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Potato Gnocchi

Gnocchi di Patate


No one in my family makes gnocchi as well as Aunt Nancy Scatorchie. She can roll them off the tines of a fork with lightning speed. Perfect gnocchi depends on the use of mature potatoes and a minimal amount of flour; otherwise they will be too heavy. There are many variations of gnocchi; these little dumplings are covered with a zippy tomato sauce, dusted with Pecorino Romano cheese, and sprinkled with fresh basil.


4 large baking potatoes

1 large egg, beaten

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese

About 2 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour

3 cups Fresh Tomato Basil Sauce

Grated Pecorino Romano cheese


Put the unpeeled potatoes in a large pot, add water to cover, and bring to a boil. Boil until tender, about 30 minutes. The potatoes can also be cooked in a microwave for 20 minutes. Let cool.

Peel the potatoes. In a large bowl mash them fine; do not use electric beaters or a food processor, which would make the potatoes too smooth. Add the beaten egg, salt, and cheese. Mix well.

Put 2 cups of flour on a work surface and make a well in the center. Put the potatoes in the center of the well. Knead the flour into the potatoes until a soft and smooth dough is formed. Add a little more flour if the dough seems too sticky.

Break off a small piece of the dough about the size of an egg and, with floured hands, roll the chunk into a rope about 14 inches long and the width of your middle finger. Cut the rope into 1-inch pieces and roll each piece with your thumb down and off the front of the tines of a floured fork: This creates little ridges to trap the sauce. As you form the gnocchi, place them in a single layer on a floured cloth or baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.

In a large pot of boiling water, cook the gnocchi, a few at a time, until they rise to the surface. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the tomato sauce. Spoon a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of a large serving platter. Transfer the cooked gnocchi with a slotted spoon to the platter. Spoon the remaining sauce over the gnocchi, sprinkle with grated Pecorino Romano cheese, and serve immediately.

Variation: To make spinach gnocchi, add 1 cup cooked spinach, squeezed dry and chopped, to the potato and egg mixture; add the flour. Then, instead of rolling the gnocchi on the tines of a fork, break off pieces of dough about the size of a marble and form them into small balls. Cook as directed above and serve with the tomato sauce.

Note: Uncooked gnocchi freeze well: Arrange them in a single layer on baking sheets, cover with foil, freeze until firm, and then transfer to plastic bags and freeze until needed. Boil them without thawing. My mother places frozen gnocchi directly into a baking dish, adds sauce, and bakes them, eliminating the boiling step: Bake at 350ºF for 30 to 35 minutes.


  1. Brad's avatar


    Could you add texture and appearance profiles to the gnocchi recipes? I've never had it before and am thinking I did something wrong. also a trouble shooting idea or two would be helpful also.
  2. Carolyn's avatar


    I make gnocchi often and prefer the ricotta ones, but my mother and husband like potato. The key is to Not overwork the dough. I would not add the egg to hot potatoes, they should be slightly cooled (warm) and you need to mix so egg doesn't scramble from heat of potatoes. Don't add too much flour or they will be lead bricks when you eat them. I roll mine off back of fork tines, the groves from tines give the sauce something to hold onto. My people here love them, and it is a family traditon worth keeping. Once you make them a few times, you will have no trouble.
  3. Ann Gasperetti/Thiery's avatar

    Ann Gasperetti/Thiery

    I make them too like my Nonna did when I was young & would watch her...

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