Tag Archives: gnocchi

The best potato gnocchi recipe

29 Oct

I’m not the artist here, just the technician.

The man responsible for these truly awesome gnocchi is the New York chef and restaurateur Andrew Carmellini. It’s his recipe that I used, and I have used it ever since first coming across it several years ago. (Here is the link to the original and complete recipe.)

There’s a good reason Carmellini titled this recipe “The Best Gnocchi.”

When it comes to potato gnocchi that is exactly what they are.

I have never made a lighter, more luxurious potato gnocchi than I have when using this recipe. And so if I am not making my own cheese gnocchi recipe then I am using Carmellini’s potato version.

If you enjoy a fine potato gnocchi then I strongly suggest you do the same.

Start with around two pounds of Idaho potatoes. Clean them, put them on a baking sheet, and into the oven they go (425 degrees F should do it), until the flesh is nice and soft. These took a little over an hour.

While the potatoes are baking it’s best to get all of your other ingredients together and ready to go. The reason is that you’ll want to mix them into the potatoes while they’re still warm out of the oven. This is very important. You do NOT want the potatoes to cool down before mixing the gnocchi dough.

What you’ll need is 1 beaten egg, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon course ground black pepper. In addition you’ll need around 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour on hand.

When the potatoes are cooked slice them open and scoop out all the flesh while it’s still warm.

Run the potato through a ricer (use the smallest die) and into a mixing bowl.

Immediately add all the other ingredients, except for the flour.

And gently incorporate, using your fingers.

Then add 1 cup of the flour and very gently mix all of the ingredients together until a dough forms. The dough should hold together but not be sticky; if it does feel sticky work in a little bit more flour. Note: Do not take the term “gently” lightly. A successful gnocchi dough requires a very light touch. Anything more forceful will make for a heavy, tough gnocchi.

Please. Trust me on this.

Form the dough into a ball and turn it onto a well-floured work surface.

With a pastry cutter (or just a knife) cut an inch-or-so-wide piece of dough from the ball.

And lightly roll it out using your fingers. (You see that I said “lightly,” right?)

This is about what you’ll wind up with after rolling.

Each strand you roll out then gets cut into inch-wide gnocchi, like so.

Just a note: This recipe will easily feed four people. If you don’t want to cook all the gnocchi at once then lay some out on a well-floured baking sheet and put them in the freezer. Once the gnocchi are fully frozen tranfer them to a freezer bag and store.

Here, of course, we have opted for cooking the gnocchi. (In well-salted water, but you knew that.)

It will only take a couple minutes for the gnocchi to cook; as a rule of thumb figure that when they are all floating atop a rolling boil of water the gnocchi are done. Do NOT empty the gnocchi into a colander, as you might with some other pastas. Take them out of the water using a slotted spoon and transfer into a pan with whatever sauce you plan on using. Then gently stir and transfer the gnocchi to individual plates for serving.

Like so.

I promise that if you take your time and use a gentile hand you will thank me for this recipe.

Just as I thanked Chef Carmellini years ago.

How to make cheese gnocchi

4 Apr

I’m not going to lie to you, okay. It takes patience to make a really good gnocchi.

Fortunately I have a bit of that. Put me in the kitchen with a bucket of fresh ricotta, a bit of flour, and a little something to sip on while I’m working and I am all set, thank you very much.

Gnocchi are not supposed to be dense or heavy; they’re supposed to be light and airy. The best ones practically melt in your mouth. I find that the most delicate potato gnocchi are made with baked—not boiled—potato. The lightest cheese gnocchi? They’re the ones made with ricotta, as little flour as you can get away with using, and very little handling. 

You probably can’t tell from the photo, but these are the melt-in-your-mouth type. 

Like I said, I am a patient man.


1 pound ricotta (fresh or good-quality packaged)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (more as needed)
1-2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 extra large egg

Drain the ricotta of any excess moisture.

In a large mixing bowl combine the two cheeses and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Taste. Add more salt, or cheese if you wish, if needed. (The saltier the cheese you use, the less salt you’ll need to add.)

Add ¾ cups of the flour and the egg. Start mixing together with a wooden spoon or spatula, adding small amounts of additional flour until it begins to act like a very light, very moist dough.

Empty onto a work surface and begin lightly kneading. You may need to add a little more flour but be careful not to add too much. The dough SHOULD NOT be the consistency of, say, a bread or a pasta dough; it should be moist and held barely enough together in order to work with.

Once the dough is ready cut it into several pieces. One at a time lightly roll each piece with the fingertips of both hands until the pieces are around ¾-inch thick.

With a knife or pastry cutter cut the pieces into 1-inch gnocchi.

If you have a gnocchi board roll each gnocchi lightly along the board to form faint ridges. If you don’t have this tool, just roll the gnocchi along the back side of fork.

These can be eaten right away, refrigerated for later use, or frozen.

These gnocchi are extremely delicate and require some extra care when cooking. Make sure to use as wide a pot as you have to boil the gnocchi; that way they can spread out and not cook two or three deep in the water. Quickly place the gnocchi into the (well-salted, rapid-boiling) water one or two at a time until they’re all in.

In about 4 minutes test one gnocchi for doneness. When you cut into it the color should be uniform; if you detect a white center that means it isn’t fully cooked and might need another minute. What I do is boil just one or two gnocchi first in order to get a sense for how long they’ll take to cook, THEN cook the entire batch.

Also take care in handling the finished gnocchi. DO NOT dump into a colander as you would a cooked dried pasta. Instead remove the gnocchi from the water using a large slotted spoon. They can be placed directly into individual plates and then sauced. Or, as I often do, have a sauce ready in a very wide saute pan, gently place the gnocchi into the sauce, and then into individual plates.

Pumpkin & ricotta gnocchi

10 Oct
Hey, it’s October. What were you expecting, spring peas?
This is the first time I have used a pumpkin to make gnocchi, and so we are flying a little blind here. I also didn’t use a recipe. The ingredients seemed to come together naturally.
It started out by clearing away all the seeds. This is a Tonda Padana pumpkin (or winter squash, if you prefer); grown by a friend locally from Italian seeds that I provided her. I planted the seeds also, but didn’t get a single pumpkin.
I decided to roast the pumpkin, and to do that I placed the two sides face down in water inside a roasting pan. This went into the oven, at about 375 degrees F, for about an hour, or until the flesh was very soft.
Here’s the cooked pumpkin, ready to have the flesh scooped out. (It was on the watery side, and so I let the flesh sit in a colander for about an hour to drain.)
Here’s what I wound up with for ingredients (clockwise from bottom left): 3 cups of pumpkin; 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese; 1 lb. of fresh ricotta; and 1/8th cup of finely processed amaretti cookies (I used the Vitamix on that). There’s also some nutmeg sprinkled on top, as well as salt and pepper.
Before adding an egg, taste the mix to see if you like it and adjust seasonings if needed.
Though others would probably suggest adding flour to the entire mixture, I prefer working in small batches. I put a bit of flour on my work surface, scooped out some of the mix, then very delicately worked it all together.
It’s critical to not work the dough very hard. My preference is to go as light on the flour (and the mixing and the rolling) as I can get away with while still getting the dough to hold together.
You can see that these gnocchi are barely worked at all. This makes it a little difficult to handle but the payoff, I think, is well worth it.
Here are the gnocchi after they were quick fried in very hot extra virgin olive oil. They are served with just a little brown butter and sage, plus crumbled Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Definitely among the lightest, most delicate gnocchi I’ve ever had.
From now on I will be supplying these pumpkin seeds to as many friends as I can convince to take them.