Potato gnocchi

Potato gnocchi

Modern Italian Food
Earl Carter

Gnocchi is heavenly food. I have never understood why the Irish – people with a serious potato dependency problem – never developed gnocchi. One might have thought that the link with Catholicism – and therefore Italy – would have fostered an interest in gnocchi. Don’t the Irish know that all Popes eat gnocchi?

Traditionally, only a relatively small amount of flour – just enough to hold it all together – goes into gnocchi.


Quantity Ingredient
2kg old potatoes, or red potatoes like desiree
200g plain flour, plus a little more for dusting
a touch grated nutmeg
50g parmesan, grated
pinch salt
2 eggs


  1. Boil the potatoes in their jackets until soft. Peel and push them through a potato ricer or a mouli and leave to cool. When almost cool, sprinkle the flour over the top and lightly work into the potato. Do not overwork the dough, just until the potato and flour are amalgamated.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a small pot of salted water to the boil. You’ll need it to test the gnocchi, to check if they hold together.
  3. Break off a small piece of dough and use your hands to roll it out like a sausage no less than 1 cm thick. Cut into 1.5 cm pieces. Adjust the heat so the water is simmering and drop in the gnocchi. They should rise to the surface in a few minutes and not break up. If they do, add a little more flour to the dough, again being careful not to overwork. Cook the gnocchi in batches, allowing them room to swell. If cooking in large quantities, lift each batch out of the water with a slotted spoon, drain for a moment, tip into a buttered dish and keep warm. Serve the gnocchi with your chosen sauce. One of the best sauces, in my view, is made with gorgonzola. Alternatively, my all-time favourite is gnocchi al ragu di carne, the classic bolognese.
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