Ultimate Guide To Gnocchi: What Is It? How Do You Make It?

Gnocchi Dish on a Plate

Store-bought gnocchi are a decent meal if you want a quick bite and don’t care about it being the best dinner you’ve had that week. However, if you want a proper feast, you’ll learn how gnocchi is made and do it yourself. Most people never tried making this dish themselves, so they have no idea what are any gnocchi ingredients or how to prepare different types of gnocchi. Luckily, this article will solve those questions. We’ll show you what gnocchi is and how to make this tasty combination of potatoes and pasta.

So wait no more, and read our blog!

What Is Gnocchi?

As we mentioned, there are multiple types of gnocchi that you can make, but the most prevalent variation is the original, Gnocchi di patateSo, it all comes down to potatoes and pasta. Gnocchi are a special type of Italian pasta made of cooked mashed potatoes with flour and (sometimes)eggs. Some recipes add ricotta cheese to the dough. Others add spinach or cauliflower to the gnocchi ingredients mix, but more on that later.

We’ll explain in-depth how gnocchi is made and show you how to make the variations that may be interesting to try.

Work With the Best Potatoes

It’s essential to pick the right sort of potatoes if you want the best results in the end.  To make fluffy gnocchi that are waxy enough to hold their shape, we suggest using Yukon Gold or Desiree potatoes. These potatoes have the right kind of starchiness for making the famous Italian dish. There are two possible ways to go when it comes to cooking them. Boiling and roasting are the two options to choose from, and the decision usually depends on how much time the chef has. Boiling the potatoes whole with the skin still on and then drying them using a hot frying pan requires less time than roasting the potatoes. That is why we usually use this method to make our pasta.

Go Easy on the Flour

Don’t skip this part of the article if you wish to avoid making chewy gnocchi. Most people make a mistake in their gnocchi preparations when it’s time to add the flour. Don’t use too much of it! In fact, the worst thing you can do to the gnocchi you’re making is to add too much flour into the recipe. This will make your pasta soft, chewy, and inedible. Of course, pasta falling apart in the water is another thing you wish to avoid at all costs. Now, there is some controversy regarding this. Some chefs believe that you shouldn’t add eggs to the ingredients list regardless of the benefits. Others, however, use it to keep the gnocchi from falling apart.

For our recipe, you won’t need any eggs.

Special Types of Gnocchi

Roman Gnocchi

With its unique type of preparation, the roman interpretation redefines what gnocchi is. This recipe doesn’t use potatoes and flour, so it’s safe to say that roman gnocchi is quite a different dish from the original version.

Gnocchi Alla Romana are a special type of gnocchi prepared with semolina. They’re even shaped differently than the classic. Semolina gnocchi are sliced into rounds and put down into a baking dish. Then, the pasta is covered with butter, egg yolks, and Parmesan cheese.

Skillet Gnocchi

Turning store-bought gnocchi into a quick dinner is possible if you have a skillet. You’ll have to get a few more ingredients, though. Usually, it’s best to get some asparagus, spinach, and seafood for this type of gnocchi. Shrimp seems to be the most suitable option.

Spinach Gnocchi

This variation of the classic gnocchi recipe shows how you can make potatoes and pasta a little bit more interesting. By adding Ricotta and spinach, you can make a dish completely different from the original. This type of gnocchi is shaped a bit differently from the others. The unusual shape got spinach gnocchi named Malfatti, which translates to “badly made.”

Cauliflower Gnocchi

If you’re on a particular type of diet, like keto, this is the recipe for you. Cauliflower gnocchi uses gluten-free, low-carb ingredients like riced cauliflower to make a special edition of gnocchi suitable for ketogenic diets.

How Is Gnocchi Made

Now that we learned a few things about gnocchi, it’s time to learn how to make the dish. Follow our instructions, and start cooking!

Gnocchi Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 pounds potatoes (Yukon Gold)
  • 1 2/3 cups flour (all-purpose)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • Sauce

What Else You’ll Need

  • Large pot
  • Large frying pan
  • Potato ricer
  • Measuring cups
  • Spoons and forks
  • Slotted spoon
  • Baking sheet (rimmed)


Boil the Potatoes

Gather and scrub all potatoes and place them in a large pot. Then, add the water. Make sure that there is enough to cover the potatoes plus another 2 inches on top. Turn on the heat, and boil the water. After the water is bubbly, lower the stove to medium heat, and leave for 20-30 minutes.

The potatoes are finished once they become tender, and a fork can easily go through each of them. You can start heating a large frying pan at this moment.

Drain and Dry 

Firstly, drain the potatoes. Then transfer them to the hot pan and cook until the potatoes are fully dry. Flip the potatoes occasionally to make sure they don’t burn.


After you dry the potatoes, let them cool off for a bit. Then, peel them while they are warm.

Prepare the Dough

Clean up your work surface, then place 1 1/3 cups flour and 2 tsp kosher salt on top. Use a ricer to process the potatoes and add them to the flour. Next, work the potatoes into the flour. If you notice that the dough is too sticky, add some of the remaining flour and work it into the mix. Your safest bet is to add more flour, one teaspoon at a time.

Roll the Dough

Add more flour to the work surface to ensure none of your gnocchi sticks to the top. Then, divide the dough into eight equal pieces. Work with one piece at a time, and roll it into a rope. Then repeat the same process for the remaining dough balls.

Cut the Ropes

Gnocchi are usually about 1 inch long, so cut your dough ropes into pieces of this size. Transfer the pieces onto a floured rimmed baking sheet.

Create the Gnocchi

Gently roll the dough pieces onto the backside of a fork to create gnocchi in their recognizable shape. After you form the gnocchi, place them back onto the baking sheet.


Boil a large pot of heavily salted water. Then, add half of the created gnocchi. Boil for about 2 minutes or until the pieces float on the surface. Then, transfer the pieces to a serving platter using a slotted spoon. Cook the remaining gnocchi by repeating the process.


The only thing left is to add your favorite sauce and serve the meal!

Try Our Recipe

If you wish to try gnocchi made by professionals, make your way to Glass & Vine restaurant. Our chicken and black truffle gnocchi will leave you speechless!