We’ve tried our hand at making homemade gnocchi a few times now and I have to say that Mario Batali’s recipe and instructions are by far the best and most consistent. The only change I would make is to add a bit more salt than the recipe calls for...so maybe 2 pinches, but otherwise perfect. We used our gnocchi in one of our favorite Eating Well in Season summer recipes - Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons & Parsley Brown Butter.
Your first time making homemade gnocchi? Here are a few step by step tips:
First, use Russet potatoes and make sure you boil them with the skin on until soft all the way through. While they are still warm, peel them and put them through your potato ricer (or food mill). These kitchen utensils are a MUST for making gnocchi! I’ve tried short-cuts in the past before I had a potato ricer...save yourself the time, none of them work!
Next, similar to when you make homemade pasta, form a well with the riced potato. Sprinkle all of the flour that the recipe calls for over the potato well then fill the well with the salt & egg. Use a fork to mix the flour into the egg until the egg is mixed in...
Once the egg is mixed in you can relinquish the fork as your tool and move to using your hand to knead for 3-5 minutes. Your looking for a uniform consistency with the texture of dough but it should be relatively dry to the touch...not sticking to your fingers when you touch it. You often have to adjust the amount of flour and/or liquid depending on climate, altitude, etc... so don’t be afraid to adjust a bit as needed. But also be careful not to overwork the dough...this is the key to having fluffy gnocchi.
Once your dough is to your liking split it into a few pieces and roll each piece out into a log about 3/4” thick. Then cut the log into 1” pieces. If you want your gnocchi to truly look like gnocchi take the extra step to roll the 1” pieces down the back of the fork to get those nice familiar ridges into each piece.
The last critical step is cooking them. You want to drop them into close to rapidly boiling water....but once you do keep an eye on them. They’ll sink when you first put them in, but as soon as they pop to the top and float (very fun to watch in my opinion!) scoop them out and put them right into an ice bath.
After ~2 minutes in the ice bath pull them out and put them into your sauce to quickly re-heat and serve...mangia!