Homemade Gnocchi (with Tomato Pesto)

How to make gnocchi (click through for recipe) Here's my story about gnocchi. The first time I made gnocchi was about five years ago. I still pronounced it ga-no-chi. Not that I had ever said it out loud, luckily. I was just starting to really get into cooking and even though I had never had gnocchi before, I really wanted to try to make it. So I did. And, I think I did a pretty good job. It's hard to say because I had also made a blue cheese sauce that went with it. Both dishes were out of cookbook I was working through at the time, and I quickly realized that I am not the biggest blue cheese fan. Like, at all. So, I really didn't eat much of the gnocchi, and I kind of just tried to push that whole experience from my mind.How to make gnocchi (click through for recipe)I am happy to report that my love of gnocchi has been rekindled. And, I couldn't be more happy. The truth is, gnocchi is right up my alley. I love pasta in general. And, this is the perfect blend of pasta meets tiny potato dumplings. Oh yes. 

I won't lie to you. Gnocchi is a little fussy to make. My least favorite kitchen activity is pushing a cooked potato through a ricer. Get your muscles out. This is serious. But the result are these tiny little pillows of ultimate comfort food. Just don't make a gross sauce to go with them (like I did the first time).Tips for homemade gnocchiHomemade Gnocchi, makes 5-6 servings. My favorite resource for pasta making tips in this book

3 large russet potatoes (or 4-5 if your potatoes are on the small side)
1 3/4 cups flour (I used all purpose)
1 tablespoon salt
1 egg
generous pinch of pepper

In a large pot boil some water (enough to cover the potatoes). Add the unpeeled potatoes, reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Drain and peel the potatoes carefully with a knife, removing any eyes as well. Be careful as the potatoes will be quite hot. Cut each potato into four pieces and press through a ricer. Lay the potato out over paper towels.Best homemade gnocchi recipe  Sprinkle 1 and 1/2 cups flour and 1 tablespoon salt over the surface of the potatoes. Gently mix together so that flour begins to coat all the potato pieces. Transfer to a large bowl and add an egg plus another 1/4 cup flour. Knead into a ball. Knead for 3-4 minutes. To test the dough break off a small piece and roll it out into a long snake. The dough should not break. If it does break apart easily knead for another minute or two. If the dough doesn't seem to be holding together well add another tablespoon of flour.

Cut the dough into eight pieces. Roll out one piece into a long snake. It should be about the width of your ring finger. Cut into one inch pieces and press the edge with a fork (the fork part is optional). Place the ready gnocchi on a baking sheet or cutting board sprinkled with flour until you have them all ready.Best homemade gnocchi recipe To cook gnocchi first bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Lightly salt the water. Add the gnocchi, just enough at a time so they can float. You don't want to over crowd the pot. Gnocchi should float after about 2 minutes of cooking. Remove with a slotted spoon and continue to cook in batches until you have prepared them all. Best homemade gnocchi recipeFor the tomato pesto I added 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes and 6 large basil leaves to the bowl of my food processor. While the processor was on low I then drizzled in 1/4 cup olive oil. Easy, no?

In a shallow pan cook the gnocchi in a little butter with a the tomato pesto until everything is warmed through.How to make gnocchi (click through for recipe)  Serve warm topped with a little parmesean cheese. Enjoy! xo. Emma

Credits// Author and Photos by: Emma Chapman

  • I was quite excited to see this post! I’ve been making homemade gnocchi with my grandmother for as long as I can remember, but we do it differently. We peel the potatoes, cut them, and then boil them. We also cool the potatoes completely before ricing. It might make for a different texture, I don’t know, but it’s much easier on your fingers to handle cool potatoes.

  • My boyfriend loves Italian food (and pretty much anything Italy-related). This will be perfect for him! Looks delish!

    The Rambling Fangirl

  • I like making Ricotta Gnocchi instead of potato. It cuts out the ricing and you get fluffy little pillows of cheesy goodness. I think the first time I made it they literally melted on my tongue. So good!

    craftinomicon.blogspot.com

  • My family has been making gnocchi from scratch for years and years- a few tips I’ve picked up:
    1. Don’t try to make gnocchi on a damp day. You’ll keep adding flour and keep adding flour to try to get the dough right…and and up with little heavy blobs instead of pillowy dumplings

    2. Instead of just indenting them with the fork, push and roll them down the back of a fork-this makes a little pocket (kind of like pasta shells) for the sauce to catch in…so much good stuff! We make a simple olive oil, tomato and onion sauce that simmers all day and makes the house smell like heaven!

  • Gnocchi (for me they are Γ±oquis hahaha) is my favourite pasta. I’ve learned to cook them since I was a little girl. I mostly eat them with cream and cheese, sometimes I even make a ham and cheese sauce (it’s completely amazing and cheesy and fattening :D), other times I eat them with meat and tomato sauce. I have to admitt though that most of the time they are not homemade, I buy them in a pasta shop.
    I’ve tried potato gnocchi, semolina gnocchi (which I think it’s the basic recipe, and they are a bit kinder to your stomach), butternut gnocchi (really, really good) and my least favourite but still good: rocket cress.
    They are my idea of comfort food, and here in Argentina we have a “tradition” of eating gnocchi every 29th and putting money under the plate to bring wealth and fortune.

    Saludos,
    Celi

    PS: a good tip is that instead of crushing them with a fork, roll the gnocchi against the prongs(?) and they get this nice rounded shape with the indentations and a little whole in the middle, this is for the sauce to be able to stick better to the gnocchi.

  • This recipe uses the same technique as Delia Smith — peeling hot potatoes! That’s hard to do! I’ve done it (her recipe is quite tasty!) but I don’t get it! I vowed to peel before I boil next time…but do you suppose there’s a reason to peel after?

    This looks really delicious, by the way!

  • I love gnocchi AND pesto. This sounds divine! Can’t believe you made your own. I’ll have to rise up to the challenge some time.

  • I’ve never thought to try making gnocchi from scratch before… This looks fun and much easier than pasta! πŸ™‚

  • This looks delicious…funny that as soon as I saw the picture I was reminded of an incredible gnocchi with gorgonzola dish I had when I was visiting home last. I swear it was one of the best dishes I’ve had…maybe you’ll need to try bleu cheese again!

  • It’s breakfast time here, but even so I could easily eat a plateful! Gorgeous!

  • These gnocchi look tasty and tempting, and I’m italian, so you can trust me! πŸ˜€
    As for the pronunciation, the correct one is with that strange sound that we make, with the g and the n (check it out on youtube!). In english I think it should be pronounced as “g-nokki” πŸ˜€

  • I use a kitchen aid to make the mash, no need to put the potatoes through a ricer, then mix in the flour. I have never had a problem with lumps.

  • I absolutely love gnocchi but I’ve never actually made it myself! I’ll definitely be attempting it next week now you’ve broken it down a bit!
    Lovely recipe x

    paperwingsxo.blogspot.co.uk

  • Hi!

    the correct pronunciation for Gnocchi is like GN-o-kk-ee, where GN is not N, but is not a G, is a G with an N! πŸ™‚ Anyway good recipe. In North East of Italy we use to make only potato/flour gnocchi without any egg, so It depend by the kind of potatoes, so as by the maturation of the ones… πŸ™‚
    I like that you like this kind of Food! πŸ™‚
    Try with a ragout sauce or Gorgonzola cheese sauce … πŸ™‚

    Virginia Carpi
    Verona-Italy

  • Looks delicious! I would love it if you two could make a blog post of your ‘must have’ kitchen tools and appliances (or does that already exist, I couldn’t find it). I didn’t even know a ricer existed and am about to furnish a new kitchen, so would love to know what to put on my Christmas list. Thanks for inspiring me to cook!

  • thanks for the recipe. and my does that look yummy as i sit here eating my peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. gnocchi has been on my list of things to try and make for a long time. i need to just bite the bullet and give it a go.

  • You can process the potatos a lot easier if you don’t use a standard ricer. We use a ricer/strainer thingy (no idea what the actual name is) to make potato dumplings at thanksgiving and its not nearly as much work. It looks like a large metal cone on a rack. You can find them on etsy under ricer/strainer. (I’d post links but I can’t get to etsy at work.)

  • Yum….sage butter sauce is my favorite with gnocchi, but I’ve never tried making it with sweet potatoes. Thanks for the idea, will be trying that this fall:)

  • I was wondering the same thing, is there a specific reason to boil the potatoes and then peel them?

  • Just a quick FYI: The pronunciation is actually “nyo-key.” The “gn” combo in Italian is much like the “Γ±” in Spanish. πŸ™‚

  • Potatoes have more flavour when they are boiled in the skin. You can let the potatoes cool down before peeling…

  • I don’t know about gnocci, but for potato dumplings we often cooked the potatos the night before.

  • We don’t have a ricer so we just mash the potatoes and it seems to work just fine.

    Also I wanted to mention, just for funsies, that when my husband lived in South America for a couple years people in Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil had a tradition of eating gnocchis on the 29th of each month. The tradition came from all of the Italian immigrants. Plus potatoes are cheap and at the end of the month some of us need cheap meals!

    My husband and I aren’t big potato fans, but we love gnocchis and we try to keep this tradition alive every month. It’s nice to get rid of those leftover potatoes that we’d otherwise never eat. The sauce possibilities are practically endless with gnocchis, too.

  • This looks amazing!! I’m adding this to my list of foods to try this winter. πŸ™‚ Also… now I’m off to google the proper pronunciation, ha!