Gli gnocchi italiani

Ingredients to prepare gnocchi are so very simple that is difficult to go wrong with the recipe, even though the procedure requires attention, and to achieve a good result some expertise in cooking is needed.

Instead of writing the recipe myself I selected a couple websites that I like, where I found the same ingredients and procedure that I use and that are also guided with step by step photos. I just add here a few important things that is good to know for maximizing the result. Here are the ingredients:

2 lbs potatoes, old russet or Yukon Gold
approximately 2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg (optional)
2 teaspoons salt

Step by step recipes here and here. Interesting in the second, Elise cooks potatoes in the oven, even though the risk here is to have too dry potatoes and a harder dough. Nice the variation of the shape, kinda square with a light pressure in the center. Finally in this page of the website of Giallozafferano that I love and check often, you can find a video taped preparation that you may find useful.


1) Which potatoes to use

The Russet potatoes are suggested for this recipe because they are rich in starch and low in moisture, it means that they absorb less flour and after cooking they have a granular texture, floury and dry. Even though I have used the Yukon Gold, that have moderate amounts of starch and more moisture, and I loved the result. It is true that they absorbed some more flour (at the end it was I believe little less than 3 cups) but I loved the flavour of the “younger” potatoes and the finer texture. So, choose your favorite, just have handy enough flour to make a soft dough, but workable and dry.

2) How to cook potatoes

Thing with gnocchi is that you want potatoes to be as dry as possible. Usually potatoes are boiled in water, whole and with the skin, specifically for the purpose of avoiding them to absorb too much water. For this purpose I find very useful the steam cooking in the microwave. Skin and cube potatoes, put the cubes into a microwave steam bag and cook following indications on the steam bag.

3) At the end of the mixing and kneading process the dough must be a smooth soft and fluffy ball, non-sticky.

4) Prepare a large working space (flour will go everywhere 🙂 ) and a large flat baking sheet or tray coated with flour where your gnocchi will sit until cooking.

5) Gnocchi need a VERY SHORT cooking time. You will notice that when you pour gnocchi into the boiling water they will drop to the bottom of the pan. In one-two minutes you will see the gnocchi come to the surface, that is the sign that they are cooked and ready to be removed from water. DON’T DRAIN gnocchi as you would do with pasta. Gnocchi are very soft and delicate, instead remove them as they float to the surface with a strainer and put them into a pan or in the skillet with sauce. Dress and serve them immediately.

6) Preferred condiments are a simple tomato sauce with basil and grated parmigiano reggiano, or as suggested by Anna Maria Volpi butter and sage.

Enjoy warm with a beautiful glass of red wine 🙂

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