Italian Potato Gnocchi
Water, flour, potatoes – nothing more, nothing less. Italian Potato Gnocchi are one of the most genuine and traditional comfort foods in Italy.
The gnocchi are an Italian primo (first course) and they are a varied family of dumplings.
This recipe explains how to make authentic Italian potato gnocchi from scratch, at home. Sure, you can also find them at the supermarket, but the taste and the experience are priceless.
This is a traditionally plant-based recipe, even if a version with eggs also exists.
Once you have your lovely, homemade gnocchi, you’ll need to find a delicious condiment that fits well. Scroll down to find 10 suggested condiments, including our Gnocchi alla Sorrentina recipe.
10 Vegan Recipes for Potato Gnocchi
Here are 10 gnocchi condiments ideas for you, 100% plant-based.
- Vegan Gnocchi alla Sorrentina (try our recipe)
- Vegan Butter and Sage Gnocchi
- Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce and Basil
- Gnocchi al Ragù (tomato and vegan meat sauce)
- Basil Pesto Gnocchi
- Gnocchi with Pumpkin Cream
- Gnocchi with Walnut Sauce
- Four Vegan Cheese Gnocchi
- Courgettes (Zucchini) and Tofu Gnocchi
- Asparagus Cream Gnocchi
It seems that the first gnocchi recipes were published for the first time during the second half of the 6th century by Cristoforo Messisburgo and Bartolomeo Scappi, two of the most famous chefs of the Renaissance.
Potato gnocchi were created after the import of potatoes by Europeans in Italy from the American continent. In 1880, the recipe spread widely.
Types of Italian Gnocchi
Potato gnocchi is the most common type of gnocchi in Italy, but there are other traditional ones:
- potato gnocchi (gnocchi di patate)
- water and flour gnocchi (gnocchi acqua e farina) – without potatoes
- semolina gnocchi (gnocchi di semolino) – also called gnocchi alla romana (Roman style gnocchi)
- canederli – also called knödel or gnocchi di pane (bread gnocchi), they came from the German cuisine but they’re typical of the Trentino-Alto Adige region
- malloreddus – also called gnocchi sardi (Sardinian gnocchi)
Gnocchi is the plural form of the word. To refer to a singular piece, we use the word gnocco.
«Giovedì gnocchi!» (Wednesday gnocchi!), is a common Roman expression to state that Wednesday is the day of the week dedicated to gnocchi.
«Ridi, ridi, che mamma ha fatto i gnocchi!» (Laugh, laugh that mom has made gnocchi!) is a traditional sentence that we say to a person who is laughing childishly – which makes no sense to us and probably irritates us. The expression is based on nonsense, but it suggests that the person is laughing for a banal gratification, like when you’re a kid and your mother prepares you a dish that you like.
How to Pronounce Gnocchi in Italian
For English speakers, is hard to pronounce the word gnocchi as Italians do. Mainly because the first phoneme (sound) of the world is not part of English. If you want to hear the proper Italian pronunciation have a look at Forvo.
Homemade Italian Potato Gnocchi
- Potato ricer
- Pastry board or other surface
- 500 g potatoes (17.64 oz)
- 150 g flour – any type (5.3 oz)
Prepare the Potatoes
- Wash the potatoes (don't remove the skin), put them in the pot and cover them with water. Let them boil until well cooked (check it with the fork).
- When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and mash them with a potato ricer on your board. Don’t worry, the peel will remain in the ricer!
Prepare the Dough
- Add flour, some salt and start kneading. Depending on the quality of the potatoes, the quantity of flour needed may slightly vary.
- Knead until reaching a smooth and soft dough.
Form the Gnocchi
- Divide the dough in smaller parts. Roll each part until you have a long cylinder (like a little snake).Prepare the tray slightly sprinkling it with some semolina.Now form the gnocchi, cutting small pieces from the cylinders.
- If you like, roll each gnocco over the fork.Place each formed gnocco onto the tray and cover with a clean cloth.Now you can decide to cook them or to store them.
- Boil the gnocchi for about 1 minute in abundant boiling and salted water. As soon as the gnocchi reach the surface, remove them with the sieve/skimmer.Don't cook large quantities together in the same pot. You can divide them in 2 or more groups and cook them separately.Now you can add your favourite condiment and enjoy your homemade gnocchi! 😋
- In the fridge: store them covered with a cloth for 2/3 days.
- In the freezer: pay attention that there is some space between each gnocco, so that they don't touch each other. Once they're well frozen, you can move them into a freezing bag.