Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Gnocchi, pronounced n'yo-kee, are dumplings which are served in place of pasta or risotto. Depending on the region in Italy, the ingredients for the recipe will vary. Semolina ricotta and egg are some of the ingredients that are added to flour to form these dumplings which have been around since Roman times. Mom, being quite the modernist, makes her gnocchi with potatoes and flour, which apparently are considered a  "recent innovation" dating back to the 16th century, when potatoes were brought back from the Americas and introduced in Europe.  On her quest to find a more robust version of gnocchi, for freezing purposes,  mom attempted to alter her recipe by adding egg and the result was a denser gnocchi.   Thank goodness, she succumbed to purist pressure, and much to our delight went back to her original recipe.  To this day restaurant or store-bought gnocchi can't hold a candle to mom's gnocchi.  So, I would love for you all to join mom and me on this gnocchi tutorial, and maybe be tempted to make a batch of your own. 
Most recipes call for Russet potatoes, but we prefer yellow flesh potatoes (Yukon Gold) for their buttery flavour. They hold up very well in the cooking process as they seem to absorb less water. While on the subject, it is also important that the potatoes not be overcooked as they will tend to absorb more flour when working the dough.  Note that the addition of too much flour will make the dumplings dissolve when boiled. If you want fluffy gnocchi, it is highly recommended that you use a potato ricer to mash the potatoes for best results. Above all else, never use a food processor! Potato ricers are relatively inexpensive and worth the small investment for any dish calling for mashed potatoes.

Zelinda's Gnocchi Recipe:
4-5 medium size yellow flesh potatoes (6 cups riced potatoes)
3 cups all purpose flour (or more if needed depending on the water content in the potatoes)
Serves 6

Peel, cut the potatoes into large sections and boil in just enough water to cover them. If time allows you can cook the potatoes whole and unpeeled. The potatoes should not be overcooked as they will absorb too much water.  A knife pierced through the flesh of the potato should have a slight resistance.
Allow  to cool too lukewarm, before passing through the potato ricer.

In a large mixing bowl, add 6 cups of the riced potatoes and 3 cups of flour and combine with your hands to form a dough.

Transfer to a floured work surface and knead the dough until a smooth and soft consistency

 Cut the dough into 5 inch strips

Roll the dough into 1/2 diameter cylinders

Cut  into i inch cylinder pieces

The shell like shape help capture the sauce and make for a more fluffy dumpling

With a little patience and some practice this is the end result, puffy potato gnocchi  heaven


  1. Anna, you are definitely my kind of cook! Everything you make looks delicious and, not only that, it is all looks like food I WANT to spend time making. I am in Montreal as well, so it's lovely to see inspirational recipes that are in season for me. It's fun to think that the lady next to me choosing bulbs of fennel at Jean Talon Market might just be you! Please keep up the great work.

  2. Hi fellow Montrealer,
    I was really touched by your sweet comment. We are so fortunate to be living in such a culturally diverse urban center, one filled with wonderful restaurants and where people take their food seriously. Thanks for visiting my blog and I hope you consider joining as a follower.


  3. Wow. That looks really good! My husband is Sicilian and I'm always trying to cook as well as his grandma did. I've almost got the baking down. Now if I could just conquer pastas and cannolis. I especially appreciate the photo how-to's.

  4. This is amazing! I'm so glad that I came to visit your blog today, and I'm drooling. I love gnocchi, but I've never made a batch at home. You made the process seem so simple and rewarding that I'm eager to try it out now. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Monet, Welcome to my blog. Thanks so much for dropping in and taking the time to leave a comment. I'm so glad you enjoyed the gnocchi post. Hope you give them a try, nothing compares to homemade ones.


  6. Hi Amanda,
    So nice to have you visit again. I'm happy that you found the photo tutorial helpful. They do require practice, but well worth the effort.
    Did your husband's grandmother also make them with potatoes?

  7. Hi, Anna. I enjoyed finding your blog via FoodBuzz (where the link to your site, unfortunately, was broken). You make gnocchi making look very easy, so I must try it soon! Thanks,

  8. Looks delicious Anna - I may just give this a try!


  9. looks awesome Anna...very new recipe..1st time to your wonderful space... do visit mine at your convenience... following you..

  10. Hi Dan,
    Sorry for the delay in replying...major computer woes.
    Thanks for dropping in and taking the time to leave a comment. Let me know how your gnocchi turn out. Regarding the link malfunction, I have reported the problem to Foodbuzz, and I'm still waiting for them to remedy the situation.

  11. Hi Srividhya,
    Thanks for your nice comment.
    Sorry for the delay in responding. I haven't had access to my computer, and I'm just catching up. I look forward to visiting your blog.

  12. I love Gnocchi, but never make it by myself. Nice to meet you too