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December 2, 2020

Gnocchi with Tomato and Basil

Posted on May 2, 2012 by in pasta

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how to make gnocchi

There is something so comforting about gnocchi, I am not sure if it is the sense of accomplishment for trying to make them rather than buy them, or whether it is the comfort of wrapping your hands around a bowl of  something so moreish and belly-warming. It might be both, but I love making gnocchi and once you have the hang of it, not difficult at all. Come on, you try it……

The thing with making gnocchi is that you must get the ratio of potato to flour just right and also choose your potatoes wisely. Another important issue is to not get too much water in the potatoes when you cook them. One way of doing this is to cook the potatoes with their skins on and peel them afterwards, but my favorite and most successful way of doing this is to bake the potatoes in their jackets. With electricity costs rising almost every month, this can become quite a costly exercise so I roast my potatoes whenever I have to switch the oven on for something else. For instance tonight, we are having tuna bake so while this casserole is in the oven, I will roast a few potatoes and make my gnocchi, so tomorrow night’s supper is halfway done.
The best potatoes to use for gnocchi is a floury potato with very little water content, which in South Africa means…. Up-to-date potatoes!

Gnocchi with Tomato and Basil
serves 4 people

800gr Up-to-date  potatoes – about 5 potatoes
200gr flour + more flour for rolling of gnocchi
1 extra large egg


Bake the potatoes in a  180C oven until fork tender. As the potatoes come out the oven, halve them and scoop out the flesh and push through a food ricer. Allow to cool a little and then add 1 cup of the flour and salt, work it through, add the egg and then if it needs more flour, add the rest of the flour. Take care not to over-process the dough as your gnocchi will be tough and dense rather than pillow-like.
Divide the dough into “ropes”, about 2,5 cm thick. With a floured knife, cut the “ropes” into small gnocchi (1,5cm)and roll over the back of a fork to make the grooves. The grooves are just so that the sauce will cling better to the gnocchi.
Heat a big pot of water on the stove, add some salt and cook the gnocchi in batches, making sure the water always stays at boiling temperature. Once the gnocchi floats to the top, it is cooked and can be scooped out and drained on kitchen towels. Serve with a rich tomato and basil sauce.

Tomato and basil sauce
1 small onion- finely chopped
1 clove of garlic – crushed
2 T vegetable oil
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
80 gr tomato paste
100ml white wine
15ml sugar
juice and zest of a lemon
salt and pepper to taste
a big handful of basil

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion and garlic until soft, but not brown. Add all other ingredients and allow to slowly cook and reduce until you have a really intense tomato sauce.

To serve the gnocchi, you can do it two ways:
– when your sauce is perfectly reduced and you are happy with the taste, place the gnocchi in the sauce and tossed the gnocchi so that each gnocchi gets a lovely red coat…. bring to the table with lots of chunky ciabatta.
– for a slightly more civilized and refined meal, when you have to impress hubby’s boss, serve the gnocchi in individual plates with a spoon full of tomato sauce over it.

In both cases, serve with freshly grated Parmesan and some fresh basil.
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14 Responses to “Gnocchi with Tomato and Basil”

  1. Hila Jonker 2 May 2012 at 10:37 am #

    I love making gnocchi too. Where do I get up-to-date potatoes?

  2. Caylee 2 May 2012 at 10:47 am #

    Oh my goodness, this is EXACTLY what I feel like for supper tonight (and lunch and breakfast and and). Your photos make it look even more inviting; so lovely and warming from this freezing office that I'm in.

  3. Nina Timm 2 May 2012 at 10:59 am #

    Thank you Hila – Actually, I think most potatoes in SA is UTD, but at Woollies they say on the bag, whether it is floury, waxi or…..Hope you find it!

  4. Nina Timm 2 May 2012 at 11:00 am #

    Caylee, it today's weather, it will be perfect…..this is just what the dr ordered!!

  5. chilliliefde 2 May 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    I did not realize it will be that easy to make Gnocchi! I love it and will give it a try!

  6. Nina Timm 2 May 2012 at 7:21 pm #

    Dear Nerina,

    Thank you very much for the pleasureable day at the S.A. Cheese Festival 2012. The pleasure was being able to eat, enjoy and share with the tons of people who found the “blogger winner” worth attending. The various foods I shared with them were exceptionally lovely and tasty. You must be very exhausted after all the days you were expected to attend. But once again, thank you very, very, very much.

    Beryl Lorraine.

  7. Nina Timm 2 May 2012 at 7:22 pm #

    My mom left comment above on my computer.

  8. Kevin 10 May 2012 at 3:36 am #

    Nice photos of the gnocchi!

  9. last minute obzor 11 May 2012 at 10:02 am #

    I`ve tried this recipe and i`m really impressed, it has a very good taste. My both child tried it and they like it a lot. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  10. Jacqui 14 May 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    Stunning Gnocchi! Thanks so much for the recipe. I had long ago given up on Gnocchi as the bought **** is always stodgy and heavy. Your recipe gave me beautiful (somewhat mis-shapen) light pillows (big, big smile)!

  11. MyFudo™ 28 June 2012 at 10:41 am #

    I love making these soft potato pillows…Basil really blend perfectly well with these.

  12. Pam 9 November 2012 at 10:16 am #

    I love all your recipes. I have been looking for a gnocchi recipe and this one sounds divine, mouth watering with the sauce and easy to make. can’t wait to try it.

  13. Alicia vasquez 24 August 2015 at 1:15 pm #

    My family has been making these for years, try using browned butter and Asiago cheese instead of the red sauce. My mother’s family made them with red and my father’s made it the other way.


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