Potato Gnocchi

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Making gnocchi requires a light touch and the ability to be flexible, but once you master the recipe, you can easily make gnocchi anytime, in anyone’s kitchen, without any instructions in front of you. We prefer gnocchi that are made without eggs so that less flour is needed to make the dough. The less flour you need, the more potato flavor there will be in each bite. If this dough is new to you, it may take a couple of tries to get it just right, but the gnocchi you produce while trying will still be perfectly good to eat.

NotesFreezing Dumplings: If you need to freeze extra dumplings, or want to make large batches and freeze them for later, there are a few things to consider. Almost all filled and folded dumplings can be frozen before cooking. They should be frozen in a single layer on a baking sheet or tray lined with parchment paper. If there is a second layer, separate the layers with another piece of parchment paper. Do not stack more than two layers of dumplings on one tray. Only after the dumplings have frozen solid should they be placed in bags or boxes, sealed tightly, and stored for up to 3 months. Fresh corn tamales, some wrapped rice dumplings, and steamed buns freeze well after cooking. Again, space them apart on a tray, let them freeze, then store in tightly sealed bags or boxes for up to 3 months.


Cooking Methodsauteeing


Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Courseappetizer, main course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Five Ingredients or LessYes


Taste and Texturebuttery, cheesy, nutty

Type of Dishfresh pasta, pasta


  • 4 medium baking potatoes, such as russet
  • 1¼ cups unbleached all purpose flour, plus some extra for dusting
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Potato ricer
  • Gnocchi board (optional)
  • Large plate or tray to hold the dumplings cooked in batches


  1. Make the dough: Place the potatoes in a small pot, pour in enough water to cover them, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and place the potatoes on a folded kitchen towel. When they’re cool enough to handle, peel off their skins, break them into chunks, then press them through the ricer into a large bowl.

  2. Add 1 cup of the flour to the riced potato, keeping the remaining ¼ cup handy, then add the salt and toss until mixed evenly. Work the dough with your hands into one manageable ball.

  3. Place the dough on a floured surface and knead for 2 to 3 minutes. This dough needs to be firm enough to hold its shape when rolled into balls. If it is too soft or sticky, work in some of the remaining flour, a little at a time.

  4. Make the dumplings: Line a tray with a kitchen towel and sprinkle with a little flour.

  5. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll one piece of dough into a rope about ½ inch thick, sprinkling with flour if it gets a little sticky. Cut the rope into ¾-inch lengths.

  6. If you don’t want ridges on your gnocchi, place the cut dough pieces in a single layer on the prepared tray. If you do want ridges, roll each piece along the gnocchi board or along the tines of a fork. Roll the piece along the back of the fork to avoid catching it on the ends of the tines. Repeat with the remaining dough.

  7. Set aside the number of gnocchi that you would like to cook and keep the rest frozen for up to 6 months.

  8. Cook the dumplings: Fill a large pot halfway with salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium for a steady simmer.

  9. Carefully drop up to a few dozen gnocchi into the simmering water, a few at a time. Cook until all of them are floating, about 2 minutes, then cook for 2 minutes longer. (If cooking frozen gnocchi, add them directly to the simmering water and increase the cooking time by 1 minute. Do not allow the gnocchi to thaw before cooking.)

  10. . Remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon, scatter them on the large plate or tray, and drizzle with a few spoonfuls of the cooking liquid to prevent sticking. Resting the cooked gnocchi on a roomy plate prevents them from piling up while they set and firm up a bit. Cook the remaining gnocchi in batches, placing them on the plate with another few spoonfuls of the cooking liquid. Set aside ½ cup of the cooking liquid for the sauce.

  11. . Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until the butter just begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Drain the gnocchi and add them to the butter. Toss and stir gently until the edges just begin to brown. Remove from the heat, mix in the Parmesan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve.

  12. Variation:

  13. Potato Gnocchi with Oxtail Sauce. While the sauce is simmering, prepare the gnocchi and cook them in boiling water shortly before they need to be added to the sauce. Or you can make the sauce up to 3 days in advance, keeping it refrigerated in a tightly sealed container. Bring the sauce to a simmer before adding the cooked gnocchi.


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