saved-by-a-grater Recipes

gnocchi with a grater

Do you ever feel like a kitchen incompetent? That despite what seems like The Entire Rest of the World being able to cook something flawlessly, even going so far as to boast, “This is so EASY to make!” each and every time you try it, you fail? Believe me, it’s not just you.

Before this past weekend, nothing made me feel more unskilled and less deserving of your readership than gnocchi, which was a damned shame because it’s probably my favorite pasta in the entire world. After reading countless accounts by others about what a “cinch” gnocchi is to make and how you will “never buy it frozen again,” I tried to make it about a year ago and it was a complete and total disaster. I am not mincing words.

gnocchi pillows

I’ll own up to this from the outset: it’s my fault. I don’t own a potato ricer or a food mill, but chose to make gnocchi even though I knew having one was a requirement. Potatoes, no matter solid they may seem, are about 85 percent water. What you dice into hash browns or thinly slice into a gratin dish are actually tightly clustered, thinly walled microscopic water capsules. This is why you “mash” potatoes with something clumsy rather than puree them with an immersion blender. And this is why when you make gnocchi, you need to get your potatoes into a fine mush without touching them with a water-releasing blade.


You hear all that? I *get* potatoes; they make sense to me. And with all of that arrogance, I decided that although I didn’t have a food mill–I mean, really, lord knows I don’t have any issue buying food-related gadgets, but I first need to be convinced that I’d use it more than once each year–I would simply press the potatoes through a small-meshed strainer, bringing them to the proper consistency. [Man, if there’s any sign that a kitchen disaster is imminent it’s got to be when you think you’ve out-smarted a recipe that The Entire Rest of the World has pretty much agreed on, and also, you’re making the recipe for the very first time.] I ended up with mush, and no matter how much flour I added–I quit when I was nearly two cups beyond the recipe’s suggestion–I could not work that potato batter into a moldable dough.


So, if I know what went wrong and why, why didn’t I get a potato ricer and try it again? Well, I have a reason, and his name is the Amateur Gourmet. Really! Just a few days after my disaster, Adam mentioned that he’d gone out and bought a ricer for the express purpose of making gnocchi but was still disappointed in the results! Surely, I rationalized, there was no reason for me to try again and only set myself up for further failure.

But last week, I saw a technique on that was so cunningly ingenious, I was unable to resist trying again. Get this: you grate the potatoes. No food mill or ricer purchase required! (Which is great because you don’t have room for one anyway!) After grating the baked and peeled potatoes, you knead in some flour, salt and an egg, and your dough is complete! And people, these are some killer gnocchi, with a lightness that I’ve only had before at top-notch Italian restaurants. The secret is to use as little flour as you need, and with this method, you’ll need a lot less. I haven’t quite mastered the little shapes you make with a fork, but rest assured that this has no effect on the final dish.

first round, pesto

For Sunday night’s Soprano premiere, I mixed freshly-boiled gnocchi with homemade pesto, which was crazy delicious but with a fairly low originality quotient. But on Monday, oh Monday, I browned them in a frying pan and tossed them with blanched haricot vert, quartered grape tomatoes, fresh cranberry beans, olive oil and parmesan for, seriously, the best pasta salad I’ve ever eaten. This dish was entirely inspired by Heidi at 101 Cookbooks, who opts for chanterelle mushrooms instead of green beans. I vote for mixing in any ingredients that strike your fancy. For us, the fresh cranberry beans and haricot vert in our store were too pretty to pass up, but I can imagine equally-stellar mixtures of white beans, chopped radicchio and bits of broccoli; black olives, sundried tomatoes and feta; or asparagus, fresh peas and lemon zest. Go wild with it, but only if you can accept that you may never boil gnocchi again. I sure won’t.

toasted gnocchi salad

Adapted from

2 pounds Russet potatoes
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork, and bake them on a baking sheet for 45 minutes to one hour, or until they are fork-tender. For best results, turn the potatoes over halfway through the baking time. Let the potatoes cool slightly.
  2. Peel the potatoes, and then pass them through a potato ricer, food mill or grate them over the large holes of a box grater into a large bowl. Add the lightly beaten egg and the salt to the potatoes and mix well with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add the flour to the potatoes a little at a time, using only as much as you need so that the dough will not stick to your hands. When the flour has been incorporated, bring the dough together with your fingertips.
  4. Dump the dough and any remaining floury bits onto a slightly floured surface. Knead the dough as you would bread dough. Press down and away with the heel of your hand, fold the dough over, make a quarter turn, and repeat the process. Knead for about three or four minutes.
  5. Form the dough into a ball and then divide it into 6 smaller balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the six pieces using your fingertips into a long rope about 3/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into 1 inch pieces.
  6. You can cook the gnocchi as it is now, but traditional gnocchi has ridges. To create the ridges, press each piece of dough against the tines of a fork. With your finger, gently roll the pressed dough back off the fork. This takes a little practice. If you find the dough sticking to the fork, dip the fork in flour before you press the dough against it.
  7. Place the gnocchi in a single layer on a lightly floured or parchment-lined dish. If you’d like to freeze them for later use, do so on this tray and once they are frozen, drop them into a freezer bag. This ensures that you won’t have one enormous gnocchi mass when you are ready to cook them.
  8. To cook the gnocchi, place them into a pot of boiling and well-salted water. After a few minutes the gnocchi will float to the top. Continue to cook for one minute then remove and set aside.

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155 comments on gnocchi with a grater

  1. Mel

    I can’t wait to try this! I absolutely love gnocchi, but the one time i tried to make them at home was disastrous. How many servings did this make?

  2. Div

    Deb – I’ve been a fan of your website for awhile now but it’s my first time posting. Not that you need the validation, but your pictures are awesome! I have decided I MUST make the panmarino, it’ll be my first time baking bread so I’ll have to let you know how it goes – wish me luck! :)

  3. Kim

    I have a bunch of yukon gold potatoes I’m looking to use up and this would be a perfect recipe! Do you think the russet variety are a must in when it comes to making this??

  4. Maureen

    Hi Deb, Love your site, the photos are beautiful.
    I made a Mario Batali gnocchi recipe from the food network that called for boiling the potatoes, then I just mashed them with a potato masher before adding the flour, egg, and salt, and the gnocchi came out wonderfully. I boiled them, but now i MUST try the pan frying!

  5. You rolled them down the fork so perfectly! Have you ever tried making gnocchi with fresh ricotta instead of potatoes? I saw a recipe for ricotta gnocchi in Donna Hay, and it gets you out of that whole potato ricer predicament. Plus, delish!

  6. Holy smokes these look delicious. Thanks for sharing! I have to say, though, that I don’t know how you make mashed potatoes without a potato ricer. It is an inexpensive necessity!

  7. Cris

    This may mean that I am a petty person – but I’m actually glad to hear that others have had difficulty making gnocchi. I tried Batali’s recipe for squash gnocchi and it was a disaster. An utter and complete disaster that embarrassed me in front of my mother-in-law. A mother-in-law that had earlier that day suggested buying me a vacuum for my birthday, because, well … (she looks around dismissively at my home keeping). Dammit woman, I have a vacuum. I also have two children under three, so if you want a clean floor vacuum it yourself.

    So I got snotty and tried to make gnocchi and failed. Miserably. Damn gnocchi. Damn you!

  8. bridget

    how funny – i made gnocchi this past weekend as well… almost the same recipe… (only i did buy a potato ricer – albeit a crappy one, i’m sure, since it only cost about $6… we wont talk about how long it took me to figure out not to use the 2 plates at the same time…)

    i didnt bother to do the tines – i just poked my knuckle in like Elise from Simply Recipes… no patience on my part.

    however, i want my gnocchi to be meltinyourmouth like the ones at artisanal… any suggestions? do you think it would just require the addition of some butter & cream?

  9. deb

    I am so glad to hear it’s not just me who found gnocchi impossible to make the first time. I hope this technique saves you as much frustration as it did me.

    Mel — Apologies. I always forget to measure but I’d say it could easily serve four people moderately-sized portions. (I find gnocchi fantastically filling, so it was PLENTY.) Especially if you’re serving other things, like a big ol’ salad or olives and cheese, as we did.

    Div — Good luck! I’ve got to say, I keep forgetting to put the panmarino in the freezer for storage, and it does NOT get stale. Craziness.

    Maureen — You know, I suspect a potato masher would work equally well, but I haven’t tried it yet. Let me know if it works!

    Sarah — No, I can imagine it would be to die for. Can you imagine it with brown butter and sage? The thought, it will torture me through my green salad lunch.

    Miss Sassy — It’s because I never make and almost never, ever eat mashed potatoes. I think it’s because they’re one of those things that only taste really good if you add an avalanche of salted butter, and if you’re going to eat all of that fat, why not just eat fries? Mm, fries. I digress. It is inexpensive and I’m stupidly stubborn for not buying one. But, I’m also the girl who owned an unwrapped KitchenAid for two years. I lack rationality.

    Cris — Offered to buy you a vac?! My god. Unless she’s offering to buy you someone to push that vac around (I don’t know, can you attach one to a toddling two-year-old? Does the fact that this image amuses me mean that I’ll be an unfit parent?), she does not deserve your self-criticism. I’m curious what went wrong with Batali’s recipe… too soft? Maybe squash isn’t starchy enough? Maybe it’s because you weren’t wearing orange clogs when you tried it? Hm.

    Lisa — I totally think they look like pillows. In fact, I actually prefer that shape, but felt a need to try it the “proper” way, at least for this round. Seriously, though, leaving them in the just-cut shape would save a ton of time in preparation. I will certainly be doing it in the future.

  10. Yay, congratulations! I knew you were going to conquer the allmighty gnocchi soon :)

    Just so you know, my grandma has been making potato gnocchi for mmm over 60 years and she uses a regular potato masher (I used my immersion blender when I made yam gnocchi and they worked perfectly, but that might be because yams are quite different to potatoes). What I did do when I made the gnocchi was to steam the yams instead of boling them, which I´m sure helped reduce the moisture quite a bit and I made the dough while the potatoes were still quite hot, which is what my grandma does because she says she uses less flour that way, no idea why.

    As for the shape, it helps the sauce adhere to the gnocchi and helps prevent a rawish center. I bought one of those little wodden… let´s call them gnocchi rollers for like 3 pesos (1 dollar) and the rolling part doesn´t take long at all.

    I hope you have a fabulous trip by the way, bring back lots of Mexican recipes for us!

  11. Larry

    Deb – hate to tell you there is a food mill attachment for the recently unpacked KA!! I think today is panmarino day – will let you know – I am not much of a baker.
    Have a great time in Mexico – be careful with that thing in the sky that you haven’t seen in a while.

  12. deb

    Larry — Seriously, when I go to the beach, complete strangers come up to me and make sure I’ve put sunscreen on. I’m that pasty. Against a white backdrop, I practically become invisible.

    Kat — The reason why the recipe suggested baked with all of the fork proddings is apparently getting the moisture out is good for the gnocchi, but I actually can’t tell you why. I’m sure the other methods would work, though it’s possible you’ll need to add more flour.

  13. The times I’ve made gnocchi here, I was still shuttling around apartments and never had a potato masher or mill around so I ended up peeling them with a knife and using forks to mash them manually. That was tough, but the end result was great…this is another great option! I’ll have to try this – I’ll probably feel spoiled. :)

  14. OMG – I LOVE GNOCCHI. To give this statement more weight, I’d married them, eat them, marry a new batch, repeat. B is not a gnocchi lover and neither is WW. BAH to both of them. These look divine. I think I’ll be making a small batch the next time he goes out of town…I wonder if I can give one of his customers a call. They might need him in Tulsa next week! (Evil grin)

  15. The grater tip is a fantastic one, thanks. I loved gnocchi when I lived in Italy, but I have yet to attempt to make them (even though I make all sorts of other kinds of pasta and dumplings), mostly, in fact, because I don’t have a food mill or a ricer. I just got a copy of the Silver Spoon yesterday and the gnocchi section was the first one to get me drooling. I was actually thinking about putting the potatoes through the KitchenAid grinder attachment that I never use, but it’s good to know that the grater method works.

  16. Gnocchi is one of my favorite foods. I’ve been too chicken to try making it because of the lack of proper equipment. Glad you’ve shared your new technique! I see gnocchi in my near future.

  17. OK – I was so inspired (and avoiding the real work I had to do today) that I baked & shredded my potatoes & made my 1st ever gnocchi! Thanks for the inspiration. To continue on the KitchenAid theme, I shredded the potatoes with my KA attachment, too! Used the “small shredder” tool from the slicer/shredder attachment set & I had no problems at all. I boiled some right away to eat for lunch – pretty good, but I am trying the pan-browned technique next. Thanks, again!!

  18. Vidya

    I’ve been a lurker ever since your column on NPR. I enjoy reading your culinary adventures.

    Gnocchi is my favorite kind of pasta, but I have only had the vacuum packed kind from Trader Joe’s. That’s because I’m a vegetarian, no eggs even. So I don’t order them at restaurants. Do you suppose I could omit the egg from your recipe and expect reasonable results? Would you suggest a suitable substitute.

  19. Amy

    What do we think about subsituting whole wheat flour for gnocchi? LOVE gnocchi and I too have failed making them. The dough was always too sticky and tasted like flour than the ymmy goodness it should be. I’m on a whole wheat kick now and always to to use atleast half whole wheat. Thought? opinon?

  20. Amy

    Oh and another question… 2lbs of potatoes makes alot of gnocchi I would think… did you cook them all at once? how did you store them?

  21. This is what is so great about blogging, and why I love your blog. This is the exactly the type of post new and aspiring cooks need to hear from an experienced chef like yourself. Sometimes things don’t work out, even the best are continually learning! And judging by your pictures, your dish came out great!

  22. Smitty Kitty you continue to impress- the brown crusts on your gnocchi look like the stuff dreams are made of. Beautiful dish and gorgeous photography. I really enjoy your site:)

  23. Alinna

    yours is my favorite food blog! i love your wit and your food and your photography makes me want to cook after a long, heinous day of teaching. so i made gnocchi today too! i don’t think i baked the potatoes long enough (made the gnocchi a little textured) and i added 1/4 cup grated pecorino romano to the dough (lidia from kqed’s suggestion) but for the life of me, i cannot do the fork thing. mine look like mashed, giant garden rows. if anyone has thoughts on how to work the shaping mojo, holla at me.

  24. I can’t wait to try these, being a potato-loving gal myself. I’ve found the only hash browns worth eating are made with grated baked potatoes so this approach to gnocchi makes good sense. Maybe I can press some boys into fork adornment duty.

  25. Beautiful gnocchi! I haven’t had the courage to try to make them — and I’m definitely not buying a ricer just for this purpose. Grating is the same technique I use to make latkes (potato pancakes). I squeeze all of the grated potato in a kitchen towel to try and extract any excess water, and then add a bit of flour. I think the hardest part of gnocchi has to be the forming, getting them to look like something I’d want to eat. I definitely want to eat yours!

  26. erin

    Hi! I have been following your blog for a while and I love it! The gnocchi look amazing :) Thank you for sharing the recipe. I love gnocchi and tried to make them a few months a go and the initial batch came out ok, but I decided not to cook them all when I made them. BIG MISTAKE. I refridgerated the gnocchi and went back to cook them the next day only to find a big ball of dough!!!!!!!! Any thoughts on how to keep them without cooking them all at once? Thx!

  27. deb

    Advice on getting the fork-marks in the dough: I found that the more floured the fork and/or piece of gnocchi was, the easier it was to make clear indentations. The shapes stayed better. The downside is you have a more flour-y pasta, but if you like that sharp shape, this is the way to go about it.

    To store the gnocchi: I explain above how to freeze them for later use. (Heck, I freeze them even if I’m just using them in 12 hours. I find it easiest.) If you’d like to store them in the refrigerator, Batali suggests that you first toss the fresh gnocchi with a half-cup of canola oil. I haven’t tried this yet, so I can’t tell you for sure if it works, or if there are any cooking effects from all that oil.

  28. erin

    Thx! I think that I will try making them this weekend… I can only hope that mine will look as nice as yours! I will probably freeze instead of using oil since I don’t think that I would want to have that extra oil on them! I can’t wait to try the recipe!

  29. Back to the potato masher – I make mashed potatoes using the Yukon Gold boiled in water and some chicken broth. I then add some chicken broth to the potatoes after mashing and fluff with a fork. They are light and airy and delicious. Of course, on holidays I do make them with butter and milk but I really think you don’t use as much when you use the ricer.

    I can’t wait to try the gnocchi!

  30. New visitor… LOVE the site. LOVE the recipe. I can’t wait to try it. My grandmother used to have a great technique with for the fork lines that I can’t really explain to well here. She would have the gnocchi on the table and then kind of roll them with the tip of the fork tines and it would leave the lines almost perfectly.

    About how many gnocchi does this recipe make?

  31. Carla

    I’m another new visitor to your site. Wow! Your gnocchi are gorgeous. has a gnocchi board for like $5 that I have been trying really hard to ignore, especially since my only attempt at gnocchi was alot like what your first attempt sounded like. Armed with your advice, though, I’m going to try it again, just as soon as my new gnocchi board arrives!

  32. Gladys Kabanek

    Deb. Lydia’s post on potatoe pancakes and her squeezing the potatoes to get all the juice reminded me of a methoed my sister uses for a Caniadan dish called Rapier??Pie.She uses a juicer with grater attachment. It grates the potatoes and extractes the juice and leaves only the pulp. I have an old ACME juicer. Haven’t tried it because i’ve misplaced the instruction book. It may be worth a try . Sure beats all that squeezing.

  33. mary

    After reading this post, Deb, I thought that I must try this! I’ve never been a huge fan of gnocchi having eaten only the chewy store bought freezer section type, altho I do have a faint memory of having had them somewhere in the Tuscan country-side in some quaint taverna… After baking, peeling and grating the potatoes I started feeling really dejected, looking at my large strips of baked potatoes sitting in a bowl that probably wasn’t big enough. Thought I’d have to throw the whole thing out, but I persevered and currently have somewhere around 50 gnocchi sitting in my quick freeze tray YAY! Haven’t sampled them yet, but I’m sure they will taste marvelous.
    Also, I used Idaho potatoes instead of Russet just because I didn’t need a 5 lb bag rotting under my counter, but if my BF loves them I may start buying large sacks of Russets :)

  34. Cris

    Hi Deb – The squash gnocchi recipe failure. Well, to my untrained eye, I think it had to do with the wetness of the squash. I roasted them upside down, riced them so that they would steam out liquid in piles all over the counter, and then strained them overnight; all in an effort to dry them out as per Batali. But I still had to add an inordinate amount of flour and they ended up (after a quick boil and then pan fry with brown butter and sage) being inedible lumps of orange flour (no squash taste to be found). But the brown butter and sage sauce was fantastic. After serving HRH the mother-in-law I hid out in the kitchen and sopped up the sauce (and my pride) in the kitchen.

    And no, the toddler/vac image made me laugh. I am currently trying to work that out. Perhaps that makes me unfit? There are days where the state is welcome to take them!

  35. I made them Friday night and they were easy enough and quite tasty. Not exactly beautiful, as I couldn’t seem to manage the whole fork decor operation very well but no one minded. My incredibly picky kids could not get enough so that’s really saying something. Thanks!

  36. Jillian

    I wanted to say to the Yukon gold gal that my grandmother swears that any other potato besides the russet provides waxy gnocchi that are sub-par. In my family we make them with ricotta, we call them Cavatelli. We have them every year on Christmas eve, and sometimes it’s hard to wait. I highly suggest them to one and all. It’s a traditional Puglian pasta, and I eat mine slowly as to savor the texture and flavor. As a side note, I’m recently Celiac (no gluten) so does anyone know what flour can substitute? I want to join the pan frying gnocchi lovers too!

  37. Jillian

    Oh, and I forgot- my grandmother says absolutely NO steaming or boiling- as it adds the totally unwanted water factor- which equals more flour- which equals a very gummy and icky gnocchi.

  38. Iris

    I’m sick as dog right now, and whenever I get a cold, I get crazy urges to cook. I made these this afternoon and they were amazing. I already have a ricer but I never find uses for it – so I used it for this and it worked perfectly. I sauteed them in butter and fresh parsley, then served them with pesto. It was really fantastic and just what I needed for comfort food.

    I was in Italy several weeks ago and had gnocchi several times, and these were very reminiscent of the food I ate there. Thank you so so much for this recipe.

  39. Victory! I have now, thanks to you, made gnocchi of my very own! I cannot tell you how happy I am to have done this – and how nice it is to have a bagful in my freezer! Thanks so much! I served them with pancetta and broccoli rabe and they were awesome!

  40. Loved this recipe! Loe your philosophy about making the salad with what’s on hand. I used crumbled Asiago cheese and wilted greens along with the sweet little grape tomotoes and (yikes) Trader Joe’s already made Gnocci! I’m sure scratch would be even better.

    I will make them from scratch however, because my husband can’t eat wheat, I will be using sweet rice flour in its place.

  41. Jennifer

    I just made them with instant potatoes, they look good, haven’t eaten them yet…. Do you think this is cheating?????
    Basically one cup of instant potatoes, reconstituted with one cup boiling water, let cool, one beaten egg and 1 and a half cups of flour (I didn’t measure the flour because I tripled the recipe, but add to make dough fairly stiff.) Add salt and pepper and continue with rolling and cutting……

  42. Lizzy

    These are so tasty, and easy to boot! I couldn’t get the fork to make the grooves properly–the dough just springed back after pressing the tines against it. It didn’t seem to make much difference for them to be smooth, though (especially pan-fried, without the need for sauce to stick to them).

    My neighborhood market carries wonderful homemade gnocchi for cheap, but I’m moving away soon. So glad I can make them myself now. Thanks for sharing them!

  43. Lolalilu

    I saw this here a few days ago and I just HAD to try it. Your explination made so much sense.
    So now I have me some puffy and beautiful gnocchi freezing away to be eaten later this way.
    I didn’t make the fork marks though, since I was afraid to make the little dears too dense.

    Can’t wait to try them.

  44. Bri

    I haven’t tried this recipe…maybe I’ll be brave enough to give gnocchi one last try. But previously I have always had them turn to paste in the water. Any ideas why?
    Too much/little flour? Too much/not enough kneading? Any thoughts? I’d hate to
    have it be a procedural issue and give up entirely when there’s a great recipe like
    this to try.

  45. deb

    Hi Bri — I’m not entirely sure, but I’m wondering if there wasn’t enough egg binder if they were able to dissolve in the water. Or perhaps they were over-boiled? Pretty much, they only need to be cooked one minute beyond the point when the water boils. Over-kneading them can definitely make them wetter. I have found in my practice that the less done do the potatoes, the better, as they’re just full of water itching to be released. Good luck!

  46. Shana

    I tried this last weekend and they were delicious! So light and fluffy, not chewy in the least. It was easy enough that I wonder how they could be so tough at many restaurants. *shrug*

    A few tips I picked up from further internet research:
    -the hotter the potatoes are when you grate them, the lighter the gnocchi
    -after grating, spread the potatoes out in a thin layer and allow to cool completely
    -you can precook the gnocchi by the instructions above and then put on a cookie sheet coated with butter. When ready to eat, throw them back into the water until they’re warm. They were still tender this way.

  47. I know I’m late on the scene, but I faced a similar dilemma when trying to make gnocchi. I knew I would never ever use a ricer for anything but gnocchi, and I’m not a fan of unitaskers.

    However, I had recently gotten a Kitchen Aid mixer…. and it occurred to me that the food grinder attachment would probably do the trick too. Plus I could use it for burgers, sausages, sauces, applesauce, and so on.

    It worked beautifully.

    Good luck in your gnocchi exploits down the road!

  48. Natalie Mardon

    Hi Deb, this one looks nice and easy – silly me had never even thought of making my own gnocchi (and there’s never enough for my liking in the pre-made packets) but lo-and-behold the girl on kids show Hi-5 made gnocchi and I thought – WOW, I’m soooo making my own too!! So here I go in the search for easy recipes..

    Now my question is about the potatoes. Do you think it matters if they are russet potatoes or what (I usually just have sebago or brushed on hand)… and as for the 2lbs worth… I’m in Oz and use g/kg and I know I could just find a conversion but can you say HOW MANY potatoes this is? Are russet big or small ones?

    Thanks, Natalie

  49. Alicia

    I’ve had this bookmarked for 6 months. I was a little nervous to try it; I’ve had enough failed attempts (without the ricer) to be a little gun shy. Let me just say now that these are the best gnocchi I have ever had. Fluffy pillows of love!

    For Natalie or anyone else wondering, I used four large but not enormous floury potatoes (russets) and almost exactly 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour. They were still sticky on the cut ends of gnocchi but I figured it’s easier to add more flour than the other way around and they cooked up beautifully. They puff very slightly when they’re done, so if you’re watching carefully you can tell but timing a minute works well too. I’m going to try making them with purple Peruvian potatoes next, they’ll look so pretty next to something green. Thanks Deb!

  50. This is by far my favourite foodie site out there in the ether. Just a note on shaping and the grooves: they are necessary because they help the inside of the dumplings cook properly.

  51. Sarah

    Deb – you have a wonderful site. I’ve only been privy to it for a few months, but clearly I’ve started searching the archives. Do you think a simple vegetable peeler would do the job here? I’ve been contemplating this recipe for a few weeks and the idea of using a peeler came to me yesterday while peeling carrots (for pickled carrots — if you must know).

    Thanks for all your wonderful ideas!

  52. Heather

    Thank you at least a million times over if not more. I had jumped on here for the express purpose of deciding whether or not my strainer would do the trick of the potato ricer….and here ensues a HUGE sigh of relief. Now on to the grater!!! :)

  53. Made these tonight and they were wonderful (check my blog for photos)! Fluffy and not at all heavy on the stomach like the ones from the shops and a lot of fun (though a bit messy and sticky) to make!! Many thanks! Absolutely love your site!!!

  54. deb

    Unless you’re using raw potatoes (they should be roasted first) there is no reason they should have the shredded texture of tater tots. Roasted potatoes should fall apart very easily, and the shredding just helps them along.

  55. Moe

    I just made these and I think it turned out well. I ended up freezing a bunch of them. My question is when you take them out of the freezer do you put them in boiling water right away or let them “defrost” a bit.
    I ate a batch with a asparagus mushroom cream sauce and it was really delicious.

  56. Every time I glanced at a gnocchi recipe I gave up when I got to “mash potatoes through a ricer or food mill.” I’m sure they’re wonderful, but I just don’t have the kitchen space for anything I won’t use frequently. I’m so glad to hear it’s possible without the extra equipment! Can’t wait to try these…

  57. Can I just say, I love you! I really, really love you!

    Please don’t think I’m a crazy stalker–it’s just that I’ve tried to make gnocchi so many times and it never works, and this finally made it work for me!

    Seriously, you rock!

  58. Colleen

    I tried making sweet potato gnocchi they were aweful. I used a recipe from Food Network’s Alton Brown. They looked good on tv but when I made them they weren’t as good. I’ve always wanted to try potato variety but not sure if I want to waste spuds making something no one might eat.

  59. Lydia

    I love love LOVE gnocchi, and was super excited to read this post! Question, though, about your box-grater shortcut: any reason why using the grater attachment of my cuisinart food processor would go awry? If hand-grating latkes (literally, grating my hands) has taught me anything, it’s that avoiding box-graters like the plague is a worthwhile endeavor.

  60. Colleen

    I made gnocchi last Sunday night but didn’t actually cook any until yesterday. I couldn’t get the little ridges to work plus I had a difficult time rolling them into ropes. Some of my gnocchi are probably bigger than they should be but they tasted great. I cooked them in boiling salted water then I fried them a little in butter and some pub cheese that was in the refrigerator and then added some Parmesan cheese with each plate. I will definitely make them again but next time I’ll make them a little smaller. I don’t think I’ll try putting ridges on them because it was too much trouble.

  61. Ashley

    I made this recipe last night and it turned out great! It was so much lighter than the gnocchi you buy frozen. To make the ridges with a fork, I places the gnocchi pillows in the palm of my hand, making it like a cup, and then rolled the gnocchi under the fork, back and forth a couple times. The shape of your cupped hand keeps the shape of the gnocchi intact, and pressing the tip of the fork in a bit when you’re done leaves a perfect little imprint. After boiling them I sauted them with peas, onions, and vodka sauce. Delicious!

  62. Amanda

    Just finished making this- very good! I boiled it, and may have boiled it a little too long because there was a minor disaster involving a 3-year-old, a 1 1/2-year-old, and a spool of thread outside (I’ve learned it’s best not to ask…), but still, it turned out very nicely. I only cooked half, leaving the other half frozen for another day’s quick lunch.

  63. Yesterday was my first time making gnocchi and I used this recipe. It was so easy to do! I used a grater because I don’t have a potato ricer and it worked out perfectly! The directions were easy to follow and it turned out great. I used Yukon gold potatoes because I had leftovers from Christmas and they turned out well too.
    When I cut the rope to make the gnocchi, it kind of flattened out a little so I pressed down the fork on the side to make it round again and the ridges looked good.
    My husband ate a bunch and I froze the rest. I can’t wait to have these again!

  64. Colleen

    I have become so lazy about kneading bread by hand, I cannot help but wonder if these can be made using the dough hook on my kitchen aid. Has anyone tried this? I have some fresh ricotta that I made, so I do not want to botch the gnocchi and have nothing (other than a spoon) to go with my lovely cheese.

  65. jenniferincali

    I made these tonight, and they turned out wonderfully. I need some more practice at rolling them out and marking them with the fork before they’ll look nice, but they tasted delicious!

  66. Jade

    I tried the grating trick to make sweet potato gnocci and it worked great! Although I kind of got tired of grating and ending up grating and mashing. But they were fluffy and delicious. Maybe a bit more trouble than they are worth though!

  67. I just popped over here, remembering that you had a fresh pasta recipe and therefore hoping you had a gnocchi recipe too! Yay! I’ve made it before (without a ricer, just a masher as I, too, refuse to buy one) and they held together ok but the taste was always just a little “off”. Now I see why, the recipes I’d been using all had extra little things like nutmeg etc in them, and weird little things to do with them this normal, minimal version is exactly what I’ve been looking for!

    My hubby comes home tonight after being away on business for a week, Gnocchi is his favourite so I’m sure he’ll thank you for dinner! We’re going to be having it with a garlic, fresh basil and browned butter sauce.

  68. After discovering gnocchi in my school’s dining hall this past year, I was SO EXCITED by this recipe, that I could make it myself in my own kitchen at home this summer!! so I tried it today, and I’d say it went quite successfully. I can’t wait to eat the gnocchi that is currently freezing in my freezer all week :D THANK YOU FOR EXISTING.

  69. Annie

    I made this tonight for my boyfriend and got rave reviews. Paired it with Ina Garten’s basil pesto recipe and lots of parmesean. Amazing! And so easy (I made it on a work night, even).

  70. Chloe

    These are absolutely wonderful. Good enough to eat cold, right out of the fridge (yeah, I’m weird), though I sometimes make a tomato or cheese sauce and serve it over my gnocchi. I once caramelized onions and butternut squash and then stirred in the gnocchi and served it as a side dish to the Zuni Cafe roasted chicken. I love this recipe.

  71. Grace

    Made this over the weekend – super yummy and yeah, Chloe – good enough to eat cold out of the fridge. These are possibly the potatoeyest gnocchi Ive ever had

  72. Janna

    I made this tonight with some English peas, zucchini, grape tomatoes, onions, & garlic. This was my first go at gnocchi and they came out great! My husband went back for thirds! Thanks for the great recipe.

  73. Pip

    Have made these before and they were awesome – first gnocchi I’ve tried that actually worked. Have just got a Kenwood Chef though and it says that you can mash potato using the beater blade, so I’m going to give that a go instead of grating the potatoes tonight. The gnocchi are being served with a fresh pea and leek sauce! Fingers crossed…

  74. Pip

    Tried it in the Kenwood and it was brilliant. Microwaved some potatoes and scooped the middles out straight into the mixer bowl. Beat on low speed until mashed. Added an egg, while beating, and just enough flour to form a dough. Turned out, kneaded briefly, rolled and cut into gnocchi. The most time-consuming bit was microwaving the potatoes; the rest took about 3 minutes!

  75. I was so happy to read this tip! Been wanting to make homemade gnocchi for awhile now and always thought it would require me to invest in another kitchen tool I may only use once…
    I used my cheese grater last weekend to make pumpkin gnocchi and it turned out amazing. My hot (potato) tip, was I doubled up on latex gloves to minimize the heat i could feel and to get a better grip on the potatoes.

    Finished off my pumpkin gnocchi with roasted fennel, hot sausage, and brown butter sage sauce- definitely good eats! The plus is now I have 2 baking trays full of frozen gnocchi to eat at a moments notice!

  76. Rebecca

    I’ve made this recipe before but yesterday, i just swapped the regular potatoes for sweet potatoes and instead of roasting them, I just stick them in the microwave for about 10 minutes and it turned out great! I think I might even like the sweet potato gnocchi more than regular gnocchi and the recipe could not be more simple.

  77. Mimi

    Thanks for the gnocchi tip! I had the most delicious Sweet Pea Gnocchi in Italy last year and I’ve been dying to try and recreate them! I made them last night according to your instructions but added 1 cup peas (pureed) and they came out perfect! I think the trick was to knead the dough for what felt like forever to get a lot of the moisture out. I’m tempted to try other flavors now!

  78. I am currently on my 3rd gnocchi attempt and feel better after reading this post. All I have heard is how easy gnocchi is. Thank you! My gnocchi sucks! I am going to try baking the potatoes for attempt number 4. Fingers crossed…

  79. This post was exactly what I needed. I was craving gnocchi like no other tonight, what with three awkward unbecoming russet potatoes taking up space on the kitchen, but I was (and still am) without a potato ricer or food mill. I thought that you might on the off-chance have a recipe for gnocchi and a suggestion, and voila–my suspicions were confirmed! Two hours, a well-used grater, and one full belly later, I’m quite happy to say the gnocchi was delicious . Definitely featuring this recipe in my blog post tomorrow :).

    Amateur question: I love the way the pan-fried gnocchi looks; how long would you suggest boiling the gnocchi before pan frying it, or do I boil at all? I hardly ever work with things like spaetzle and gnocchi, so I’d love to know. Thanks! :)

    1. deb

      Hi Fudge — You should boil and then cool it. Patting it dry might make it brown better, but I really don’t remember fussing enough to do that. And it’s delicious. It remains, four years later, my favorite way to prepare gnocchi.

  80. Kimi

    So.. yes.. after stalking your blog, loving your chocolate brownies, and clicking “Surprise Me” about 50 times, I came across this recipe and will be making it today even though it’s about 500 degrees in NYC and I have no air conditioning. I’ve put my potatoes to bake and bought some lean ground beef and tomatoes for a meat sauce pairing. Funny enough, I’ve never had fresh gnocchi. It’s always that pre-packaged frozen, gummy nonsense so this will be both a learning experience and a flavor experience for me. I’m so excited! I’ll be using the grater method since I don’t own a ricer or food mill so hopefully, that works out well. Comment after the jump.

  81. Kimi

    Oh… my… gosh. DELICIOUS. So light and fluffy. I had issues with making the tine marks so my gnocchi was somewhat flat but wow.. didn’t matter. It cooked very quickly. Luckily, I thought ahead an made a meaty tomato sauce to pair with the gnocchi. Delightful. Not bad for a gnocchi newbie I think. The literally melted once they touched the tongue and had sucked up the delicious tomato sauce. Definitely one for the books and will be used again on a bigger scale. Thank you SO much.
    Here’s a pic of my end result:

  82. Hi, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam comments? If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or anything you can recommend? I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any assistance is very much appreciated.

  83. Nick

    Well, perhaps for those of us who don’t want to buy a ricer… I’ve always made my gnocchi by cubing and boiling the potatoes, then very finely mashing them, and my results are always great.

  84. Linda

    I have eaten a lot of very bad gnocchi in search of the light airy pillow of joy I had heard they could be. When I saw this recipe I decided I could take matters into my own hands. So glad I did. I now know what the fuss is about – they are marvelous. Ate some right away, and froze the rest. Made Chicken Gnocchi soup tonight for dinner from the frozen, and I think my husband wants to marry me all over again. Thanks Deb.

  85. Amanda

    I followed this recipe last night, except I followed Heidi’s (at 101 Cookbooks) fork method because I didn’t have a box grater. I was considering the big grate setting on the food processor, but chickened out of being the guinea pig for that method. They turned out divine! And the fork was easy since the starchy, oven-baked potatoes naturally fell apart nicely. Thanks for the recipe, bookmarked!

  86. PJ

    I know it’s verboten to plug a specific product, so I’ll just observe that I have found using a blended pasta flour that includes semolina and durum as well as all-purpose flour provides a nice “toothiness” to my gnocchi: not super-light and fluffy, but not gummy or rubbery either.

    1. deb

      PJ — Feel free to share the brand! (Sometimes, product mentions are indeed left by companies wishing to advertise, and I try to fish them out. But good suggestions are good suggestions.)

  87. PJ

    OK, then! I’m a big fan of King Arthur Flour’s “Perfect Pasta” blend, which I use for both pasta and gnocchi. They also sell a little gnocchi board for rolling out gnocchi with finer grooves than you get with a fork: you roll the cut gnocchi dough on the board and jab it with your thumb as you finish, giving it both groove (which picks up and holds your sauce) and a dimple (which makes it cook quicker and more evenly). Yet another kitchen gadget, I know–and my son mocks me for it every time I use it, though it doesn’t seem to diminish his appetite for the gnocchi–but it’s made of maple and is a rather handsome item just on its own.

  88. Laura

    I am a Gnocchi Failure, but my friend just tried and suggested your recipe so maybe I’ll try again. What I am really after is a mizythra sauce that a local italian restaurant serves with its gnocchi. It’s the only reason I want the gnocchi, as a mizythra vehicle. I guess I’ll search for that now.

  89. melissa

    oh, my, god. i’ve never made gnocchi before, but i think i’ve just hit nirvana. i didn’t quite follow your recipe–i started with 2lbs of russets, baked them, put them through a ricer right away, let them cool, sprinkled on salt and drizzled on the beaten egg, tossed, and then worked in about half a cup of all-purpose flower with a scraper. i found that the dough came together then without sticking, and was a bit freaked out because i figured i needed more! i didn’t knead at all, figuring that would compress the dough–i just gathered it into a ball and rolled and shaped. i did add a bit more flour to half the dough just in case, but definitely didn’t use more than 3/4 cup. the gnocchi cooked in no time at all and i took them out as soon as they floated up. they didn’t fall apart and turned out so light as to be almost nonexistent! once they cooled a bit they firmed a little, which i liked. i ate some with puttanesca sauce. BUT……….. the real revelation was when i sauteed some of them for a couple minutes (RAW, not boiled!!) in brown butter with some dried sage leaves thrown in. holy moly. i may pass out from joy.

  90. Greg

    Fail! I came away with a sticky, chunky mess. I think I went wrong in not cooking the potatoes long enough as they released a tremendous amount of moisture which contributed to both the stickiness and chunkiness. Does that sound right? Would you say making sure the potatoes are cooked through and dried out is one of the most important steps?

  91. deb

    Probably. It’s hard for me to understand why it would be chunky. Try again, I think you’ll find it easier with with fully cooked potatoes.

  92. Lee

    wow – these gnocchi were AMAZING. Better than I have had in any restaurant. I browned them in butter after boiling them and they developed an amazing thin and crispy crust like a potsticker. PS – I make so many things from this site – whenever I tell my kids I am trying out a new recipe, they say “smitten kitchen” and I say “of course”.

  93. don’t forget to toss the cooked gnocchi into ice water in order to ‘stop’ the cooking, before frying with w/ a little butter and saucing them up.

  94. Erin

    I am making this tonight and also don’t have a ricer but was planning to ‘make do’ with something else in the kitchen. I busted out laughing reading your line:”…if there’s any sign that a kitchen disaster is imminent it’s got to be when you think you’ve out-smarted a recipe that The Entire Rest of the World has pretty much agreed on…” Thanks for the humor and the yummyness!

  95. Jessica

    Just tried making authentic gnocchi, and it was honestly one of the biggest food fails of my life! Ended up juts being disappointing, mushy slops of potato. All I was left with was a messy kitchen, no lunch and that feeling you talked about at the beginning of your post- uselessness!!! This prompted me to check out smitten kitchen to see if you had a better recipe- and oh yes you definitely do! Looking forward to trying this one for tomorrow’s lunch with hopefully much improved results :) Thanks for an awesome blog!

  96. I’ve been a fan of your site for a while, and have made a lot of really great food based on your directions. so, when we thought about making gnocci I came here first and searched to see if you’ve covered it yet. thankfully you have, and it looks pretty basic.

    thanks for the great work from canada, love the blog :)

  97. Stephanie

    I just had gnocchi tonight for the first time ever, and LOVED IT, so now I’m looking to make it myself. I’m also interested in making some for Pesach this spring, but the flour makes them a bit problematic. Could this recipe be made with potato flour instead of regular flour?

  98. Sally

    I’ve made gnocchi using boiled potatoes, with varying rates of success, and I’m definitely going to try these. A couple of things I learned years ago from trying home-made taro fritters is that the dryer dough makes a real difference in whether or not the fool things skitter to pieces on the surface of the water. If the test batch falls apart, or is otherwise too heavy, try solidly freezing the rest, uncovered, for a couple of days. They’ll dry out like anything frozen unwrapped. It might help salvage what would otherwise eventually get thrown out. Anybody have a recipe for taro fritters with all those delightful crunchies on the outside? Mine always came out smooth. Good, but smooth.

  99. Martha

    For those who want to know about forming the gnocchi on the fork tines, here’s a short video containing a demonstration (along with shopping for tomatoes for a tomato sauce, making the gnocchi, making the three sauces) by a gentleman, Gianni Mola, in an old Italian neighborhood of San Francisco (hope I recall that correctly). (posted Jan 2011.)
    I just came across this today, then found this blog’s recipe. It’s a very clear video, very instructive. Hope this helps.

  100. Catherine

    I tried making this tonight and it just turned out… wrong. The gnocchi tasted really overly potatoe-y and the texture was a weird combination of mushy and stringy (like hash browns). Any ideas what could have gone wrong?

  101. Catherine

    Also, the dough was falling apart when kneaded it. It wasn’t as cohesive as bread dough is. I assumed that was normal considering I’m working with potatoes, but maybe not.

  102. elmel

    complete failure here. Reading through the comments, I’m assuming that my potatoes weren’t cooked enough. I would really have liked more explicit instructions about how done the potatoes should be, beyond “fork-tender”. I kept thinking that if they were too “done”, you wouldn’t be able to grate them. As a result, I bet I undercooked, & the result was gummy, heavy, & Calexico had to come to the rescue for dinner (always a great rescue, granted).

  103. Carrie

    I just finished making a batch of these. I followed the directions exactly (except that I did use Yukon Gold potatoes, then saw the comment you just posted about Russets being best!). I’m going to use my gnocchi in Chicken and Gnocchi soup for dinner tonight. I haven’t tasted them yet, but my dough came together beautifully and I can just tell that it’s “right”. I have been making so much from your site lately and I’m loving the results. Thank you so much!

  104. Sarah

    I finally got up the courage to make these. What took so long?!?! They are easy and delicious! I experimented and boiled a few, pan fried a few, and boiled and then lightly browned a few. I don’t know which way is my favorite – they are all wonderful. I can’t wait for lunch tomorrow – I’m combining them with sauteed onions, garlic, mushrooms, broccoli, and grape tomatoes. YUM!

  105. Reen

    3 words – leftover mashed potatoes! One of the easiest gnocchi recipes I have ever used is from this link: My Italian MIL does something similar and it’s a good way to use the leftovers (I always make extra so I can make gnocchi afterwards). I find it easier to add the cold potatoes to my kitchen aid mixer w/ paddle attachment & mix them so they are no longer clumpy, then I beat in the egg & salt until well mixed, then add the flour, mixing until just combined (don’t over mix the dough as it can toughen). I divide the dough into 1/4s as it’s easier to handle/roll and lightly flour the wax paper. I don’t bother to roll on fork as it doesn’t make much difference when they’re cooked or sauced. I cook them in 2 batches so they don’t get over crowded in the pot (they start to float in less than 2 minutes). The recipe makes about 4 small bowls but is very easy to double. Soo easy and simple –they’re light little pillows of goodness!

  106. Lauren

    I just love gnocchi and was so excited when I found this recipe on your blog! I have tried making gnocchi with a grater before but the recipe involved boiling the potatoes and it was a messy disaster. Your recipe using baked potatoes worked perfectly! The gnocchi were incredible – so light, pillowy and delicious! My husband (who is not usually a gnocchi fan) loved them so much he has requested I make them again!
    Thank you so much for your blog, I check in daily to be inspired by your unique recipes and beautiful photos!

  107. diane

    just wanted to share my own recipe cannot. I Cannot make Pancakes! I have friends that can’t make mac and cheese from the box or ramen in a cup. but they lord their ability to make a stack of pancakes over me everytime. So glad you over came the Gnocchi for tasty victory, one day i’ll figure out what i’m doing wrong with the pancakes…maybe.

  108. Tanya

    My version of Gnocchi includes baked riced potatoes, and potato starch (2 parts potato to 1 part starch). The potato starch adds a chewy texture that my family loves. (I do not use eggs as it make the gnocchi heavy). Just add just enough water to make a dough. The texture is the lightest gnocchi I’ve ever made.

    cc: Ricing the potato by hand is a pain (literally), so I will try grating the baked potato instead of ricing it. Thank you for the hint.

  109. Tanya

    Yeah it worked!!! I found that the grating the baked potato method is a lot quicker if I cut the baked potato in half with the skin still on. Then I hand smashed the grated potato some more with a potato smasher. Wow, it’s very quick and almost painless for me. Thank you, thank you!

    Happy holidays to you!!!

  110. Jenna

    I wish I had sought your wisdom an hour ago, I “smartly” put my potatoes in the food processor and the resulting paste just laughed at the flour I tried to dough it up withr…so now it’s in the trash and new potatoes are on the stove. At least now I can try your grater trick!

  111. I have made this gnocchi recipe many, many, many times and every time it has worked out perfectly. I love gnocchi and I love this recipe! Thanks Deb for sharing such fabulous recipes.

  112. Jackie

    These were SO incredibly delicious! Thank you so much! I’ve had a few recent failed attempts at gnocchi, but these have turned around my losing streak. Inspired by seeing the movie Unbroken this weekend.

  113. Naomi Snider

    I’m afraid I didn’t read all the comments here, so may have missed a similar comment. BUT, the potato ricer does NOT have to be a single-use gadget! I use mine all the time for squeezing the excess water from frozen/thawed spinach. I checked with Chef Google and turned up several other possible uses:
    1) Run your eggs through for egg salad.
    2) To make crispy hashbrowns, after you grate you raw potatoes, put them in your ricer and squeeze all of the moisture out.
    3) Press liver through to make chopped liver
    4) Make baby food
    5) Mash sweet potatoes for sweet potato pie
    6) And of course, make gnocchi!

    Another website says: Use it to rice sweet potatoes or pumpkin the next time you make a pie. If your sweet potatoes are fibrous, the stringy parts will stay in the ricer. Baked squash can be passed through the ricer before you butter it and bring it to the table. You can speed up your tomato sauce by pressing seeded tomatoes through the ricer, and as a bonus, the skin stays behind. Make applesauce easily by pressing baked apples through the potato ricer, which removes the skins, stems and seeds.

  114. EL

    I totally get how you felt about making gnocchi. I am a gardener who likes to start things from seed. but I can’t get zucchini to grow (I refuse to buy seedlings of zucchini). So there you have it. I actually hope that people will come by and leave a ton of zucs on my porch, but no one ever has. :( Hopefully your friends did better by you during your gnocchiless period. . .

  115. Sarah

    Great recipe and instructions! Like many above, I’ve failed at gnocchi making in the past. And failing at something so time consuming is a wretched disappointment. These were heavenly!

  116. Ethan

    I made this with steamed Yukon gold potatoes. It was my first time making gnocchi and they came out perfect, light and pillowy and so much better than any store bought gluey gut bombs. Thanks for the easy to follow recipe!

  117. Simone Michelle

    I’ve seen this asked at least once in the comments, but you failed to answer so I’m assuming it got lost and I’m hoping me asking again will get a response.
    How do you cook the gnocchi out of the freezer? Cooking these fresh worked wonderfully for me on the first night, but the next day when my parents road tripped two days to see me the left over gnocchi for their dinner fell apart :(
    I had assumed, based on another recipe that I used once (but the dough was too sticky, so I looked for another) that their explanation would be fine… Freeze raw gnocchi, go from the freezer straight to the boiling salt water. But this recipe fell apart when I did that. It became absolute mush. What do you think went wrong?

    1. deb

      Normally I’d just add a minute if frozen but I haven’t frozen these before so I cannot say exactly. If they’re giving you a hard time boiling, you might try browning them in a pan with butter or olive oil; it’s not the same effect but very lovely, gets a little crisp. Just make sure you cook it through.