Potato Gnocchi with Red Sauce – A Step by Step Guide

Potato Gnocchi with Red Sauce

Comfort food. This term has a different definition in every region of the world. It’s food that speaks directly to our soul, and brings a genuine sense of happiness. In the south we have several different kinds of comfort food, but in my household Italian cuisine is a go-to. One of the things that I love the most about Italian food, especially making it from scratch, is that I am often astounded at how few ingredients I need to put an actual meal together. Gnocchi is a perfect example of that. That is one of the many reasons that these little cloud-like dumplings are my ideal Italian comfort food.

Potato Gnocchi – A Step by Step Guide

4 Large Russet Potatoes

2 ½ Cups Flour

2 Eggs

Peel the potatoes. In a large pot, cook the potatoes until tender. (If you are unsure how to tell if a potato is cooked or not, simply stick a fork into the middle of the potato. If it is easily inserted and comes out, the potatoes are ready. Drain them in a colander in the sink and let cool for a few minutes.

Now, this next step. Traditional Gnocchi recipes call for the use of a “potato ricer.” However, I used my handy-dandy salad shooter which made the overall process significantly easier. (Why work on manually ricing the potatoes if I have an electric shredder that will do it for me?)

Riced Potatoes for Gnocchi

Once the potatoes are riced/ shredded, add the flour and the eggs. Mix this dough together.

Note: the key to tender gnocchi, as with most doughs, is that it not be overworked. Only mix the dough until it just comes together.

Once the dough is mixed, take a handful of the dough and roll out into a cylinder about 2 – 2 ½ inches thick.


Then take a scraper and cut into smaller “cubes.” Each about 1 – 1 ½ square inches.


Roll the edges of the cut pieces to make to smooth out. Repeat this until all the dough is used.


In a pot of boiling water, add the gnocchi in batches. Each batch should cook only for about 3-4 minutes. When the gnocchi rise to the top of the water, they are ready to come out.

How to Tell When Gnocchi are Cooked


Remove them with a slotted spoon. Serve immediately.

Potato Gnocchi with Red Sauce

This recipe is traditionally served either with a red sauce or a pesto. I opted for red sauce and served with parmigiana reggiano.

Marcella Hazan’s Simple Red Sauce

3 12 ounce cans diced tomatoes

1 small onion, diced

½ stick butter.

This really couldn’t be easier. Throw all of the ingredients into a pot. Cook on low heat for 2-3 hours. The tomatoes should cook down and the onions should be translucent. If you like a thicker sauce, serve this as is. If you like a little more consistency in texture, use an immersion blender to get any big chunks broken up.


**These recipes were adapted from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking 

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Comments (2)

  • Looks good. Anytime you can learn to make something from hand, especially if it’s also not too complicated then you’ve also learned a Technique which will become very fundamental and to your way of cooking. It become a skill you can repeat in practice and perfect. As well maybe with other ingredient (pumpkin).

    One way you could plate the same dish in my take would be to initally place a little bit the sauce in sauce pan, heated through and then add the Gnocchi to it, so it’s like simmering in the light sauce a minute or so. Then spoon plate it to dish in the center of plate. Add the cheese shaving to it like you already did in your plating. Dust the dish with some light amount of chopped basil or parsley. It also adds a bit of contrasting and bright color to the final plating to brighten it up.

    Learning from Marcella Hazan is definetly learning from one of the best in Italian cooking.I’ve seen her cook a few times in videos and with Chef April Bloomfield. Marcella is a nice old lady, that knows her cooking.

  • Anita 2 years ago Reply

    You make it sound so easy
    It looks delicious

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