| |

A Traditional Italian Gnocchi Recipe That You Will Love

This traditional Italian gnocchi recipe will bring you a little closer to Rome, and these vegetarian-friendly gnocchi freeze well and are ready in minutes.

traditional Italian gnocchi recipe - Sauce and Basil

Gnocchi With Tomato Sauce and Basil

There is an old saying in Italian: “Giovedì gnocchi, Venerdì pesce, Sabato trippa” which translates to “Thursday gnocchi, Friday fish and Saturday tripe“. The saying originates with Roman Catholic culture and is very pervasive in Italian history. By Catholic law, Friday was a fasting day, with just a fish dinner as the only meat allowed. The day before (i.e. Thursday) one would prepare a larger, heavier meal full of carbs so that you would have enough energy to make it through the next day easily. One of these heavy dishes was gnocchi.

Kitchen Tools And Cookware

We are proud to be an Amazon Affiliate, so If you are looking for some amazing products, please click on the links below as we have compiled a list of some of our favorite equipment. As an Amazon Associate, we at Saturdays In Rome earn commissions from qualifying purchases, but there are no added costs for you. For this recipe, and others, check out some of our recommended cookware and kitchen tools.

Pasta MakerGnocchi BoardPasta BoardRavioli Maker
Ravioli Press/StamperRicerBialetti Pasta PotBamboo Cutting Board Set of 3
Silpat Baking MatSantoku KnifeMeasuring Cups and SpoonsStainless Mixing Bowls
Dutch OvenMesh StrainersStainless ColanderStainless Steel Fry Pan

The Traditional Gnocchi Origin Story

Today, many Romans still maintain the tradition by proposing as the dish of the day (il piatto del giorno) as some kind of gnocchi every Thursday. In addition to Friday fish and Saturday tripe, in the last century an author suggested filling out the week with oxtail (coda) on Monday, beans with pork rinds (fagioli e cotiche) on Tuesday, stew on Wednesday and Supplì on Sunday. I’m on board with all of this.

How To Cook This Traditional Italian Gnocchi Recipe

This preparation for this gnocchi dish is pretty straightforward because there are so few ingredients in the base gnocchi. You can use a fork, or buy a specialty board to make the grooves on your gnocchi. This isn’t simply an aesthetic choice, however. The grooves are specifically to help the sauce adhere to the pasta. It isn’t a requirement, but it does add that little something extra.

traditional Italian gnocchi recipe - Adding Groves

Adding Groves To Gnocchi

Another suggestion is how to store the gnocchi. I don’t always cook them immediately after making them, so I end up freezing them for future use. These dumplings freeze well, but there is one important thing to be aware of. I would recommend spreading them out on a floured sheet and putting them in a freezer for a bit. This way you won’t wind up with one giant blob of gnocchi. Freeze them long enough to remove any stickiness, maybe an hour or two, then put them in a freezer bag for longer storage.

Easy Recipes With Gnocchi

I wouldn’t say there are many variations to this recipe because there are so few ingredients, but one thing to consider is what sauce you are adding. You can do so many things with gnocchi, so I listed a couple of my favorite sauces below. This makes the dish flexible and easy to prepare. Simply make a quick sauce, take the gnocchi from the freeze and boil them until they float. Easy!

Key Traditional Italian Gnocchi Ingredients

traditional italian gnocchi recipe - Ricing Potatoes

Ricing Potatoes

Best Potatoes For Gnocchi

Starchy Potatoes are a necessity for this dish, but you can vary the type of potato you use. Red Potatoes work well, as do the traditional white potatoes like Russet . You want to use a potato that is starchy so that the dumplings will bind together well. Avoid waxy potatoes like New Potatoes, Fingerlings and Red Bliss.

Mixing Bowls

Only recently have a realized how great mixing bowls with lids are and these stainless steel beauties are amazing!

If your potatoes aren’t starchy enough, one effect will be that the gnocchi don’t bind together well and when you boil them, they just dissolve into mush. If this is the case, another variation would be to try adding an egg to the potato and flour mixture. A single egg shouldn’t change the texture or the taste too much, but it will help keep the dumplings together.

If you would like a free copy of this recipe in PDF format, please sign up for access to our Recipe Box which contains a growing list of amazing Italian recipes discussed on this blog, including this delicious recipe.

Gnocchi Additions Or Alterations

Because these gnocchi are the foundation of the dish, and not the final product, one thing to consider is what sauce you will be adding. There are almost limitless sauce options, so I wanted to include my favorites for your consideration:

traditional italian gnocchi recipe - Ready To Boil

Gnocchi Ready To Boil

  • Butter and Sage – This is a simple sauce that you can make by dissolving a few tablespoons of butter in a pan and adding sage leaves to season the butter. Some people fry the leaves and serve them with the gnocchi.
  • Red Sauce, Basil with Cheese – This is really just a tomato sauce, cooked and seasoned as you like, with a little basil added. Mix the sauce and gnocchi, add some of your favorite cheese, like Pecorino Romano and add a couple Basil leaves on top for visual effect.
  • alla Sorrentina – Put the uncooked gnocchi in an oven-safe pan, add some tomato sauce, mix with cubes of Mozzarella and cover with Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese and bake until the cheese is melted and it is beginning to brown.
  • ai 4 Formaggi – As a sauce, mix Gorgonzola, Casera, Fontina and Emmental cheeses together with cream in a pan. Melt the cheeses and add the cooked gnocchi to the pan.

Some of these sauces are a little complicated and deserve their own post, but until then, you might want to look up the recipes for these popular sauces to better understand the intricacies of how to make them.

Another variation on the gnocchi are: Gnocchi alla Romana. These are not made with potatoes, but with Semolina flour, the coarse, purified wheat middlings of durum wheat. These are shaped into disks and baked. These are delicious and definitely will have their own blog post in the near future.

traditional italian gnocchi recipe - plated

Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce, Cheese and Basil

Traditional Italian Gnocchi Recipe

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Servings: 4

Traditional Italian Gnocchi Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. (1 kg) of starchy white potatoes
  • 10 oz (300 g) of all purpose flour
  • Additional flour for the work surface
  • Salt to taste

Cooking Instructions

  1. Carefully wash the potatoes by removing the dirt
  2. Put them in a saucepan, cover them with plenty of cold water and cook for about 40 minutes from the start of the boil
  3. Check the cooking by piercing them with a fork, drain, peel them immediately and mash them through a potato masher when they are still hot
  4. Quickly mix them with the flour and a pinch of salt
  5. Form long cylinders, about 1 inch in diameter and cut each gnocchi 1 inch long
  6. If you prefer, and I do, pass them on the special board to make grooves on them, or with a fork
  7. Transfer them to a clean, lightly floured work surface and continue until the ingredients are finished
  8. Cook the gnocchi in plenty of boiling salted water, drain them with a slotted spoon when they come to the surface
  9. Transfer them to the pan with your chosen sauce (see options above)
  10. Mix gently and serve

Other Traditional Recipes That Might Interest You

If you enjoyed this traditional Italian gnocchi recipe, then here are some of my other recipes that you might want to try:

Similar Posts