Potato gnocchi are a fun, and delicious dinner. See how easy they are to make from scratch with this recipe. Notice that unlike many gnocchi recipes, this one uses no egg—a method that results in a lighter, more delicate gnocchi dumpling.
Serve them with butter and Parmesan or the sauce of your choice, knowing that they are particularly good with rich creamy or meaty sauces.
- Scrub the potatoes clean and put them in a large pot (do not peel the potatoes). Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Add enough salt to make the water taste salty. Cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender all the way through, about 20 minutes after the water has come to a boil.
- Drain the potatoes and let them cool slightly. Push the cooked potatoes through a ricer or food mill into a large bowl or use a paring knife to scrape off and discard the skins and thoroughly mash the potatoes with a large fork or potato masher.
- Stir in the flour while the potatoes are still warm—it will seem like it won't combine at first, but keep working it, it will eventually become a smooth, playdough-like dough.
- Divide the dough into four parts and work with one section at a time, keeping the other sections covered with plastic wrap to keep them from drying out. Roll a section of dough into a long, inch-thick snake on a well-floured surface. Cut this thin log into bite-size (1/2- to 3/4-inch) pieces.
- Take each dumpling and use your thumb to roll it down the tines of a fork, letting it drop onto a floured surface at the end. The dumpling will have tine marks on one side and a thumbprint on the other. This motion will take a few gnocchi to practice to get down but then is quite easy. Arrange the gnocchi on a very well-floured baking sheet or tray. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Gnocchi can sit, loosely covered, at room temperature for several hours. Or, loosely cover and refrigerate overnight. (For longer storage, place the gnocchi on a baking tray and freeze them overnight. Once they are frozen, transfer the gnocchi to a resealable plastic bag and keep them frozen until ready to boil; they will keep for up to six months.)
- When ready to cook the dumplings, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add only as many gnocchi as can comfortably cover the surface of the water in a single layer. They will sink immediately. Give them a quick but thorough stir. Within about a minute they will float to the surface. Let them cook 10 to 20 seconds on the surface and then remove them with a slotted spoon. Place the gnocchi on a warm serving platter and repeat with the remaining gnocchi. Toss the cooked gnocchi with butter, pesto, tomato sauce, or the topping of your choice and serve immediately.