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How to Make Gnocchi

It’s easier than you think.

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  • Serves 4
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With just four basic ingredients and a bit of time, anyone can make light, pillowy gnocchi at home. Our technique relies on a couple of simple but crucial steps, such as ricing the potatoes while hot (which lets steam and moisture escape) and adding just enough flour to the dough to keep the gnocchi from becoming dense or gummy. Shaping and cutting the pieces on your own is not only fun, it’s also more cost-effective than ordering the dish at a restaurant. Just remember: while it may be tempting to reach for whatever potato you have on hand, you’ll get the best results by using starchy russet potatoes, which contain less moisture than other varieties and therefore need less flour to create a cohesive dough. Wondering why some gnocchi recipes include eggs while others don’t? Traditional recipes call for a minimalist combination of potatoes, flour, and salt, but we found that adding egg yolks helps bind the dough without taking away from the flavor or lightness of the gnocchi. Pressing ridges into the gnocchi is optional, but doing so will help sauce cling to the pasta when serving. Speaking of sauce, you can dress gnocchi with any variety you please, be it a classic tomato sauce or an indulgent butter-sage sauce. Make a batch for your family or serve at a dinner party, then freeze extra for quick, comforting weeknight meals.

Ingredients

  1. Check 2 pounds russet potatoes (3-4 potatoes, depending on size)
  2. Check 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  3. Check 1 teaspoon salt
  4. Check ½ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading and dusting

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Scrub potatoes under running water and pat dry. Prick all over with a fork, place onto a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until tender, about one hour.
  2. While the potatoes are still hot, slice them in half lengthwise (hold them with tongs or an oven mitt if necessary). Scoop out the flesh and place in a large bowl. Pass the flesh through a ricer onto a rimmed baking sheet. Spread the potatoes into a single layer and let cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the riced potatoes back into the bowl, drizzle with egg yolks and salt, and stir with a fork until just combined. Slowly add ¼ cup flour, one tablespoon at a time. Stir a few times, then add remaining ¼ cup and gently combine with fork. Stir until flour is just incorporated and large clumps have begun to form. Use your hands to press the mixture into a ball, then transfer the ball to a lightly floured surface.
  4. Flatten the dough with the palms of your hands, fold in half, make a quarter turn with the dough, then repeat the process. Continue to press, fold, and turn until the dough has formed a cohesive ball and feels smooth and slightly sticky, dusting with more flour as needed (about 8 to 10 turns). Form into a 6-inch long log.
  5. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and sprinkle lightly with flour. Using a sharp knife or bench scraper, slice off a 1-inch piece from the end of the log. Roll into a long rope using the palms of your hands, starting at the center and moving outwards, until the rope is about ¾ inch thick. Sprinkle the rope with a bit more flour, then cut into ¾” pieces. Hold a fork with the tines facing down, then press each piece (rounded side down) onto the tines, rolling slowly down the fork, which will leave an indentation on one side and ridges on the other. Place pieces onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough until both baking sheets are filled.

    (To freeze gnocchi for later, place each baking sheet into the freezer until the gnocchi is hard, at least one hour. Transfer the frozen gnocchi to a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to two months.)
  6. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a generous pinch of salt. Add half of the gnocchi using a large spatula (alternatively, lift parchment paper, form into a cone, and slowly pour gnocchi in). Stir very gently with a wooden spoon to break up any clumps. Cook until gnocchi begin to float to the surface, about 1½ minutes, then wait about 20 seconds before removing with a slotted spoon. Bring water back to a boil and repeat with the second baking sheet of gnocchi.
  7. Dress and serve as desired.