Gnocchi with Lobster

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This recipe illustrates how simple cooking can be when you bring together a few ingredients that were meant for each other. Be careful not to overcook the lobster; it can toughen up very easily. When you buy gnocchi in stores, it’s often so heavy that it makes you uncomfortably full. But properly made gnocchi are light and fluffy. The key is not to overwork the potatoes—mash them just enough, knead the dough just enough, and roll the individual pieces just enough. As soon as each step is completed, stop. Gnocchi can be enjoyed with simple toppings like butter and cheese, chopped fresh tomatoes, or shaved truffles, as well as lobster sauce.

Serves4 to 6


OccasionCooking for a date, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe CourseHot Appetizer, Main Course

Dietary ConsiderationLactose-free, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free



Taste and TextureRich, Savory

Type of DishFresh Pasta


  • 2 live lobsters (1½ Ib/675g each)
  • Fine sea salt
  • 70 to 80 gnocchi (recipe follows)
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch/0.5-cm dice
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Splash of dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1½ pounds/675g Yukon Gold potatoes
  • Fine sea salt
  • 8 ounces/225g [about 1¾ cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, at room temperature


  1. Gnocchi: Place the potatoes in a pot and cover them by 1 to 2 inches/2.5 to 5 cm with cold water, salt the water and place the pot over high heat. Bring the water to a boil and cook until the potatoes are done, 15 to 20 minutes. Test the potatoes for doneness by inserting a sharp, thin-bladed knife into them.

  2. Drain the potatoes and allow them to cool.

  3. Peel the potatoes using a paring knife and transfer them to a large bowl. Crush them with a masher, being careful not to overwork them.

  4. Lightly flour a work surface and mound the potatoes in the center of it. Sprinkle the flour over the potatoes and gently knead them together. Make a well in the center of the potato-flour mound. Crack the egg into a small bowl, beat it, and pour it into the well. Use a fork to work the egg into the potato-flour mound. As soon as it is incorporated, begin using your hands to knead the dough until it is no longer sticky. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions.

  5. Roll out each portion of dough, one by one, into a rope-like length ½ inch/1 cm in diameter. Re-flour the work surface periodically to keep the dough from sticking.

  6. Cut each rope into 1-inch/2.5-cm pieces and roll each piece into a small ball. If you would like to create a ridged surface to catch sauces, roll each gnocchi off the back of a fork, pressing gently so the tines make an impression.

  7. Lobster Sauce: Bring a pot of water large enough to hold the lobsters to a boil over high heat. Add the lobsters, cover the pot, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the lobsters from the pot and set aside to cool.

  8. While the lobsters are cooling, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

  9. When the lobsters are cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the body and claws. Cut the meat into bite-size pieces.

  10. Add the gnocchi to the boiling salted water and cook until they rise to the surface, about 5 minutes.

  11. Meanwhile, warm the olive oil in a sauté pan deep and wide enough to hold all of the ingredients over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Add the lobster, red pepper, and wine. Cook for 2 minutes, but no longer or the lobster meat will toughen.

  12. Turn off the heat under both the gnocchi and the lobster sauce. Transfer the gnocchi to the sauté pan using a slotted spoon. Add the parsley, season with salt, and toss. Serve family-style from a large serving bowl, or divide among individual bowls.


  1. Wine Suggestion: Müller-Thurgau

  2. Storing Extra Gnocchi: If not cooking the gnocchi immediately, it must be frozen. Place the gnocchi on a cookie sheet and transfer to the freezer. Let them harden over the course of 3 or 4 hours, then store them in a plastic bag in the freezer until ready to use.


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