Healthy and Sane

30 by 30: making gnocchi

July 8th, 2011 · 38 Comments · 30 by 30, favorite recipes, Italian

There is a good amount of non-food related items on my 30 by 30 list but it’s pretty clear from my recaps so far where my heart is. I’ve made challah bread and marshmallows so far, have checked off East by Northeast, Foundry on Elm, Sportello and Towne off my restaurant list (posts on the last 2 coming soon) and have hosted a few dinners (like the vegan feast last month). I’ve also attended the volunteer training session at Cooking Matters but no positions have materialized out of that yet. Eventually I’ll get to pushups and building a lightbox (among others) but for now chilling in the kitchen (and enjoying someone else’s kitchen creations while out) is just fine by me.


I’m going to pat myself on the back for picking the things I did to include on my “to-make” list because these are all kind of basic (almost staples… well maybe not marshmallows) that I’ve purchased numerous times pre-packaged yet had absolutely no clue about what goes in to them or how they become what they do.

Take gnocchi for example. I knew they were made of potatoes. Sometimes I’ve seen the whole wheat variety sold, sometimes the “fancy” sweet potato kind. But what else is in those babies… and how do potatoes (and flour? seriously I had no idea) turn into pillows of goodness? I needed to know… and well, now I do Smile

All right, in case you have been wondering how gnocchi actually becomes gnocchi, here is how it went down for me. Upon Beth’s recommendation, I used Heidi’s recipe for how to make gnocchi like an Italian grandmother (who wouldn’t want that?!!)

All gnocchi is is potatoes, flour and eggs. It never seizes to amaze me how delicious and inspired things are created out of almost nothing. This is all you need to make gnocchi!!


Boil potatoes…


Peel those babies…


… and run them through a ricer (easiest for smooth mashed potatoes).


[Yes I bought a ricer just to make gnocchi and I am happy with that decision. A ricer is pretty cool.]


Nice and fluffy!


Work in egg and flour!


Kneed lightly



Mine came together quite easily without a lot of flour. I guess the gnocchi gods were smiling at me that day. Open-mouthed smile


Mmm, gnocchi dough Smile


Once I cut these up, I realized they were quite tender inside… so I tossed them in extra flour before shaping.



Mine didn’t look as perfect as Heidi’s… but I’m not really into perfection these days Winking smile




Why hello. You look like real gnocchi. Nice to meet you Open-mouthed smile


SO, this is where I think I made a small mistake. I wasn’t ready for dinner quite yet so I covered this pan with a towel and went on to do some errands around the house for maybe an hour. Then I went to boil them!


They were really gooey when I went to pick them up. Really gooey. I’m guessing it was too hot in my apartment so they kind of melted. I think I should have put them in the fridge if I wasn’t going to cook them right away.


A few minutes of boiling produced very light and pillowy gnocchi though. I think we have a winner on our hands!!

In the meantime, I fried some pancetta and grape tomatoes and once they were all ready, added the boiled gnocchi to the pan to give them a quick sear. Some garlic scape pesto to finish and dinner was ready!



Wow, guys. Just wow. I have never had lighter gnocchi in my life! These were just so airy… so delicate. This meal was ridiculous. Seriously. I can’t wait to do this again. Like tomorrow! Open-mouthed smile



Have you ever made gnocchi?

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38 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - My 30 by 30 list | Healthy and Sane

    […] make gnocchi – Update on 7/7: done! […]

  • #2 - Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic

    I recently took a stab at making my own gnocchi for the first time too and was so happy with the results! It sounds awesome with pancetta. grape tomatoes and pesto!

  • #3 - Elizabeth

    I’ve never been a huge fan of gnocchi but that finished dish looks fantastic!

    • #4 - Elina

      Do you like mashed potatoes and pasta? If you do, sounds like you’ve never tried good gnocchi. Maybe homemade will change your mind :)

  • #5 - Mellissa

    I make it a few times a year but am still mastering getting a good crisp on the outside of it after boiling for a few minutes. I will get there!

  • #6 - Alicia at Poise in Parma

    Holy goodness woman. Those look amazing. Gnocchi is one of Hans’ favorite meals. I might just have to fly you out to Cleveland to show me how to make these first hand!

    • #7 - Elina

      Hehe, done. Just let me know when you need me 😉 [I won’t tell you how easy it was!]

  • #8 - Beth @ Boston2Berkeley

    Yay! I’m glad the recipe worked for you. I also bought a ricer just to make gnocchi, and I think it’s been a brilliant use of the $9 The first time we made gnocchi like this, my boyfriend made a gorgonzola sauce for them. It was insanely good, but so heavy that after two bites we were done. Your dish looks wonderful. I’ve also had really good luck with ricotta gnocchi, they’re a little less time consuming to make but still really tasty. Good work on your list! :)

    • #9 - Elina

      Oh yeah, I’m sure a cheesy sauce put those over the top :) Thanks for the recipe suggestion! I need to try ricotta gnocchi next. Do you just sub potatoes to ricotta one-to-one?

  • #10 - Lizzy

    This is insanely impressive. I really need to make my list!!!

    Your dish looks absolutely delicious. Do you have any left for me?

  • #12 - Tiffany

    Yum! Those look really amazing. Lately I’ve been craving the gnocchi we had at Bistro Du Midi (the pesto and goat cheese recipe) and this post is only intensifying that craving!

  • #14 - Bridget

    Nope, I think I may have to just tag along on your list! I’ve never made gnocchi but it seems like a simple and amazing dinner! Yours looks like it came out beautifully!!

    Oh and about piping frosting…I just kind of taught myself, and just know the simple versions like I did on my cupcakes. I’d love to find a class on cake decorating! I’ll let you know if I do :)

  • #16 - shannon

    ooh, i’ve tried once or twice, but they haven’t come out like i wanted them, so they’re still on my list too!! man, you are knocking them off 😉

    • #17 - Elina

      I definitely want to give them a try again since they were delicious but I know I could do even better. Would totally use the same recipe though! It’s a good one.

  • #18 - Lauren at Keep It Sweet

    Your gnocci looks fabulous! Have a great weekend:-)

  • #20 - Michelle

    You are seriously making me feel bad about not knocking enough items off my 30 by 30 list…especially since I only have half a year left! Once this move is over, I’m going to have to get back on track! I also had gnocchi on my list and I made a sweet potato gnocchi that was divine!

    • #21 - Elina

      First of all, I’m not here to make anyone feel bad. Deal? 😉 Secondly, I kind of set a crazy agressive list for myself with a million sub-categories so I’m only fully done with 2 out of 30!! Feel better? lol

  • #22 - Kerstin

    They look perfect, nicely done! And I love pancetta with gnocchi!

  • #23 - Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living

    The gnocchi look great! I attempted sweet potato gnocchi a few years back, and they were just ok. I need to try Heidi’s recipe!

  • #24 - Girl Eat

    Hi Elina,

    I have followed your blog for a while now and I am so impressed by your intuitive eating journey! You are a total role model to me. I started intuitive eating months ago and I have never been happier. You are an amazing cook and these gnocchi make me want to I am new to the blog world and I am starting out anonymously for now but I wanted to tell you how much I have enjoyed your food ideas. Good luck on your journey. Remember, we are all in this together.

    Girl Eat

    • #25 - Elina

      Thank you so much. Comments like this mean the world to me. This is why I blog!! :) Good luck in your own journey. It’s a rocky road but so worth it!

  • #26 - Jessy

    Yum, this looks amazing – that sauce! I LOVE gnocchi – usually my mom makes them, but I’ve made them once myself. We’ve actually never bought pre-packaged ones.

  • #27 - miri leigh

    These look wonderful…and thanks for the great pictures!

  • #28 - Stephanie

    I have not but these are beautiful. I can only hope mine are as good!!! See u r coming to boston brunchers yay!

  • #29 - Liz

    Yum! I’ve had gnocchi on my list of things to make for a long time, but I keep putting it off. Your post is just another reminder that I need to get on that :)

  • #30 - Megan

    Your gnocchi looks gorgeous! I have tried potato and ricotta gnocchi and both were huge fails. I am going to give it another try soon though.

  • #31 - Alaina

    I never knew it was so easy to make gnocchi! This will definitely be on my list. :-)

  • #32 - Lena

    I need a ricer now. And a good pair of kneading hands.

    Great wrap-up!

  • #33 - Sanjeeta kk

    Oh..what a lovely was as if I made those cute Gnocchi 😉

  • #34 - Sarah

    Those look AMAZING! I’ve never been blessed enough to have gnocchi, but I would love to try them – especially the way you’ve prepared them. Awesome!

  • #35 - Ranjani

    Looks great! I have tried making gnocchi a couple times but it never comes out as light and fluffy and I want. I guess I’ll just have to try again, maybe with Heidi’s recipe!

  • #36 - Amanda

    I’ve made gnocchi before, but I really love how you added them to the tomatoes, pancetta, and pesto. It looks really delicious! I usually use either marinara or alfredo, but I’ll have to try that next time!

  • #37 - Dinner at Sportello, Boston | Healthy and Sane

    […] a lot smaller in size and in fact seemed pretty firm – a lot heavier than even my homemade gnocchi which I made just days prior (too much flour?). I’m going to cut to the chase here – I wasn’t […]

  • #38 - Homemade Gnocchi and My Favorite Kitchen Toys « GRAS Pizza

    […] grater blade would have done the trick, but I just couldn’t resist buying one when I saw Elina’s post for homemade gnocchi. I also had just recently seen a recipe for gnocchi on my favorite show, The […]