Light And Pillowy Potato Gnocchi (Just 4 Ingredients!)

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Gnocchi (pronounced nyok-kee) are delightful little pillows of potato dough that can be enjoyed in countless ways. They have a soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture and pair beautifully with a variety of sauces, from simple butter and sage to rich tomato ragu. Making gnocchi from scratch is surprisingly easy and rewarding, and this recipe will guide you through the process step-by-step.


Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce
Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce

2 pounds russet potatoes (about 4 medium)

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Directions:

    1. Boil the potatoes: Wash the potatoes and prick them with a fork a few times. Place them in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot.

    2. Mash the potatoes: While the potatoes are still hot, use a potato masher or ricer to mash them until smooth. Be sure to remove any lumps.

    3. Cool the potatoes slightly: Let the mashed potatoes cool slightly for about 5 minutes. This will prevent them from cooking the egg yolk when added.

    4. Make the dough: On a lightly floured surface, create a well in the center of the mashed potatoes. Add the egg yolk, salt, and pepper (and Parmesan cheese, if using) to the well. Gradually incorporate the flour from the sides of the well into the wet ingredients, using a fork or your hands. Mix until a soft dough forms. Be careful not to overmix, as this can make the gnocchi tough.

    5. Shape the gnocchi: Lightly dust your work surface with more flour. Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a long rope, about 1/2-inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut the rope into 1-inch pieces.

    Optional shaping techniques:

    Gnocchi with grooves: For a more traditional look, use the tines of a fork to gently press each gnocchi piece, creating ridges on the surface.

  • Gnocchi with indents: Use your thumb to make a slight indent in the center of each gnocchi piece. This will help the sauce adhere better.
  • 6. Cook the gnocchi: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the gnocchi, a few at a time, into the boiling water. The gnocchi will sink to the bottom at first. Once they cook through, they will float to the surface. This takes about 1-2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked gnocchi and transfer them to a plate.

    7. Serve: Toss the cooked gnocchi with your favorite sauce. Some popular options include pesto, tomato sauce, or a simple butter and sage sauce. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese, fresh herbs, or a drizzle of olive oil.

    Nutrition Facts (per serving, without sauce):

    Calories: 180

  • Fat: 3g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 30mg
  • Sodium: 120mg
  • Carbohydrates: 30g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Note: These nutrition facts are estimates only and may vary depending on the ingredients used.


    Gnocchi are a versatile and delicious addition to any meal. They are relatively easy to make at home and can be customized with a variety of flavors and textures. So next time you’re looking for a satisfying and comforting dish, give this gnocchi recipe a try!


    1. Can I use different types of potatoes for gnocchi?

    Yes, you can! Yukon Gold potatoes or a combination of russet and Yukon Gold potatoes can be used for a slightly richer flavor and creamier texture. However, russet potatoes are generally preferred for gnocchi because of their higher starch content which helps to bind the dough.

    2. What if my gnocchi dough is too sticky?

    If your dough is too sticky, add a little more flour, one tablespoon at a time, until it becomes manageable but not dry. Be careful not to overwork the dough, as this can make the gnocchi tough.

    3. Can I make gnocchi ahead of time?