In Italian cuisine gnocchi are frequently eaten as a first course, as an alternative to pasta, especially in the north of Italy. Usual manner to prepare gnocchi does not differ from that for pasta, even the same sauces are used. One thing about gnocchi is that in order to really enjoy them they must be freshly made. The ones readily available in stores fresh or frozen are very convenient and allow us to prepare a meal in a matter of minutes but when it comes to taste and texture store-bought gnocchi leave a lot to be desired.

potato gnocchi


Gnocchi may be made from semolina, ordinary wheat flour, eggs, cheese, potato, breadcrumbs, spinach or similar ingredients. Like a lot of traditional dishes in Italian cuisine, there is considerable variation in recipes across different regions. This great diversity was dictated by differences in available ingredients in various regions. Potato gnocchi that are characteristic of northern Italy are probably the most popular version.

Potato Gnocchi Recipe

Would you like to know the secrets to make perfect potato gnocchi?
Before we begin, word of warning, in order to successfully make this recipe you really need at least a little experience with kneading dough. Difference between soft, fluffy, melt in the mouth and tough, rubbery, chewy is how the dough feels under your fingers, that takes practice. Of course there are a few other important things.

What kind of potato to use for gnocchi?

First of all, starchy potatoes are the best choice if you want to make the perfect potato gnocchi.

perfect potato gnocchi


We  need for potatoes to be dry so the gnocchi would be fluffy and melt in the mouth. The best way to do that is instead of cooking we bake the potato.

Baking Potato

 It’s also important to make the dough while the potatoes are still hot otherwise we risk gnocchi becoming chewy.

making dough for potato gnocchi

Next are the eggs, frowned upon by purists and not included in many recipes, but eggs are one of the best binding agents. Adding eggs make the recipe little more user-friendly, because to be honest, eggless gnocchi are very tricky to master and very delicate to handle.
The second binding agent we use is flour. During the kneading process, add as much flour as needed to hold dough together, but avoid over-flouring. Too much flour will make gnocchi hard.

Dough should be knead just enough for ingredients to be thoroughly combined. If you overwork the dough you’ll begin to develop gluten in the flour which will result in undesirable chewiness.

adding eggs into gnocchi

Don’t forget to keep everything lightly floured , (your hands, working board, tray on which you arrange the shaped gnocchi ….)
Divide the dough into sections. Roll each section on a lightly floured surface into a long, thin sausage shape,  1/2” thick. Then cut into dumplings about  1-inch long.  And your gnocchi are ready for cooking. 

serving potato gnocchi Now you need to choose the sauce for your perfect potato gnocchi. As I said before almost all sauces for pasta are good options. Since gnocchi are so light and fluffy they are often paired with creamy, rich sauces. My personal favorite is the classic Bolognese sauce using it we get a dish that strikes the perfect balance between rich, tasty ragu and soft melt-in-your-mouth gnocchi.

Potato gnocchi with bolognese sauce
Serves 4
A real comfort meal for whole family
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 15 min
For the potato gnocchi
  1. 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, pelled and quatered
  2. 1 large egg, beaten
  3. 1 ½ cup flour
  4. pinch of nutmeg ( optional)
  5. salt, pepper to taste
For the sauce
  1. 4 oz pancetta, finally chopped
  2. 2 tbsp olive oil
  3. 1 large onion, chopped
  4. 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  5. 2 carrots, chopped
  6. 2 sticks of celery
  7. 1 pound minced beef
  8. 1 cup red wine
  9. 1 pound chopped tomatoes , fresh or canned
  10. ¼ cup tomato paste
  11. 1 fresh or dried bay leaf
  12. 2 tbsp fresh basil or parsley, chopped
  13. salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  14. freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
For the sauce
  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the bacon and cook and stir until the bacon is lightly golden.
  3. Add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic and cook until softened.,about 7 minutes.
  4. Add the minced beef and cook it until browned. Stir in the wine ,tomatoes and paste.
  5. Add the bay leaf.
  6. Reduce the temperature , cover with a lid and simmer over a low heat for 1-1½ hours until the sauce is rich and thickened, stirring occasionally.
  7. When the sauce is done, remove the bay leaf and stir in chopped basil or parsley.
For the gnocchi
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake them for 45 minutes or until fork tender.
  3. Remove from the oven and press the potatoes using a potato masher or a press in a large bowl. Add the egg and flour a little at a time.
  4. Mix with your hands until it comes together into a soft dough.
  5. Dust work surface and your hands with a little flour.
  6. Divide the dough into 4 balls.
  7. Roll each section on a lightly floured surface into a long, thin sausage shape, 1/2” thick.
  8. Then cut into dumplings about 1-inch long.
  9. Put the finished gnocchi on a flour-dusted tray.
  10. Boil the gnocchi in batches in plenty of salted water until they float to the surface, about 2 minute. Remove them with a slotted spoon and serve with the sauce.
  11. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
  1. If not cooking immediately, cover the finished gnocchi on a flour-dusted tray with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.
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