Gnocchi & Tomato Sauce | Authentic Italian Gnocchi Recipe
Updated: Oct 21, 2020
While pre-made gnocchi is available in many supermarkets, there's nothing like making it at home from scratch. Many people assume that gnocchi is difficult to make, but once you get the hang of the simple technique, nothing could be easier!
For this recipe, you will need:
2 large Russet potatoes
All-purpose flour (3-4 cups, more on this later)
28oz. pure tomato purèe
1 clove garlic
4 tbsp olive oil
Fresh basil leaves
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Boil the potatoes, with the skin on, until you can easily stick a fork in them. This should take about 30-45 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. Drain the potatoes and allow them to cool while you prepare the tomato sauce.
For the sauce, add one whole clove of peeled garlic, the olive oil, tomato purèe, water, and a few leaves of fresh basil into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer on the stovetop and allow to cook, partially covered, for 20-25 minutes. Turn off the heat or reduce to low to keep warm while preparing the gnocchi.
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them with a paring knife and mash them. You can do so with a potato masher in a pot, or using a potato ricer (like this one: https://amzn.to/3acE7HE). Transfer the mashed potatoes to a large work surface and lightly season them with a pinch of salt.
Now it's time to start adding flour into the potatoes. The amount needed depends on the size and water content of the potatoes, so it's best to do this by feel. If you have about 3-4 cups on hand, you should have plenty. Start by sprinkling 2-3 handfuls of flour over the potatoes and begin kneading the dough together. Add more flour as necessary in order to achieve a dough that is soft but not too sticky. We recommend tasting a piece occasionally. If it sticks to the top of your mouth, you probably need to add a little more flour!
When the dough has the proper consistency, cut it into manageable chunks (about the size of a fist) and roll it by hand into finger-width strands. Use a small knife to cut the strands into 1-inch pieces.
To form the gnocchi, take each piece and roll/press it gently down the surface of either a gnocchi board (https://amzn.to/33HXiHY) or a fork, using one finger. With gentle but firm pressure, your finger should create a depression in each gnocco while the board or fork should create a ridged pattern on the opposite side. These textures serve a very important purpose: they hold sauce!
Arrange the finished gnocchi on a well-floured baking sheet so that the pieces don't touch and stick together.
Bring a large pot of water to boil and salt it generously. Two small handfuls is a good place to start. Ladle the desired amount of sauce into a pan and bring up to temperature over medium heat. If you don't use it all, refrigerate for another dish! Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water and stir gently to keep them from sticking in the pot.
When the gnocchi float to the top of the water, you know they're done! Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and transfer into the sauce. Toss all together while allowing the sauce to simmer over medium/high heat for a few moments. Spoon the gnocchi onto a plate and top with a little extra sauce, some grated Parmigiano, and a few basil leaves. Serve immediately.
Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we made this recipe here:
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