Gnocchi is one of my all-time favorite pasta to eat and to make. What's not to love about a pasta/potato combo? This whole wheat gnocchi recipe is an even better version as it is healthier! Let me teach you how to make it in your own kitchen.
What Makes This Gnocchi So Good?
You might assume that because this is made with whole wheat flour it would be dense and not that good. Let this recipe prove that wrong. This gnocchi is incredibly light and tender.
Making this pasta is really soothing. While this isn't a meal to make on a busy weeknight, it is great weekend food. I would certainly consider this a slow food and I feel there are benefits to enjoying the process.
This gnocchi is the perfect base for so many great sauces! I used mine with a tomato-based sauce, but if you want something even easier, mix it with pesto and some grated parmesan.
It freezes well. While this is time-consuming, you can always use this as meal prep. Make and shape the pasta then freeze. When you are ready, thaw and use as you like! It is so easy.
- Potatoes- I prefer a simple russet, but I have heard other people like reds. I would suggest starting with russets and then moving to something else once you get the hang of it.
- Whole wheat flour- I recommend whole wheat pastry flour. I have had the best success with this and never had hard gnocchi. The pastry flour is a lower protein flour and I think works really well here. Other flours- spelt, red, and white winter wheat are all higher protein flours and make the gnocchi denser. You can try both too though, and see which you like best.
- Egg- This works as a binder for the gnocchi.
- Salt- You cannot make good gnocchi without it.
What Are Gnocchi?
They are traditional Italian pasta. Mostly they are made with just potatoes, flour, egg, and a touch of salt. It is mixed and formed as you would other pasta.
There are other varieties you can make though- sweet potato, spinach, pumpkin,etc. I have seen a lot of people get really creative. I won't do that here, we are sticking with the classic.
Preparing The Potatoes
Prepping your potatoes is pretty simple. Let me teach you how.
Quarter or half your potatoes, depending on the size. Boil until they are tender. Drain and allow them to cool.
Peel off the skins. Then you can either mash them or run them through a ricer. I prefer the ricer as I love the size it produces.
That is it. The potatoes are ready!
Making The Whole Wheat Gnocchi
- Start by boiling your potatoes. I quartered mine and cooked them with the skins on. It is really simple to peel them once they are done cooking and cooled.
- Once they are tender, you don't want them mushy, drain and set them aside to cool.
- Peel off the skins.
- Mash your potatoes. I love using this potato ricer. It is simple, and I love the size.
- Mound your potatoes, and add in the flour and salt. Gently mix to combine. Then add your egg and knead for several minutes until everything is incorporated and smooth.
- Roll into a large log and cut into 6 sections.
- Starting with one section, cover the others, and roll it into a thin snake, about 1-inch diameter.
- Now start cutting the snack into about ½ inch pieces.
- You can either form the gnocchi on a fork or a board like I did. I will explain more about this process below.
- Once you have finished forming all the gnocchi, it is time to decide what to do with it.
- If you are freezing it, it is ready to be frozen now.
- If you are cooking it, bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
- Drop the gnocchi in about 4 cups gnocchi at a time and let it boil for about 3-5 minutes.
- Drain and add whatever sauce you like!
Forming The Gnocchi
Forming the gnocchi is pretty simple, but a little time-consuming. Once you have made your dough, roll it into logs as shown below. Cut into ½-1-inch pieces.
You can either form your gnocchi on the tines of a fork or on a board as I used. I have used a fork, but the results are never as pretty.
Make sure each piece is floured, then roll it down the board. This will give it the beautiful grooves in it. I like this board, which is fairly inexpensive on Amazon.
How To Cook Whole Wheat Gnocchi
Cooking the whole wheat gnocchi is very simple. Bring about 10 cups of water to a boil. Add in 2 teaspoons salt.
To the boiling water, add about 4 cups of your gnocchi, just eyeball this.
Let it boil for about 3-5 minutes. It doesn't take long to boil, so don't walk away at this point.
Drain the pasta and it is ready to go!
FAQ Whole Wheat Gnocchi
You can! I love the pastry flour as it keeps it light, but you can also use other flours of choice. Spelt, rye, einkorn, red or white wheat, etc.
Once it has frozen on the sheet pan, place it in a ziplock bag or other airtight container. They will hold well for at least 2 months, maybe even a little longer.
I love just about anything with gnocchi. Brown butter with sage, pesto and parmesan, or any type of tomato-based sauce. The possibilities are endless.
Other Whole Wheat Recipes
- Whole wheat waffles
- Fudgy whole wheat brownies
- Artisan-style whole wheat pizza
- Whole wheat buttermilk biscuits
- Whole wheat maple pecan scones
- Homemade whole wheat pasta
- Whole wheat pumpkin cinnamon rolls
- 5 medium potatoes This is a variable, it depends on the size of potato. I have read in several places you need ½ cup flour per 1 medium sized potato
- 2 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour hard wheats are also great too if you prefer.
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- Boil potatoes in salted water until soft. Drain. While the potatoes are still hot, as hot as you can stand, peel. At this point, you can either mash the potatoes or use a ricer. I like the fine consistency of the potato ricer, so that's what I used. Mound riced potatoes on counter top. Make a well in the center and add flour and salt. Add the egg to center of the well. Mix the egg, starting at the center and working your way out. Once it gets to thick to mix with the fork, use your hands. Knead for several minutes until it is smooth.Divide dough into 8 portions. These don't need to be perfectly divided, it's not necessary. Roll each section into a log about ½ to 1 inch thick. Start cutting each log into ½ inch pieces. I made my gnocchi a little bigger, I like them that size. You can make the gnocchi any size you are in to. I formed the gnocchi with a fork. Take each piece you have cut, and push it down the tines of the fork. as you slide fold it over on itself. Prepare a pot of boiling salted water. Drop gnocchi into water about 15-20 at a time. It doesn't take long for them to cook, maybe 3-5 minutes. From here,drain and serve them as desired. This makes a large batch, if you don't them all for the meal you have planned, simply freeze. To freeze, mix the dough. Form gnocchi and place on a parchment lined baking sheet, don't boil yet. Freeze. Once frozen, move to a ziplock bag or other container. When you are ready to use, bring them to room temp. Then boil and prepare as desired. Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!
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