Originally published on February 16, 2014

They say that if you want to make pasta dough but have never done it before, gnocchi is a great one to start with. It’s pretty forgiving and doesn’t require the technical hand that other types of pasta dough do. However, you still have to be careful and not rush the process. It might take a time or two before you have those perfect little pillows of pure heaven, but even on your first try you should have something that very closely resembles them. I also never ever pour tomato or spaghetti sauce on my gnocchi. For me it can only be pesto, or delicious sage and brown butter sauce.


2 large russet potatoes
1 egg, lightly beaten 
1 cup all-purpose flour


1.) Fill a large pot with cold water and a couple of teaspoons of salt. Scrub the potatoes clean, but leave the skins on them. Cut them in half, place in the pot, and bring up to a boil. Gently boil potatoes until they are just cooked through, about 30 to 40 minutes.

2.) One at a time, remove the potatoes from the water with a slotted spoon and place it on a large cutting board. Reserve the potato water. As soon as you can handle them and while the potatoes are still hot, peel them. Then use a ricer to rice the potatoes, but do not scoop into a pile when done. If you don’t have a ricer, place the potato flat-side down on the cutting board, and use a fork to roughly scrape down the sides until the potato is fully “scraped.” Remember that we do not mashed potatoes here!

3.) Allow the potato to cool slightly on the board, about 10 to 15 minutes. Then pull it all into a soft and loose mound. Drizzle the beaten egg and 3/4 cup of the flour across the potato. Using a light, feathery touch, fold the mixture from the bottom up until the flour and the egg is fully incorporated. The dough should be slightly yellow when you are finished at this point, as you should be able to see the egg throughout. If the dough is still too sticky at this point, add the remaining 1/4 cup of flour a little at a time, until the consistency becomes a bit nicer.

4.) Gather the dough altogether and cut into 8 pieces. Roll each 1/8th of the dough into rope-like pieces that are about as wide as your thumb. Cut the ropes into 3/4″ pieces and dust with a bit more flour to keep them from sticking. If you’d like to, mark each piece of gnocchi by placing it against the tines of a fork and gently but firmly pressing down and out. I don’t bother with this step because I find the gnocchi does a good enough job on its own of holding the sauce to itself, and if I can just cook the gnocchi at this point, it means I’m that much closer to eating gnocchi!

5.) Bring the potato water back up to a boil (you can start with a fresh pot of water if you’d like, but using potato water will give the gnocchi a bit more starch to grab onto all that sauce, and a bit more flavour.) Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water in batches, about 20 at a time, and remove them in batches when they are finished cooking. Place on a large platter and dress with the sauce of your choice.

6.) Serve and enjoy!