Make light, pillowy, fluffy homemade potato gnocchi with just 3 ingredients and a simple method, perfect for eating immediately or freezing. When ready, cook in just minutes and serve up with a creamy lemon gnocchi sauce, or the sauce of your choice!
Clean the potatoes by scrubbing them well under water, rinsing, and patting dry with a kitchen towel.
Boil the potatoes whole and un-pierced in a large pot of salted water for between 20-30 minutes, or until fork-tender.Leaving the skins on means that the potatoes absorb less water and won't affect the dough. They are also easy to peel once they're cooked.
Step 2: Peel & mash the potatoes
Allow the potatoes to cool slightly until you can handle them enough to peel the skins. This should be easy to do, as they slip off when you pinch it between your fingers and pull.If using a potato ricer then you can leave the potatoes unpeeled as the ricer will naturally filter the skin and leave it in the ricer.
Mash the potatoes using a potato ricer or cheese grater for the best results. You can use a fork or potato masher if necessary - though you're more likely to end up with denser homemade gnocchi.
Step 3: Mix the dough
On a clean surface turn out the mashed potato. Make a well in the center and add the flour and egg yolks.It's best to allow the riced potato to cool slightly before mixing it with the flour, otherwise, it can affect the protein within the flour.
Using your hands or a bench scraper, combine the ingredients into a dough until it's just incorporated, soft, smooth, and slightly sticky. Add more flour, if necessary - but be careful not to add too much or you'll have dense gnocchi.Be careful not to overmix the gnocchi, or it will become tough - 30-60 seconds is usually more than enough.
Shape the dough into a ball and allow it to rest for a few minutes.
Step 4: Cut the gnocchi
There are several ways you can now deal with the dough, You can separate it into several even-sized pieces, and roll them into long log shapes, around 1/2-inch in thickness.Alternatively, roll out the dough to flatten it to around 1/2-inch thickness and then chop into long strips.Once you have your logs/strips, then chop them into smaller pieces, around 3/4-inch to 1 inch apart.
Step 5: Shape the gnocchi
You can then leave the pieces as-is for simple pillow shapes. Alternatively, use a gnocchi block or fork to roll each piece over, to create ridges.Use your thumb to firmly press the dough over the ridges of the board/fork and roll downwards.By creating ridges, there is more surface area for the sauce to cling to the outside of the potato gnocchi.
Lay the pieces out, not touching and dusted lightly with flour, across a parchment-lined tray or a lightly floured surface and allow to rest for 20 minutes.This is technically optional but will allow the gnocchi to firm up so that it can hold its' shape when boiling.At this point, if you don't plan on using the pasta within the next few hours, you can freeze it for longer-term storage (read the storage section for details on how).
Step 6: Cook the potato gnocchi
Bring a pot of salted water to boil and add the gnocchi in small batches (about enough to form a single layer of pasta in the pot). Stir the pasta a couple of times, to make sure they're not sticking together.When they first go in the pot they'll sink. Continue to boil until the gnocchi float to the surface. Leave them for a further 15-20 seconds before removing them from the water. This process usually takes between 3-5 minutes.
Once the pasta is boiled, you can saute with a little butter, sage and cheese, or mix with the sauce of your choice, like the lemon cream sauce below.
For The Creamy Gnocchi Sauce
Add some butter and sage leaves to a pan over medium, to allow the sage to infuse into the butter. Add some lemon zest, minced garlic, and a bit of cream. Stir together and simmer for a minute or so, then add the gnocchi. Mix well, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.The amounts that you'll need depends on how much gnocchi you're making. I usually do this by eye, taste the sauce, and adjust any of the ingredients, as needed.
How To Make Ahead & Store
The rolled, shaped, uncooked gnocchi can be kept in the fridge overnight or for up to a day, or be frozen as-is for longer-term storage. Par-freeze them until they are solid and then transfer to a freezer-safe container/bag and freeze for up to two months. The prepared gnocchi can also be stored, covered, in the fridge overnight though they are best used within a few hours.You can cook the gnocchi from frozen, though it’ll need to be done in smaller batches, otherwise, they reduce the water's temperature too much and the gnocchi will fall apart before they cook.
TOP TIP: Two main issues can affect your homemade gnocchi. Make surenot to use too much flour or knead the dough too much- as both will lead to stodgy, firm gnocchi. Knead the flour into the dough until it's just incorporated and no more, and add just enough flour for a slightly sticky but smooth dough.
It's best to base the amount of flour you need based on the cooked, mashed potato's weight. The amount of flour you need can vary on the humidity and even the age of the potato. As a general rule, you’ll need around 1 cup of flour per 1lb of cooked, riced potato.
For a gluten-free option, you can use gluten-free all-purpose flour. I haven’t experimented with this, though, so I can’t guarantee results, though the pasta will be more prone to falling apart as it's cooked.
If you store the uncooked gnocchi dough/pieces in the fridge before cooking (I tend to only do this for up to a day, though I've been told it can be kept for a few days in the fridge), they may be more prone to disintegrating when boiled, so pan-frying may be the better option.