Italian Night – Potato Gnocchi in Butter

This is the last week of break for me (class starts next Monday), so I decided to conquer yet another culinary challenge – the potato gnocchi. These remind me of Russian Vareniki, potato dumplings filled with potatoes and onions. So I guess this is a take on “lazy vareniki” (or linniviye vareniki) where there are significantly less steps in the making process.

Typically, gnocchi is made out of mashed potatoes, but I decided to bake the potatoes instead. If you cook the potatoes in water, the dough is tougher and more chewy because of the moisture. However, if you bake the potatoes, the gnocchi come out light and fluffy. So if you are up for this culinary challenge, here is the recipe. These little pillows of heaven are sure to be a favorite at your dinner table! And they are EASY to make, even for an amateur cook.


Yield: 4 servings


  • One 1-pound Russet Potato, baked and cooled completely
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large Egg, beaten
  • All-purpose flour, use as much as needed to form the dough
  • 2 TB spoons Butter
  • Parmesan cheese, to taste


Place a pot of water on high heat, add salt, bring to boil. It is important to salt the water generously at this stage.

Cut the baked potato in half and scoop the flesh into a bowl; discard the skin. Using a fork mash the potato, salt and pepper together until smooth. Mix in 3 tablespoons of the egg (reserve the remaining egg for another use). Sprinkle the flour over the potato mixture. Stir until the mixture forms a dough. Knead until smooth, 30 seconds.

On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece between your palms and the work surface into a 1/2-inch-diameter rope. Cut the dough into 1-inch pieces. Roll each piece of dough over a fork to form grooves in the dough. Place on lightly floured cookie sheet until you’ve made all the gnocchi.

Add the gnocchi to the boiling water. They will rise to the surface when they are done, about 1 minute. Continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes until tender.

In a small skillet, melt the butter. With a slotted spoon remove the gnocchi and place them into the hot skillet with the butter. Cook for a 1-2 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from skillet and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.


3 thoughts on “Italian Night – Potato Gnocchi in Butter

  1. I’ve never had much luck with gnocchi. To be fair, I’ve only made them twice, but I never found that they turned as pillowy soft (like ‘little clouds’) as I wanted them to be. I might try baking my potatoes next time. Your gnocchi look wonderful! Thanks for the tips x

    • This is my second time making these as well (the first time they didn’t turn out at all). The key is not to add too much flour, otherwise they will be dense. Just add enough flour until the dough comes together. You will want to have gnocchi that are more potato-ey rather than dough-ey. If you do make these, let me know how they turn out!

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