I love homemade pasta but haven’t yet invested in a pasta maker so this homemade spinach gnocchi is a no-fuss, rustic dish to satisfy any pasta craving! This recipe calls for sautéing in garlic butter for a richer taste, but you can keep it simple and just top with your sauce of choice.
There’s nothing more comforting than a big bowl of pasta and now you can make your own homemade spinach gnocchi! No extra equipment needed, just your hardworking hands and a flat surface. Gnocchi is basically little potato dough dumplings (squish) that can be served simply boiled or sautéed in butter for more flavor. Needless to say, gnocchi is a perfect crowd-pleaser meal that can be catered towards any taste! And the spinach at least makes it seem healthier??
It took a few tries to get it right, but once you have the technique down you could probably make gnocchi in your sleep. Here are a few troubleshooting tips for your dough babies:
- if your food processor doesn’t process as finely (like mine), keep the spinach as shreds and you’ll get marbled gnocchi!
- if your dough isn’t coming together, be aware of the humidity and moisture level in your kitchen. On some days, I had to add in up to 1 additional cup of flour.
- Be sure to be gentle with the dough; you don’t want to overknead it and end up with tough gnocchi. They should be tender and soft.
- I recommend testing a few gnocchi in boiling water before going through the whole batch to ensure that they’ll hold their shape. It’s no fun to get a mushy (but still delicious) potato mess!
- To get the iconic gnocchi shape, roll each piece over the tines of a fork, making sure to fold gently to leave a fold in the back to catch the sauce. Or, if this is your fifth time making it and you got lazy, feel free to keep it as is.
There are countless ways to finish off your gnocchi – I chose to sauté in a garlic-thyme butter and top off with tomato sauce and parmesan. Other options include brown butter sage, simple olive oil and garlic, or even alfredo! Once you’ve opened up the door to potato spinach gnocchi, you could also try ricotta or sweet/purple potato gnocchi if you’re feeling quirky.
Handmade Spinach Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce
- 1 pound starchy potatoes
- 8 oz fresh spinach
- salt and pepper, to taste
- ¾ cup flour, more as needed
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- red pepper flakes optional
- 1 cup tomato sauce of choice
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- Bring a large pot of salted, water to a boil. Cook whole, unpeeled potatoes until tender, around 20 minutes. Drain and when you can handle the potatoes, peel and scoop out their flesh. Make sure to do this while they're still warm/hot so they don't turn gummy!
- When potatoes are cooking, roughly chop the spinach. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and blanch spinach until wilted, around 1 minute. Rinse under cold water and squeeze dry. Transfer to a food processor and purée until smooth.
- Bring a large pot of salted, water to a boil. Pass potato flesh through a ricer or food mill, stir in the spinach purée, and season to taste. Sprinkle 1/4 cup flour on a clean surface, and knead the potatoes with it, sprinkling in the remaining 1/2 cup flour, until the dough just comes together. Add more flour if necessary.
- (optional) Pinch off a piece of the dough, and boil it to make sure it will hold its shape. If it does not, knead in a bit more flour
- Roll a piece of the dough into a rope about 1/2-inch thick, then cut the rope into 1/2-inch pieces. Score each piece by rolling it along the tines of a fork or leave as is. After each piece is ready, put it on a floured baking sheet and do not allow the gnocchi to touch one another.
- Add the gnocchi to the boiling water a few at a time, and gently stir. Make sure the mixture doesn’t boil too vigorously. Let cook until they rise to the surface for a few seconds and remove them with a slotted spoon or mesh strainer.
- Heat butter in a medium saucepan. When foaming, add in garlic, thyme, and optional red pepper flakes and lower heat to prevent burning. Cook until aromatic, around 1 minute.
- Add in gnocchi in an even layer (cook in batches if necessary) and let sit for around 3 minutes or until a sear forms. Quickly sauté to coat in butter and remove from heat.
- Serve with tomato sauce and grated parmesan.
- on particularly humid days, it’s common to add in up to 1 cup of additional flour. Be careful not to add more than necessary.