Italian potato gnocchi is a simple homemade pasta dumpling recipe made with russet potatoes, flour, egg, and salt. This easy gnocchi recipe is pillowy, tender, and perfect with a slow-simmered meat ragu sauce.
Originating in Northern Italy, gnocchi is an Italian potato dumpling that has been around since Roman times.
What I Love About This Recipe
This homemade potato gnocchi is an authentic Italian recipe. If this is your first time making homemade pasta, this is a great recipe to start with. Homemade gnocchi is tender, delicious, and better than store-bought gnocchi.
- Russet potatoes: Use a dry, starchy potato for the right gnocchi texture. Other potatoes like Yukon gold potatoes and new potatoes are too soft making the gnocchi difficult to form.
- All-purpose flour
- Egg: You will need a whole egg for this recipe. I like to use free-range eggs with an orange egg yolk.
See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for quantities.
How To Make Homemade Potato Gnocchi
Peel and quarter the potatoes. Boil potatoes in a large pot of water until soft. Drain potatoes.
Place the potatoes on a clean work surface.
Using a potato ricer or potato masher, crush the potatoes.
There should not be any potato chunks.
Add the flour and form a well. Crack a whole egg into the well.
Mix the egg. Add in flour, continuing to mix. Add a pinch of salt to the dough.
Knead the flour, potatoes, salt, and egg together. Don't knead too long. The dough should feel soft but not too sticky. Resist the urge to add more flour!
Add a little flour to the work surface. Cut the gnocchi dough into sections. Roll out one of the sections with your hands to form a long rope.
Cut the gnocchi rope into ¾" (2 cm) equal pieces using a paring knife. Sprinkle the little dumplings with flour.
Dust the fork with flour. Set the fork at an angle. Roll a piece of dough down the fork. Press firm enough to form ridges on the outside of the gnocchi.
Continue until all gnocchi pieces have ridges. Set the uncooked gnocchi aside in a single layer on a lightly floured surface.
Bring salted water to a rolling boil. Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water using a bench scraper (or flat plate). Once the gnocchi pop to the top of the water, wait about 15 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to remove them. The total cooking time is one to two minutes typically.
Place the homemade potato gnocchi directly into a simple tomato sauce. Grate some Parmigiano Reggiano over the top. Buon appetito!
Tips and Tricks
- Authentic Italian gnocchi uses dry, starchy potatoes like russet potatoes. Other potatoes will make the gnocchi dough too soft and difficult to work with.
- Cut the gnocchi dough into similar bite-sized pieces (about ¾" wide). The thickness of the rope should be about the size of a thumb.
- Use a potato ricer. This ensures the dough will not have chunks of potatoes.
Variations and Substitutions
The only potatoes that can substitute russet potatoes are dry, floury potatoes.
- Potato ricer or potato masher
- Gnocchi board or tines of a fork to make the gnocchi indentations
- Large stovetop pot to boil the potatoes and the gnocchi
- Bench scraper or dough scraper for mixing the gnocchi dough
Uncooked gnocchi freezes well. Just add the floured gnocchi to an airtight container. When ready to use, drop them frozen into the boiling water. This traditional gnocchi recipe does not store well in the fridge.
Gnocchi is a potato pasta dumpling made with mashed potatoes, flour, egg, and a pinch of salt.
Gnocchi is potato gnocchi, which is a bite-sized potato dumpling.
Serve gnocchi with a pasta sauce like a simple tomato sauce, pesto sauce, or sage butter sauce.
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Homemade Italian Potato Gnocchi
- 2.2 pounds of russet potatoes
- 9 ounces of all-purpose flour about 2 cups
- 1 egg
- Peel and quarter the russet potatoes. Boil them in water until tender. Drain.
- On a clean counter, rice the potatoes using a potato masher or potato ricer. The potatoes should be smooth with no chunks of potato. Let the potatoes cool slightly so they aren't piping hot.
- Add the flour on top of the potatoes making a well. Crack and add the egg. Using a fork, break up the yolk. Mix in the flour gradually. Knead the potatoes, flour, and egg together until combined.
- Dust the counter and your hands with flour. Split the gnocchi dough into 4 sections. Roll the gnocchi dough with your hands until a long rope forms.
- Cut ¾" (2 cm) sections of the rope. Using a fork or gnocchi board, roll the gnocchi to form ridges. Dush with flour and lay in a single layer.
- Boil a pot of salt water. Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water. Once the gnocchi float to the top of the water, remove them with a slotted spoon. Serve with a simple tomato sauce and grated parmesan.
- It's important to use starchy potatoes like russet potatoes. Soft potatoes, like red potatoes or Yukon gold will make the gnocchi dough too soft and difficult to work with.