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Best Gnocchi recipe?

I am going to make gnocchi today - I have a great basic recipe for the dough but would love to know your favourite sauces to serve with it.. thanks!

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  1. I'm a traditionalist

    Fresh breadcrumbs, brown butter, sage and butter with a grate or two of parm reg - fresh good bread ground and then toasted in butter until brown, a few sage leaves and then the gnocchi . The result with a little parm is exquisite.

    4 Replies
    1. re: alwayscooking

      Mine's very similar, but I use olive oil instead of butter, no breadcrumbs, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and grated pecorino. Delicious--also great with cubes of steamed or roasted orange fleshed squash. The lemon sage combination is so good!

      1. re: alwayscooking

        I love a browned butter sauce. I use it when I make sweet potato gnocci -- didn't know if it could overpower the more delicate flavor of conventional gnocci.

        A local resto has THE BEST gnocci I've ever had -- far more like light dumplings than anything else anyone else prepares. They told me to use much less flour than you think you need to.

        Walnut Sauce
        from Hotel Plaza Lucchesi, Florence

        • 100gr. shelled walnuts, coasely chopped (I used almost a cup)
        • 2 cloves garlic, diced
        • 250gr. fresh cream (about a half pint)
        • 1dl. extra virgin olive oil (enough to saute the garlic)
        • salt and pepper to taste
        • (I added a 1/4 teaspoon dried basil rubbed almost to a powder)

        Heat the oil, garlic and walnuts. Add the cream. Correct flavor with salt and pepper and basil.

        Browned Butter and Sage Sauce

        • 1/4 cup butter
        • 2 tablespoons fresh sage, whole baby leaves are preferable; cut larger leaves in chiffonade
        • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
        • salt and pepper to taste

        Brown butter and pine nuts. Add sage, crushing it slightly to release oils. Correct flavor with salt and pepper being very judicious with salt as butter may already be salty.

        1. re: rainey

          Hi Rainey,
          Can you share your gnocchi recipe?



        2. re: alwayscooking

          All this talk made me craze gnocchi this weekend -

          olive oil & butter
          browned fresh breadcrumbs
          chopped walnuts

          really good and really rich - salads for the rest of the week. Thanks for starting the thread so I can mark the meal up to 'research'.

        3. Try this recipe -- http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/me...

          It's my go-to from both a dough and sauce perspective. Regular lemons work fine too, and when I'm really pressed for time, I just use brown butter with a little grated parm and/or Maldon salt.

          2 Replies
          1. re: tomherer

            Wow! The picture says it all, doesn't it! I'll have to try it. Thanks.

            1. re: tomherer

              I second tomherer! I love this recipe!

            2. Tomato Cream Sauce

              This is one of my favorite tomato sauces. Not as heavy as a traditional marinara, and rich.
              1 garlic clove smoosed with olive oil and and salt.
              1 half small onion finely diced
              1/4 cup white wine - vermouth is better
              In a saucepan saute the garlic and onion briefly, add the wine, reduce about half
              1 28 oz can of tomatoes cut up into small pieces - seeds removed- passed through a strainer. Use the rest juice and the tomatoes.
              1/2 onion chopped small
              1/4 cup chopped celery
              1/2 cup chopped carrot-small dice
              1/4 cup chopped Italian parsely-fine
              2T butter
              3T flour
              1/2 cream plus 1/3 c milk
              grated fresh nutmeg- a couple of swipes on the grater
              a little lemon zest 1/2 tsp
              Add to the pan the onion, garlic paste, then add the wine. Sauté briefly.
              Add the tomatoes with their juice, celery, carrot and parsley - 2 tsp salt
              Bring to a boil, reduce the heat Taste and adjust for salt
              Simmer gently uncovered about 20-25 mins, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile in a 3 qt sauce pan melt butter and stir in the flour to create a light roux. Quickly add the cream/milk and cook until its thick and bubbly. Slowly add the tomato sauce mixture, stirring to blend with the white sauce to achieve the color and thickness desired. Turn the sauce off, cover with a lid, it will thicken more sitting.
              Serve with gnocchi. Top with torn basil leaves. Pass the finely grated Pecorino Romano.
              This is wonderful on Spinach Gnochhi

              3 Replies
              1. re: chef chicklet

                Thanks Chef. Looks like a great sauce. I don't like a really heavy tomato sauce - I'm anxious to try this.

                1. re: beggsy

                  Well it's a little rich, but very nice.

                2. re: chef chicklet

                  yum chef chicklet-I splurged today and bought double cream/single cream/fresh heavy cream & clotted cream. now all I gotta do is make the gnocchi

                  1. re: jfood

                    Isn't it great that those two words are the answer to so many questions???

                    1. re: c oliver

                      As in..."what is jfood having for dinner tonight?"

                      1. re: jfood

                        As in...we just drove 400 miles today and now have the remaining two packs of it here in So. Oregon.

                  2. After simmering my gnocchi, i sometimes make a baked casserole with little meatballs and cubes of fresh mozz, the gnocchi and topped with marinara and fresh herbed panko.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Lenox637

                      This sounds pretty darn good lenox, is the panko on top for the crunch factor?
                      What a great dish.. Potato gnocchi or not?

                      1. re: chef chicklet

                        Yup, potato gnocchi and panko on top, crazy mac and cheese variation. The fam absolutely loves it.

                    2. Just being nosey but are you making a potato based gnocchi or cheese based?

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: TimCarroll

                        Potato. Why so interested? Any great tips?

                        1. re: TimCarroll

                          I didn't know that there's a cheese based gnocchi. Learn something new every day.

                          1. re: c oliver

                            Ricotta gnocchi is the next great invention. If you find some in a resto please try

                            1. re: jfood

                              I'll look forward to it in NYC in June/July. Thanks, kid.

                        2. The best gnocchi recipe I've ever made is from the recipe in Cook's Illustrated Sept & Oct '07 issue and is based on whole milk ricotta. The dumplings are light as air and tasty to a fault. The same page(15) has a tomato cream sauce that's heavenly. I was always partial to the browned butter/sage sauce until I made the tomato cream. Give it a try.

                          20 Replies
                          1. re: amazinc


                            I have many a gnocchi recipe, but nary a one that uses ricotta.

                            And that sounds like the perfect ingredient to create angelic puffs of gnocchi.
                            Any chance you could list the ingredients in the recipe and paraphrase the procedure* so that we all could use it? (*respecting copyright guidelines).

                            I'd very much appreciate it.


                            1. re: maria lorraine

                              My wife's family is of Italian decent and the only gnocchi they make is the ricotta type. Years ago when I first had these at a meal at her family’s home I asked what was in them. They where light and delicious. Her mom told me ricotta cheese. So I say, is that mixed with the potato? Her mom looks at me strangely and says, potato, in gnocchi?

                              1. re: TimCarroll

                                that's a good story. I'd appreciate any leads on a recipe;

                                    1. re: wally

                                      Wow. Thanks for the lead. The recipe looks perfectly delicious, and simple.

                                      Here's a link to the recipe:

                                      1. re: maria lorraine

                                        I have found the recipe quite forgiving. I really like it with Bellwether sheep's milk ricotta, but other ricotta is also good.

                                        1. re: maria lorraine

                                          jfood saw the chef on TV making the recipe. Looked pretty easy

                                          1. re: maria lorraine

                                            Gotta love a recipe that uses the words "shimmy" and "rotund." I'll have to try this. Wonder if adding flour to the dough would be ok. I tend to like my gnocchi slightly chewy, not completely light and soft.

                                        2. re: maria lorraine

                                          May I interest you in an eye tooth instead? Getting recipes for that kind of thing is next to impossible for me. I need to be there and take notes; there is not a lot of measuring going on. Now Christmas cookies, everything is written out. Go figure!

                                          1. re: TimCarroll

                                            Is "eye tooth" your term for the process of seeing something made and describing that? (I only know "eyetooth" as the word for the cuspid canine tooth.) Whatever you can share from seeing gnocchi made at your wife's Italian mother's house, I'd love to hear it.

                                            1. re: maria lorraine

                                              There is also an old saying, "I would give my eye teeth for that."

                                              Here is a URL that gives something of an explanation.


                                          2. re: maria lorraine

                                            Here is a recipe for potato-less ricotta gnocchi.

                                            1. re: jfood

                                              Thanks, jfood. Is that how the word is being used above? Not sure.

                                              Is there a link for your recipe, jfood? Would love to see it.

                                              1. re: maria lorraine

                                                La chienne est stupide, she forgot to post the link.

                                                Here is the recipe link


                                                1. re: jfood

                                                  Thanks, jfood. That recipe is the same one I myself linked to above Apr 02, 2009 02:03PM. But at least I'm covered for Zuni's gnocchi!

                                                  1. re: maria lorraine

                                                    I went searching and found some other recipes:

                                                    Pan-fried Lemon Gnocchi

                                                    Sandra Wu's Riccota Gnocchi with Tomato Cream Sauce

                                                    Make at home: ricotta gnocchi

                                                    The gnocchi [malfatti] at Al Di La in Brooklyn. Garlic17 refers to them below.

                                                    Ricotta & Chive Homemade Gnocchi with browned butter sauce

                                                    Handmade Ricotta Gnocchi

                                                    Big ole list of ricotta gnocchi recipes

                                      2. re: amazinc

                                        Well I have a nice tomato cream sauce recipe, but would love to compare.... oh and another thing, about the whole milk ricotta gnocchi, can you paraphrase? It's your fault I ask, your escription made them sound very appealing! I am on my pasta making binge these days.

                                        1. re: amazinc

                                          Yeah the CI ricotta gnocchi are really good. Maria- you can get a two week free trial...

                                        2. http://www.saveur.com/article/Food/Tr...
                                          Barbara Lynch's new venture Sportello ( Boston) was named one of 10 restaurants that matter in Saveur this month ..these are amazing Truly addictive We have never done at home as we can easily go to the source!!!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: capeanne

                                            Oh thank you! I appreciate this, and I will be trying the recipe!

                                          2. i like duxelles over gnocchi with a little pancetta or prosciutto; i also like gorgonzola and walnuts.

                                            personally i prefer "gnocchi souffles". the dough is a savory pate choux, with parmesan cheese stirred in off the heat. drop small spoonsful into boiling water til they float to the top of the water. they can be seared in a skillet for a nice carmelization or baked in the oven. since i learned these, i've never made potato gnocchi again. these are feather light.

                                            and the gnudi (ricotta version) are killer good too.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. I was trolling this board the other day for inspirations on what to make for dinner. Well, I made gnocchi that night and they were so good that I decided to make them again the next day – and ended up making 3 pounds of it. So I froze them on cookie sheets and bagged them and I’ve been having gnocchi for 3 nights and counting... Last night I made a really simple creamy gorgonzola sauce: sautéed some chopped shallots in butter, added whole milk and it simmered a short while, added some crumbled gorgonzola and let it get all melty and creamy, tossed gnocchi in the sauce and topped with parmesan. It was incredibly delicious for something so simple and quick.

                                              The previous 2 nights I had made it with a simple tomato sauce. So then it occurred to me that it would be fun to do a gnocchi tricolori dish (tomato sauce, gorgonzola, pesto) in the colors of the Italian flag. Perhaps a weekend project.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: soniabegonia

                                                My two-cents worth with spring approaching (at least in the N. Hemisphere)
                                                Saute pancetta + shelled broad beans & asparagus, lemon zest & fresh chili. Finish with favourite herbs - I tend to go with basil or tarragon + a good parmesan. It's definitely important to get some browning on the gnocchi so make a point of only parboiling.

                                              2. Aside from home recipes Park Slope Brooklyn restaurant Al Di La on 5th Av. makes light, light, light heavenly Gnocci.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. I recommend a Bolognese Sauce such as:

                                                  1/3 Cup olive oil
                                                  1 med. onion, finely chopped
                                                  1 med. carrot, finely chopped
                                                  1 med. celery, finely chopped
                                                  1 T chopped Italian parsley
                                                  1/4 lb. ground pork
                                                  1/2 lb ground turkey
                                                  1/4 lb. ground beef
                                                  1 each 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, Italian style
                                                  3 to 4 T tomato paste
                                                  1 C red wine
                                                  salt & pepper to taste

                                                  Saute the onion, carrot and celery in the olive oil until soft. Add the ground meats, one at a time, browning after each addition. Add salt & pepper. After the meats are browned, add the red wine and reduce it. Process the whole tomatoes in a food processor and when puried add to the pan with the meat mixture. Add the chopped parsley and tomato paste and stir. Cover and cook on low heat 2 to 3 hours. Stir on occasion.

                                                  This tastes wonderful on gnocchi, penne pasta or most any sturdy pasta of your choice.
                                                  I usually double this recipe so I have enough for two meals.


                                                  1. I love pesto! And every once in awhile I make a very decadent cream sauce.....

                                                    Bacon chopped and fried crisp
                                                    Onion chopped fried with bacon
                                                    Tomato paste...about 2 tablespoons fried at then end of the bacon cooking, all in the same pan.
                                                    Then, 1 cup heavy cream....decadent!

                                                    1. I always preferred the lighter French version made with flour instead of potaoes. It's lighter & simpler to make. It was one of the first French dishes I learned how to make, Gnocchi a la Parisenne, from Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" back in the seventies. If you've ever made eclair paste (pate a choux) then you already know the method.
                                                      Now that I'm trying not to eat heavy carbs I sometimes make ricotta dumplings called gnudi in Italian. I'm going to try this low carb recipe as soon as I get some Carbolose flour:

                                                      1. I make gnocchi verde with spinach, ricotta, a little flour, and a bit of fresh ground nutmeg. The "sauce" is melted butter and grated parm.