Three ingredients. That’s it. Potatoes, flour and salt. Once you get a taste for homemade gnocchi, there’s no going back to the store-bought, gummy varieties.
These little, fluffy dumplings — or are they pasta? — are perfect browned in some vegan butter with roasted tomatoes or drizzled with some balsamic reduction or wilted spinach or… well, we’ll let your imagination take you wherever else it can go.
If you come up with something great, we’d love to hear about it.
A quick note as you read through this recipe: It is possible to use less than 1 ½ cup flour, but in our tests here, anything less than 1 cup made the dough liable to fall apart when boiling. A 1:1 ratio of potato and flour makes the gnocchi pretty gummy, as did over-kneading, but the recipe as written resulted in a workable dough and gnocchi that, when cooked, pleasantly came apart when eaten.
We ranked this recipe as intermediate because it does require a little bit of intuitive flour usage and kneading — it’s not quite like some baked dishes where if you follow everything to the exact gram it will come out perfect every single time. Believe us, there were plates of super-firm pencil-eraser tough gnocchi and what can only be described as sad mashed potato lump gnocchi, too.
If you’ve never made gnocchi before, the one piece of advice to take from this is to knead the dough until it’s just staying together, keep the dough floured and test a few pieces in your pot of boiling water. If it’s falling apart, knead a little more or add a little more flour and try again.
Preheat oven to 400º F (204º C).
Pierce potatoes with fork while waiting for oven to heat up.
Once preheated, place potatoes directly onto middle rack.
Let potatoes bake for approximately 1 hour or when a fork can very easily pierce.
Remove potatoes from oven and let them cool on a wire rack.
As soon as you can handle, peel the potatoes and place peeled potatoes in large bowl.
Using the back of a fork, thoroughly mash the potatoes. You can use a potato masher, but ensure there are no chunks, as it makes rolling the individual gnocco difficult if not impossible.
Add salt and mix in.
Flour a work surface and turn out potato onto surface.
Add ¼ cup flour on top of potato, and using a pastry cutter or knife, cut flour into potato.
Continue to cut and fold the dough into itself until you have a rough dough.
Add flour ¼ cup at a time to the dough until you have a smooth ball.
Cut the ball into four equal pieces.
If you are not rolling ridges into your gnocchi, put on a large pot of water to boil. If you are rolling ridges, skip this step.
Working one section of the ball at a time, roll out until approximately the diameter of your index finger.
Cut 1” (2.5 cm) pieces from the rope and set aside.
Flour the work surface and continue with the rest of the dough. Once your dough is cut, heat a large pot of water to boiling.
While the water is heating, roll your gnocchi on a rolling board or the floured tines of a fork.
Once water is boiling add gnocchi in batches to water and drain when they float the top.