are so worth getting right! If you fail the first time- Try again! You will start to get a feel for the consistency.

Recommended Sauces:

 

  • Author: Elena Davis
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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10 Comments

  1. These are delicious! Definitely a process (easy) but worth every step. The gnocchi are light and fluffy.

  2. I attended the Gnocchi class with Elena. It was so much fun. We were able to taste the gnocchi at the class and then I took mine home to freeze it. I made it tonight for my mom and I and it was delicious. I would definitely make these again. I think I can do it on my own. 😁






    1. Hi Calene, you can absolutely make these on your own! You did an amazing job in the class. I hope you try them again soon. All the best, Elena.

  3. I love this recipe! This is how gnocchi is supposed to taste! it was so easy to make and hands down the gnocchi I have ever had!






    1. YUM!!!! Our family loves fresh restaurant gnocchi which seemed too intimidating to tackle. When Elena offered a gnocchi making class I jumped on it and am soooo happy I did. Her recipe and class break down how to make tender delicious gnocchi step by step. I took the class last week and made it for my family on Sunday, and it was a huge hit. Thank you Elena for another fun class and delectable recipe. This one is a keeper and will be made time and time again in our kitchen.






      1. So happy you loved the class and the recipe, Joyce! It is a super yummy recipe to serve with a variety of different sauces. Enjoy for years to come :).