Super Easy Homemade Gnocchi ~ this light pasta dumpling recipe is made with fluffy baked potato in the dough and is the only homemade pasta I’ve found that is actually easy to make!
One of my most devastating failures in the kitchen this past year involved a batch of homemade gnocchi.
I think it was sometime last fall or winter. It’s taken me a long time to get over the sight of those slimy globs of dough that were supposed to be fluffy little pillows of fresh pasta. Happily it seems I was able to put all that behind me and carry on…these classic homemade gnocchi are fantastic
There are lots of different types of gnocchi dough, some enriched with spinach, ricotta, or even the ill-fated butternut squash. These are made with fluffy baked potato scooped out of its skin and blended with flour into a sublime nutmeg scented dough.
I love nutmeg, and I look for any excuse to use it. Gnocchi is pretty much a blank slate, so whatever you season it with really shines.. I’m going to be a purist today—my gnocchi are going to swim in a Fresh Tomato Sauce loaded with basil.
This turned out to be an easy and satisfying project. Depending on your mood you can be an Italian grandmother carrying on a thousand year old tradition, or a kindergartner at the play-dough table. Either way it’s cool.
The dough gets kneaded for just a few minutes, long enough to be enjoyable, but not so long that it’s a drag. Then the fun begins, you roll out slim snakes of dough, and chop them into inch long bits.
Lay them out on a baking tray, sprinkle them with flour, and you can either cook them right away, or freeze them.
If you’re going to freeze them, put them in the freezer right on the tray for about 30 minutes until they’re hard, and then pack them in heavy zip lock baggies. When you want to cook them, all you have to do is pop them straight into boiling water directly from the freezer.
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg, freshly ground
- 1/2 tsp salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, (2-3 potatoes)
- 1 egg yolk
- Set oven to 400°F.
- Whisk the flour, nutmeg, salt, and pepper together in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Scrub potatoes and prick the skins with a fork all over. Bake for about an hour, or until they are fully cooked and soft when you insert a fork.
- Let them cool for a couple of minutes, then cut them in half lengthwise.
- Using a fork, scoop out the potato into a bowl, you want the potato to be fluffy, without large lumps. (You can do this ahead of time if you want to)
- Add the egg yolk to the potatoes, working in with the fork until combined. Keep the fluffy texture going.
- Add the flour to the potato and egg, working with your hands to combine it together into a dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead it for 3 or 4 minutes, until smooth.
- Break off about a fifth of the dough and gently roll it out into a long rope, about 3/4 inch thick.
- Cut the rope into 1 inch bits, and place on a baking sheet. Dust with flour.
- Repeat with the rest of the dough. Now you are ready to cook, or freeze the gnocchi.
- To freeze, set the tray right in the freezer and let set for 30 minutes, then pop the gnocchi into freezer bags. They can be cooked from frozen in the same way as fresh; don't defrost.
- To cook, boil a large pot of salted water and cook the gnocchi in batches for just 2 minutes. They will rise to the surface when they are done.
- Serve hot with your favorite sauce, or just add butter and cheese.
- This recipe uses 2 russet potatoes. Mine weighed 1 1/2 lbs, so I used 1 cup of flour. If yours weigh more like 2 lbs, use 1 1/4 cups of flour.
- I’m really happy with these, they turned out light and delicious, and I love the option of freezing them in portion sizes. Compared to lots of other recipes out there, this one is very easy and straightforward, it’s going to be the base for further experimentation this winter. Hope you try it!
Don’t forget to pin this Homemade Gnocchi!
Questions and Reviews
Oh this looks so delicious – perfect comfort food and beautifully made!!! so glad this worked out so well this time!!
Bravo, Sue! Your gnocchi looks fantastic. Shame about your butternut squash gnocchi though, that’s something I’ve always wanted to make. Maybe I’ll give these a try first then.
Homemade gnocchi is both one of my favorite things to make AND eat. I’m seriously craving some now. I’ve always meant to make a butternut squash gnocchi…let me know if you find a good recipe! (mmmm…brown butter and sage….)
I can’t decide whether to re-tackle the butternut squash version, but wouldn’t they be awesome with the brown butter and sage?????
Please do. I’m doing these potato ones tomorrow. Can’t wait for an update on your squash version.
I have never made homemade gnocchi, have always deemed it as way too complicated and labor-intensive and you made me realize it’s not insurmountable. They are gorgeous, too!
Yeah, I read many comments in my research about it being labor intensive, and I’m surprised at how easy it was. Now homemade pasta is another story…
Could you make like.. Pumpkin or sweet potato gnocchi? Or maybe butternut squash gnocchi? Any thoughts?
I did try the butternut squash, but that was a disaster. I will try pumpkin this fall, for sure, I’m a sucker for anything pumpkin!
I could live on these drizzled with butter.
I almost went that route, that’s probably the ultimate way to eat them.
it looks fabulous darling!!! you’ve made me want to make some again right now – stupid moving day! everything is in boxes and all i want is a bowl of your gnocchi and tomato sauce. balls.
thanks for taking the time to stop by and try my recipe – yours really do look friggin awesome 🙂 pinning! xo!
Oh, my condolences on moving day, that can be so draining—but hopefully you’ll get a fun new place to settle into. Thanks for the recipe!
I can’t believe I’ve never tried gnocchi – I know … I must live under a rock. I should make these and try them and since I have nothing to compare them to – they will be terrific! Ha – you did a beautiful job on these Sue – you must have been channeling the Italian grandma today 🙂 Wonderful fresh meal and the freezing suggestions is brilliant.
I can believe you’ve never tried it, it doesn’t show up on menus all that often these days. I have to make another batch asap to put in the freezer, since we ate all of this batch. I think gnocchi is a great winter comfort food, so I want to stock up.
I hate when a failure turns me away from even attempting a recipe again. Way to go with this beautiful batch. I have no doubt that you will be posting all sorts of fabulous varieties on this gnocchi very soon!
Yeah, and I tend to get discouraged easily, so it was extra satisfying when this turned out well. And since I have almost zero interest in going to all the trouble to make homemade pasta, this will probably be the closest I ever get.
That looks wonderful! I love gnocchi and always wanted to make my own, but I had heard that in needs a ricer in order to achieve the desired texture. Glad to hear that was wrong. I may try this some time soon…
The texture of these was great, and all I did was use a fork. It helps to use russet potatoes, which bake up naturally fluffy, and to bake them long enough so they’re really cooked through. Hope you try it, I’ll be your taste tester!