Potato Gnocchi Recipe


Potato gnocchi are a much loved pasta dish in my family, but no one makes them as good as my Nonna, the Gnocchi Queen! While pre-made gnocchi are easy to find at the supermarket, nothing comes close to my Nonna’s. They are the perfect texture – soft enough to almost melt in your mouth.
This potato gnocchi recipe has been perfected over the years and has been passed on to my family. With just potato, flour and one egg you can create the most incredible gnocchi pillows and it’s versatile too! Serve it with red sauce, cheese sauce or even seafood…options are endless but the core of the dish must first be perfected!
Follow my Nonnas tips and tricks to getting your potato gnocchi just right. You can also make extra and freeze them for another day.

Watch the Potato Gnocchi video recipe:

How To Make Potato Gnocchi like an Italian Nonna

Italian Potato Gnocchi recipe

Vincenzo’s Plate Tips

Cut the Potato Into Small Chunks

Instead of boiling your peeled potatoes whole, Nonna instructs to chop the potatoes into smaller chunks. This will help the potatoes to boil faster and more easily, making it easier to work with when mashing them to create gnocchi.

Let the Potatoes Cool

Once your potatoes have been riced, you need to let them cool properly before starting to make the gnocchi. If you try to work the potatoes when they are still hot, you’ll have a much harder time, and the gnocchi won’t turn out right.

Don’t Be Afraid of Flour

Nonna says that gnocchi that are too sticky will never turn out. When in doubt, work more flour into your potato mixture, or sprinkle your potato dough with flour to get rid of any sticky spots.
But once it all binds, stop! You don’t want to add too much flour or the final result will be a hard texture.

Boil the Water

Although some people add their gnocchi to the water before it begins to boil, my Nonna advises against this. She always waits until the water has completely begun to boil before adding the pasta. This ensures that the pasta doesn’t absorb as much water because it isn’t in the water nearly as long. The end result is a better texture and flavour.

Avoid Overcooking

Never keep your gnocchi in the pot too long. Once it rises to the top, it’s pretty much ready to go. Nonna says if you overcook your gnocchi, they become hard. If you’re unsure – take one out and taste it first!

Use Fresh Sauce

Gnocchi can be enjoyed with many different sauces. Some of my favourites are traditional basil and tomato sauce and fresh basil pesto sauce, but you can use whatever sauce you prefer. No matter what kind of sauce you choose, though, Nonna suggests you make the sauce fresh and by hand. This will make your dish much more authentic and flavorful.

How to Serve Potato Gnocchi

Although you can certainly freeze your gnocchi and enjoy it later, once you’ve made these amazing little pillows of pasta, I doubt you’ll be able to help yourself.
To make these with Nonna’s red sauce begin by pouring a bit of sauce onto the bottom of a serving bowl. Next, strain and drain the gnocchi well. Add them to the bowl, pour a bit more sauce on top, and combine well. Sprinkle parmesan cheese generously over the dish.
Nonna suggests saving a bit of pasta sauce in your saucepan. This way, when you begin to serve individual plates, you can add some extra sauce on top for more flavour and a lovely presentation. Now, it’s an Italian masterpiece!
How to make Potato Gnocchi
Potato Gnocchi Recipe

Nonna’s Potato Gnocchi Recipe

This incredible potato gnocchi recipe by Nonna Igea requires careful attention to detail and a whole lot of love. With perfectly cooked potatoes mixed with flour and just one egg you will be able to easily roll out and serve up delicious potato “pillows”. For a classic way to serve, use Nonna’s red sauce recipe to smother these morsels for a perfect Italian meal at home.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Servings 10


  • 1 Chopping-board
  • 1 Cutting knife
  • 1 Potato ricer or fork
  • 1 Tray
  • 1 bowl
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • 1 Wooden Fork
  • 1 large pot
  • 1 Saucepan or pot
  • 1 Strainer
  • 1 Ladle


For the Dough:

  • 5-6 potatoes Nonna prefers yellow potatoes
  • 300 grams Plain flour 11oz. plus more for kneading
  • 1 egg

For the Sauce:

  • 1 litre Tomato passata 4 cups
  • 1/2 Carrot
  • 1/2 Onion
  • Celery stalk
  • Basil
  • Salt as much as required
  • Pepper as much as required
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil as much as required
  • Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese as much as desired


To prepare the gnocchi:

  • Begin by peeling and washing your potatoes. Cut them into small chunks so they are easier to boil.
  • Once the water has started boiling, add the potatoes and cover. Allow it to boil for 10 minutes or until you can easily press the fork right through – don’t overcook them!
  • Add the potatoes to a potato ricer, bit by bit. You can also rice your potatoes with a fork, but this method takes longer.
  • Spread out the riced potato to allow it to cool down and break up any clumps.
  • Once cooled (but before it gets cold), bring all of the riced potatoes back together in a pile, and create an indent or well. Break your egg directly into the well, beat by hand, and mix with the riced potato.
  • Add flour to the mix and begin to combine it with the potato. Keep bringing the potato and flour mixture together and collect as much excess flour as possible. It may look crumbly, but if you keep working it, it can be worked in and will make the best dough.
  • Once the dough is formed and there are no sticky spots, and it is not overly soft, form a small “loaf” and cut. The inside should be soft like a doughnut but with no stickiness.
  • Use the cut portion of the dough to roll into a long, thin “snake”. Continue cutting the dough and rolling snakes until all the dough is used.
  • Bias cut the snakes (you can do two or more at a time if you want to save time) at an angle to make the little pillows of gnocchi pasta.
  • Transfer the cut gnocchi onto a floured tray. The gnocchi can be frozen directly on the tray and transferred to a ziplock for easy storage (if desired).

To cook the gnocchi:

  • Boil your water and add rock salt then add fresh gnocchi to the pot.
  • Because it is fresh pasta, it may stick more. Use a wood fork to stir (gently) and prevent sticking.
  • Once the gnocchi rise, they’re ready – if you’re unsure or you prefer them a little harder, taste one!
  • Strain and drain well.

To prepare and cook the sauce:

  • Finely chop your carrot and onion and add them to a saucepan.
  • Add a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil to the pan.
  • Fry slowly and sauté for a few minutes then pour your tomato sauce into the saucepan.
  • Add a stalk of celery for an aromatic flavour.
  • Allow the sauce to heat and simmer for at least half an hour. When the oil comes to the top, it’s ready.
  • Remove from heat and add fresh basil. Always wait to add the basil. If you cook with the basil the whole time, it will disintegrate and add no flavour.
  • Add sauce to the bottom of a serving bowl before pouring strained gnocchi on top and covering with another layer of sauce and parmigiano cheese!


Keyword Family Favourite, Gnocchi, Homemade Gnocchi recipe, pasta
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate….Enjoy!
How To Make Potato Gnocchi Like an Italian Nonna

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6 Responses to Potato Gnocchi Recipe

  1. Arleene December 22, 2022 at 10:29 AM #

    I made This recipe yesterday as well as Nonna’s tomato passata! It turned out perfect and flavorful! I recommend making this recipe, you won’t regret it!!

    • Vincenzo's Plate April 21, 2023 at 3:01 PM #

      Wow, that’s amazing to hear! I’m so excited and thrilled that you tried my recipe and enjoyed it so much! It sounds like you had a fantastic cooking session with Nonna’s tomato passata tutorial as well.

  2. Elizabeth January 3, 2023 at 8:25 AM #

    5 stars
    Made this dish yesterday and they were the most amazing gnocchi I’ve ever had. My husband declared they were the best gnocchi he’s ever had! Definitely will make these again

  3. Will Bravely January 15, 2023 at 6:47 AM #

    5 stars
    Another weekly staple for us. Thank you for this recipe Vincenzo!

    We batch prepare these gnocchi and our freezer is now full of them.

    We make a fresh sauce of cherry tomatoes and ricotta to go with them; but the tomato basil sauce from this website would suit them very well I’m sure.

    Another winner 🙂

  4. PhillipPPPP Menicos April 20, 2023 at 5:15 AM #

    5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe several times. Absolutely the BEST Gnocchi I’ve ever had. 5 stars!

    • Vincenzo's Plate April 21, 2023 at 2:25 PM #

      We’re thrilled to hear that you’ve made this recipe several times and that it’s become one of your favorites. We’re always happy to hear when someone enjoys our recipes, and we appreciate you taking the time to share your experience.

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