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Potato Gnocchi

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Serves six.

Gnocchi’s plump, pillowy texture and mild, delicate flavor make them perfect for rich, hearty sauces like Pan-Seard Gnocchi with Browned Butter & Sage, Gnocchi with Creamy Gorgonzola Sauce, and Gnocchi with Sausage & Leek Ragù. In general, meat sauces are a fantastic match, but butter and cream-based sauces work well, too.
In Italy, gnocchi are usually served after appetizers (antipasti) as a first course (or primo piatto), instead of pasta. And they’re followed by a meat and vegetable course (secondo piatto and contorno). When Italians eat gnocchi this way, the portions tend to be on the small side. However, gnocchi can just as easily be served as a main course, preceded or followed by a light green salad. The servings here are for gnocchi served as a main course.

  • 2 lb. russet potatoes (about 4 medium), scrubbed
  • 6-3/4 oz. (1-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour, more for kneading and rolling
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Put the unpeeled potatoes in a large pot. Fill the pot with enough cold water to cover the potatoes by at least 2 inches and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, partially cover the pot, and simmer the potatoes until they are completely tender and easily pierced with a skewer, 30 to 35 minutes.

Drain the potatoes, let them cool just enough that you can handle them, and then peel them. Cut them in half crosswise and pass them through a ricer into a large bowl. Let cool until almost at room temperature, at least 20 minutes.

Lightly flour a work surface. In a small bowl, mix the flour with the salt. Add the egg to the potatoes and then add the flour mixture. Mix with your hands until the flour is moistened and the dough starts to clump together; the dough will still be a bit crumbly at this point. Gather the dough together and press it against the bottom of the bowl until you have a uniform mass. Transfer it to the floured surface and wash your hands.

Knead gently until the flour is fully incorporated and the dough is soft, smooth, and a little sticky, 30 seconds to 1 minute. (Don’t overmix it, or the gnocchi will be tough; the dough should feel very delicate.) Move the dough to one side, making sure the surface underneath it is well floured. Cover it with a clean kitchen towel.

Cover two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment and sprinkle lightly with flour.

Remove any lingering bits of dough from your work surface and lightly reflour the surface. Tear off a piece of dough about the size of a large lemon and put the towel back on the rest of the dough so it doesn’t dry out.

With the palms of both hands, roll the dough piece on the floured surface into a rope about 3/4 inch in diameter.

Tip:
To save time, skip the fork:
Classic Italian homemade gnocchi are pressed on a fork to curl them and impart the traditional ridges. To save time, I just cut them in small squares and leave them as cute little pillows. I think they look prettier, and they’re a lot less fussy to make.

With a sharp knife or a bench knife, cut the rope crosswise every 3/4 inch to make roughly 3/4-inch-square gnocchi. Arrange the gnocchi in a single layer on the parchment-covered baking sheets, making sure they don’t touch. Repeat until you run out of dough, reflouring the work surface as needed. When all the gnocchi have been cut and spread out on the baking sheets, sprinkle them with a little more flour.

If you’re going to use the gnocchi within 2 to 3 hours, they can sit out on the counter. For longer storage, see the make ahead tips below.

Make Ahead Tips

You can serve freshly made gnocchi right away or within a couple of hours, or you can freeze them for later use. Put the gnocchi in the freezer while they’re still on the baking sheets and freeze until they are hard to the touch, at least one hour. Transfer them to a large zip-top bag or several smaller bags and freeze for up to two months. Cook frozen gnocchi in boiling water in two batches. Frozen gnocchi cause the temperature of the cooking water to drop, so they’ll fall apart before the water returns to a boil if there are too many in the pot. Don’t refrigerate fresh gnocchi for more than two or three hours, as they tend to ooze water and become soggy.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 240; Fat (g): fat g 1; Fat Calories (kcal): 10; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 0; Protein (g): protein g 7; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 52; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 210; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 35; Fiber (g): fiber g 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This by far is the best and easiest gnocchi recipe ever! I made mine with spelt flour and they were great. Thanks!!

I hate to be so negative after reading some of the other reviews but mine turned out to be a BUST! Could not work with the potato and flour dough to make the logs and this site never tells you how long to boil them for my so my first batch went to nothing but mush! Had not realized that part was left out until after I had put them in my water still even the second batch they didn't keep their shape some flat and others deformed. As for the taste I have had way better even frozen ones.

Even though I had never even tasted gnocchi before, I was intrigued by this recipe and the good reviews so I decided to give it a try. I was surprised at how easy it was. I served it with the brown butter and sage sauce which was absolutely delicious! I'll definitely be making this frequently and most likely serving it to company.

Great and easy recipe. Soft and pillowy gnocchi. A small change, I put the potato through a small strainer/sieve. I thought everything else was spot on. I finished with melted butter and parmesano reggiano. Really good, thanks Laura.

So heavenly! I had been searching for gnocchi to rival some at my fav Boston restaurant...and I think I've found them! The recipe is very easy. The *only* thing that was forgotten was the actually boiling instructions...I had to search them out to double check myself. For those who don't want to search the web and don't already intuitively know...Bring a large pot of water to boil. Once boiling add (I had to do it in two batches) the gnocchi; gently stir so they don't stick to the bottom. The gnocchi will rise to the surface of the water when almost done. Let them cook a minute more. I removed them with a slotted spoon into the serving bowl and covered with sauce. So delicious!

WOW!! This was my first attempt at making gnocchi and it turned out to be the best gnocchi I've ever eaten and it was so easy. I made the sausage and leek ragu and it was better than anything I could get in a restaurant. Thank you so much for this great article and recipe.

wow! i was searching my fridge & cupboards to see what i could come up with for dinner. i had 2 lone potatoes...who knew the humble spud could be spun into such heaven!! i made a lemon cream sauce (wished i had gorgonzola -- next time!)...oh also i don't have a ricer, but smashed the cooked potato thru a metal colander - it took some work but worth it to produce the light fluffy texture.

The first time I made gnocchi and it was easy and very tasty.

Perfect gnocchi! So light and fluffy and easy to make. I plan on making huge batches regularly and freezing them so that we never have to be without them!

Absolutely delicious!! I made the potato gnocchi and then followed the recipe for the brown butter and sage sauce (the two recipes go together). The pictures and the clear instructions made the gnocchi recipe easy to follow and replicate (I did the recipe from the magazine and am not sure if all the pics are viewable on line too?). I was very impressed with the texture of the gnocchi and loved the browned butter and sage sauce as an accompaniment - I am now keen to try the Gorgonzola sauce (one of the other possible finishing sauces)! I also like the fact that you can make the gnocchi so far in advance (will freeze up to two months). This is a delicious meal that is easy to make but looks impressive and tastes great (never mind the fact that all of the ingredients are affordable and ones you are likely to have in the house anyway)!

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