Sweet Potato Italian Gnocchi (or Pumpkin/Squash) – Super easy and egg-free!

These delicious little dumplings made with sweet potato, pumpkin or butternut squash mash in the authentic Italian style, served with melted butter and sage are so awesome and have so much flavour that you might want to make them every week! And they’re so simple with very few ingredients (egg-free!) and quick to make too! A keeper I would say!


Sweet potato gnocchi squash pumpkin italian

In Italy the most common Gnocchi are made with potato (follow this link for my best rated Potato Gnocchi recipe ever) but you can find them made with lots of other ingredients such as spinach, beetroot, squid ink, nettle, chestnut flour, cocoa powder and so on.

My favourite Gnocchi are made with “Zucca” (pron. zouh-kkuh) and that is the word we use to call every kind of pumpkin or squashes. So when you find an Italian recipe with pumpkin as an ingredient you need to remember that we may call it pumpkin but we use only those sweet or super sweet varieties that you mostly call squash (like Kabocha squash or the Italian wrinkled Butternut squash that is sweeter than the smooth one).

So if you are in Italy you won’t have any problem in finding the right one, they are all almost sweet, whether green or orange, and just when we are near Halloween you can find those round and big to make Jack O’ lantern, that are used only as a decoration.

best authentic italian gnocchi

When in January I moved to Brighton UK I was so sad that all the Butternut squashes were not sweet as the ones we have in Italy and I thought I couldn’t replicate all the delicious Italian “Zucca” recipes, until I found the orange Sweet Potato… uh, what a relief! It’s really a perfect substitute! (I didn’t know that kind of variety, because in Italy we have only the white sweet potato that differs from the orange one).

So if you want to make Squash Gnocchi that taste like the Italian ones use orange Sweet Potato, the vitamin A bomb!!!

Ok, now explanation apart, let’s get to the recipe!

Sweet Potato (or Pumpkin/Squash) Italian Gnocchi

Difficulty: medium
Preparation: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 3 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500 gr / 1 lb sweet potato or pumpkin/squash, cooked, well-drained and mashed (about 4 potatoes or 800 gr / 1.8 lbs raw squash/potato)
  • 100 gr / 1 1/3 cup / 3.5 oz Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese finely grated
  • 200 gr / 1 1/2 cup / 7.0 oz all-purpose flour (preferably pastry flour)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

Rinse, peel and cut the vegetables into little pieces and steam them in a microwave for about 15-20 minutes. For me this is the best cooking method because most of the water will evaporate in the cooking process and this will prevent to use too much flour in the dough thus avoiding rubbery Gnocchi. If you don’t have a microwave, bake them unpeeled until fork tender.

sweet potato steamed

The puree doesn’t have to be wet so, if needed, you can simmer it over medium heat until the “juices” boil off, but if you follow the microwave method you won’t have any problems.

Put steamed/cooked vegetables in a big bowl and mash them with a fork of potato masher.

sweet potato mashed pumpkin squash

Mix in Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and 3/4 flour (150 gr). Do not over mix.

squash gnocchi dough parmigiano nutmeg cinnamon

Knead gently until a nice pliable ball is formed, do not over knead. Add the remainder flour only if necessary and the dough is still sticky.

It has to be soft and just a bit tacky. If it’s still a bit damp add some more flour, not too much though! Adding more flour it certainly improves the workability of the dough, but it makes the Gnocchi too firm or can I say rubber ball? Nah, you don’t want that, do you?

sweet potato gnocchi dough

Immediately dust with flour your working area, take a piece of the dough at a time and gently roll each out to form 3/4 inch – 2 cm in diameter ropes.

sweet potato gnocchi rope

Cut the ropes into about 1 inch / 2,5 cm pieces (it depends on what size you want your Gnocchi), and if you want you can lightly press and roll each pieces into the tines of a fork or a gnocchi board with the tip of your thumb to make a small indentation (this is a bit difficult to explain with words but there a lot of videos on the Web so you can watch them until I have time to make one by myself) but for Squash or Sweet Potato Gnocchi I like to skip this passage and leave gnocchi as is.

sweet potato squash gnocchi italian

Put Gnocchi, divided from each other, over a well floured plate to avoid from sticking together.

If you want you can freeze them with the plate and once frozen you can put them into a freezer bag to leave more space in the freezer.

To cook Sweet Potato or Pumpkin/Squash Gnocchi, bring a large pot of salted water to a full boil and add a tbsp of extra virgin olive oil to avoid them from sticking while cooking.

Drop Gnocchi (both fresh or frozen), a few at a time, into the boiling water, make a little stir.

When they rise to the surface, immediately remove and drain them with a slotted spoon and put onto the serving dish.

Put your favourite sauce over them, give a little stir and serve immediately.

sweet potato squash pumpkin gnocchi italian

If you don’t serve them immediately, remember to sprinkle Gnocchi with a little bit of olive oil and give a little stir. When you want to serve Gnocchi just put your favourite sauce in a pan, heat up and put them in to combine for less than 30 seconds.

These are best served with melted butter and sage sauce (put butter in a pan, add sage, let simmer a bit and add cooked Gnocchi). I love to sprinkle some poppy seeds over for a little crunchy taste and for a lovely presentation. What a perfect balance of texture and flavour!

I’ve just finished writing this post and I’m really craving them again. Uh.. the downsides of blogging…

There’s nothing better than sitting in front of a plate of steaming hot Sweet Potato (or Pumpkin/Squash) Gnocchi, is it? And these are delicious pillows of Vitamin A… pure awesomeness!

best authentic italian gnocchi

Sweet Potato (or Pumpkin/Squash) Italian Gnocchi - Super easy and egg-free!
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Delicious little dumplings made with sweet potato, pumpkin or butternut squash mash in the authentic Italian style, served with melted butter and sage.
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 500 gr / 1 lb sweet potato or pumpkin/squash, cooked, well-drained and mashed (about 4 potatoes or 800 gr / 1.8 lbs raw squash/potato)
  • 100 gr / 1⅓ cup / 3.5 oz Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese finely grated
  • 200 gr / 1½ cup / 7.0 oz all-purpose flour (preferably pastry flour)
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Rinse, peel and cut the vegetables into little pieces and steam them in a microwave for about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Put steamed/cooked vegetables in a big bowl and mash them with a fork of potato masher.
  3. Mix in Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and ¾ flour (150gr). Do not over mix.
  4. Knead gently until a nice pliable ball is formed, do not over knead. Add the remainder flour only if necessary and the dough is still sticky. It has to be soft and just a bit tacky. If it’s still a bit damp add some more flour, not too much though!
  5. Immediately dust with flour your working area, take a piece of the dough at a time and gently roll each out to form ¾ inch – 2 cm in diameter ropes.
  6. Cut the ropes into about 1 inch / 2,5 cm pieces (it depends on what size you want your Gnocchi), and if you want you can lightly press and roll each pieces into the tines of a fork or a gnocchi board with the tip of your thumb to make a small indentation - I like to skip this passage and leave gnocchi as is.
  7. Put Gnocchi, divided from each other, over a well floured plate to avoid from sticking together.
  8. If you want you can freeze them with the plate and once frozen you can put them into a freezer bag to leave more space in the freezer.
  9. To cook Sweet Potato or Pumpkin/Squash Gnocchi, bring a large pot of salted water to a full boil and add a tbsp of extra virgin olive oil to avoid them from sticking while cooking.
  10. Drop Gnocchi (both fresh or frozen), a few at a time, into the boiling water, make a little stir.
  11. When they rise to the surface, immediately remove and drain them with a slotted spoon and put onto the serving dish.
  12. Put your favourite sauce over them, give a little stir and serve immediately.
Notes
If you don’t serve them immediately, remember to sprinkle Gnocchi with a little bit of olive oil and give a little stir. When you want to serve Gnocchi just put your favourite sauce in a pan, heat up and put them in to combine for less than 30 seconds.

These are best served with melted butter and sage sauce (put butter in a pan, add sage, let simmer a bit and add cooked Gnocchi). I love to sprinkle some poppy seeds over for a little crunchy taste and for a lovely presentation.

Roman-Style Gnocchi (Gnocchi alla Romana) with Semolina Flour

An easy Italian pasta recipe for an impressive dish that can be prepared in advance for a great dinner with guests! And, as every recipe in my blog, that’s the best Gnocchi alla Romana recipe that I know of, so it’s a keeper!


roman style gnocchi semolina best easy romana perfect

Gnocchi alla Romana (pron. nyoh-k-kee uh-L-luh rome-uh-nuh) is a typical italian recipe from Lazio region and especially, as the name suggests it, from the city of Rome.

Gnocchi always scare a lot of people, because it’s said that they’re not easy to make, but these Gnocchi are not like those made with potatoes or ricotta but are made with semolina flour so it’s easier to deal with (have you tried my delicious Potato Gnocchi recipesuper easy even for a newbie!).

Here you just need to cook semolina flour into some milk and then spread the dough over a silpat or a baking paper and leave it too cool before shaping and cooking. Therefore super easy and quick!

best roman style gnocchi semolina

The classic Roman-Style Gnocchi recipe provide for a butter and cheese sauce but they can be served with a delicious Bechamèl sauce, a Mornay Sauce, or a sauce mixed with some ham, bacon or pancetta or with your favourite vegetables. In the dough you can also put some chopped greens such as spinach, nettle, chicory, etc.. So you can use your imagination and customize this dish to your liking!

You can also have fun choosing the form for these Gnocchi alla Romana! In Rome they usually shape gnocchi in circles while outside they use to cut the dough in squares or in rhombus. But nobody forbid you to create these semolina gnocchi in the shape that you want and you can even put the dough into a piping bag with a large tip and make some roses or something like that.

I adapted this recipe from an italian chef called Montersino and I like it because these Gnocchi alla Romana are not tough like others but tender inside with a thin crunchy crust and tastier!

So great results with low efforts! What more?

semolina gnocchi best recipe

parmigiano reggiano discount

Roman-Style Gnocchi (Gnocchi alla Romana) with Semolina Flour

Difficulty: easy
Preparation: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 5-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 250 gr / 8.8 oz/ 1 1/2 cup semolina flour (or semola rimacinata di grano duro)
  • 1 lt / 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 100 gr / 3.5 oz / 3/4 cup butter (at fridge temperature)
  • 140 gr / 5 oz / 1 3/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese finely grated + more for baking
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • a pinch of nutmeg

romana roman style gnocchi ingredients

Instructions:

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, bring the milk to a lightly simmer, then add salt, nutmeg and semolina flour then stir well with a whisk to avoid lumps.
Continue to stir with a wooden spoon and cook for at least 10 minutes, or until it begins to pull away from the sides of the saucepan. The mixture should be like some thick and firm mashed potatoes.

romana roman style gnocchi milk semolina

Remove from heat and add cold butter.

romana roman style gnocchi semolina butter

Add Parmigiano cheese and stir with a wooden spoon until all the butter is melted and absorbed.

romana roman style gnocchi semolina parmigiano

Quickly add the egg and yolks and stir until all is well mixed.

Now you need to choose the shape of your Gnocchi.

(If you want to use a piping bag, immediately put the dough in it because as it cools it will be not so easy to pipe)

Put the dough over a silpat or a baking paper, cover with a cling film or plastic wrap or another silpat and roll with a rolling-pin until it’s flattened to about 1-2 cm / 0.40-0.80 inches.

roman style gnocchi semolina dough

Leave to cool in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

roman style gnocchi semolina flat dough

As you can see from the picture above, I rolled half the dough into a rope to freeze it (I don’t have a big freezer), because the dough was too much for the three of us. Don’t do a rope if you don’t freeze it, because this dough is not tough enough to cut a neat slice. If you freeze the rope-dough, slice it right away when removed from the freezer (and bake as soon as you can).

Once cooled in the fridge, you can cut the dough in circles with a round pastry cutter (5-8 cm / 2-3 inches Ø) or in squares or rhombus with a knife. It the dough has not cooled enough and it’s sticky, plunge the cutter into some water to help you (or brush it with some extra virgin olive oil).

making roman style gnocchi

If you choose the classic form (circle) you can put the remaining pieces of dough under the circle ones in the baking pan. If the dough is still soft and mixable you can re-knead what is left and roll out again to make other Gnocchi.

Spread butter onto one or more casserole (to make some single serving dishes) or onto a baking pan.

Line up Gnocchi into the pan and, if you like, overlap them a bit.

Sprinkle some more Parmigiano Reggiano and/or Pecorino Romano cheese over Gnocchi.

roman style gnocchi ready bake

Pour some melted butter on.

roman style gnocchi semolina bake butter

Bake at 200°C / 425°F / gas mark 7 for about 20-30 minutes.

At the end, if Gnocchi don’t have a golden crust, just switch to the broil/grill setting for a couple of minutes.

And Roman-Style Gnocchi with semolina flour are ready to be served and gobbled up!

italian gnocchi roman style easy best

Roman-Style Gnocchi (Gnocchi alla Romana) with Semolina Flour
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Best authentic Italian Gnocchi alla Romana recipe.
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 5
Ingredients
  • 250 gr / 8.8 oz/ 1½ cup semolina flour (or semola rimacinata di grano duro)
  • 1 lt / 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 100 gr / 3.5 oz / ¾ cup butter (at fridge temperature)
  • 140 gr / 5 oz / 1¾ cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese finely grated + more for baking
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • a pinch of nutmeg
Instructions
  1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, bring the milk to a lightly simmer, then add salt, nutmeg and semolina flour then stir well with a whisk to avoid lumps.
  2. Continue to stir with a wooden spoon and cook for at least 10 minutes, or until it begins to pull away from the sides of the saucepan. The mixture should be like some thick and firm mashed potatoes.
  3. Remove from heat and add cold butter.
  4. Add Parmigiano cheese and stir with a wooden spoon until all the butter is melted and absorbed.
  5. Quickly add the egg and yolks and stir until all is well mixed.
  6. Put the dough over a silpat or a baking paper, cover with a cling film or plastic wrap or another silpat and roll with a rolling-pin until it's flattened to about 1-2 cm / 0.40-0.80 inches.
  7. Leave to cool in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  8. Once cooled in the fridge, you can cut the dough in circles with a round pastry cutter (5-8 cm / 2-3 inches Ø) or in squares or rhombus with a knife. It the dough has not cooled enough and it's sticky, plunge the cutter into some water to help you (or brush it with some extra virgin olive oil).
  9. If you choose the classic form (circle) you can put the remaining pieces of dough under the circle ones in the baking pan. If the dough is still soft and mixable you can re-knead what is left and roll out again to make other Gnocchi.
  10. Spread butter onto one or more casserole (to make some single serving dishes) or onto a baking pan.
  11. Line up Gnocchi into the pan and, if you like, overlap them a bit.
  12. Sprinkle some more Parmigiano Reggiano and/or Pecorino Romano cheese over Gnocchi.
  13. Pour some melted butter on.
  14. Bake at 200°C / 425°F / gas mark 7 for about 20-30 minutes.
  15. At the end, if Gnocchi don't have a golden crust, just switch to the broil/grill setting for a couple of minutes.

Potato Gnocchi: authentic, best and fool-proof recipe, firm outside with a delicate and soft texture inside, not chewy, not soggy… simply delicious!

Stop looking elsewhere. Here you’ve found the best and fool-proof Gnocchi recipe ever. Yes, now you can make authentic Italian Gnocchi like a fine restaurant (or even better) with no fuss, I promise. (comments below can confirm that)


Potato Gnocchi best italian soft firm tender not chewy

If you don’t know what they are, Gnocchi (nyoh-k-kee) are a typical italian pasta, they can be prepared with different flours like semolina but the most popular are those made with potatoes.

Here in Italy you can easily find good quality fresh Gnocchi at the grocery store, but making them at home it’s always comforting…. especially when you’re stuck at home with your son ill and you have only some potatoes and eggs in your pantry, like me today 😀 .

I don’t like gum-like Gnocchi, they are too chewy for me, and I like to make them little, so when you eat them you can taste the sauce better, but they’re easy to make so you can choose the size you want – little Gnocchi are also called “Chicche” (kee-k-kay).

Have a try at them because is not the hardest pasta to make if you follow my instructions (as instead many people say that). Those which haven’t been successful in making gnocchi is just because they were in lack of information, trust me!

parmigiano reggiano discount

So here is my best version for delicious Potato Gnocchi!

Difficulty: easy
Preparation: 30-40 minutes Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Yield: 6-7 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs / 1,4 kg raw potatoes not peeled, suitable for gnocchi (starchy or old potatoes not waxy)
  • 2 egg yolks (medium)
  • 3 tbsp / 30 grams / 1 ounce potato starch
  • 2/3 cup / 50 grams / 1.8 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese (finely grated)
  • 2 tsp / 15 grams salt
  • a pinch of ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 cup / 130 grams / 4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (sifted) plus more to put on the working area

Gnocchi Ingredients

Instructions:

Rinse, peel and cut potatoes into little pieces and put them in a microwave steamer for about 15 minutes. For me this is the best cooking method because most of the water will evaporate in the cooking process and this will prevent to use too much flour in the dough thus avoiding rubbery Gnocchi.

If you don’t have a microwave just rinse potatoes, leave the peel (so they don’t absorb too much water) put them in a pot filled with water and boil until fork-tender. While still warm, peel the potatoes.

Mash potatoes with a fork or a potato masher and put them in a big bowl.

Let them cool a bit.

(If you cook potatoes in a pot with water wait the next day to make gnocchi or try to dry them a bit in the oven)

Add egg yolks, potato starch, Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Cheese, a pinch of grated nutmeg (if you like), salt and flour.

Knead gently until a nice pliable ball is formed, do not over knead. It has to be soft and not too much sticky. If it’s still a bit damp add some more flour, not too much though!

Immediately dust with flour your working area, take a piece of the dough at a time and gently roll each out to form 3/4 inch – 2 cm in diameter ropes.

Cut the ropes into about 1 inch / 2,5 cm pieces (it depends on what size you want your Gnocchi), lightly press and roll each pieces into the tines of a fork or a gnocchi board with the tip of your thumb to make a small indentation (this is a bit difficult to explain with words but there a lot of videos on the Web so you can watch them until I have time to make one by myself) or you can skip this passage and leave gnocchi as is.

potato gnocchi rolls

Put Gnocchi, divided from each other, over a well floured plate to avoid from sticking together.

Let them rest for 15 minutes.

potato gnocchi best authentic

If you want you can freeze them with the plate and once frozen you can put them into a freezer bag to leave more space in the freezer.

To cook Gnocchi, bring a large pot of salted water to a full boil and add a tbsp of extra virgin olive oil to avoid them from sticking while cooking.

Drop Gnocchi (both fresh or frozen), a few at a time, into the boiling water, make a little stir.

When they rise to the surface, immediately remove and drain them with a slotted spoon and put onto the serving dish.

Put pasta sauce over them and serve immediately.

If you don’t serve them immediately, remember to sprinkle Gnocchi with a little bit of olive oil and give a little stir. When you want to serve Gnocchi just put your favourite sauce in a pan, heat up and put them in to combine for less than 30 seconds.

potato gnocchi ragu bolognese

As shown above, I used my Ultimate Best Authentic Bolognese Sauce but they’re really good too with just a melted butter and sage sauce like I did for my son.

potato gnocchi butter sage

Potato Gnocchi: firm outside with a delicate and soft texture inside, not chewy, not soggy... simply delicious!
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Best Authentic Italian Gnocchi recipe, fool-proof, easy and super delicious.
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 lbs / 1,4 kg raw potatoes not peeled, suitable for gnocchi (starchy or old potatoes not waxy)
  • 2 egg yolks (medium)
  • 3 tbsp / 30 grams / 1 ounce potato starch
  • ⅔ cup / 50 grams / 1.8 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese (finely grated)
  • 2 tsp / 15 grams salt
  • a pinch of ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 cup / 130 grams / 4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (sifted) plus more to put on the working area
Instructions
  1. Rinse, peel and cut potatoes into little pieces and put them in a microwave steamer for about 15 minutes.
OR
  1. Rinse potatoes, leave the peel (so they don't absorb too much water) put them in a pot filled with water and boil until fork-tender. While still warm, peel the potatoes.
  2. Mash potatoes with a fork or a potato masher and put them in a big bowl.
  3. Let them cool a bit.
  4. Add egg yolks, potato starch, Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Cheese, a pinch of grated nutmeg (if you like), salt and flour.
  5. Knead gently until a nice pliable ball is formed, do not over knead. It has to be soft and not too much sticky. If it's still a bit damp add some more flour, not too much though!
  6. Immediately dust with flour your working area, take a piece of the dough at a time and gently roll each out to form ¾ inch - 2 cm in diameter ropes.
  7. Cut the ropes into about 1 inch / 2,5 cm pieces (it depends on what size you want your Gnocchi), lightly press and roll each pieces into the tines of a fork or a gnocchi board with the tip of your thumb to make a small indentation or you can skip this passage and leave gnocchi as is.
  8. Put Gnocchi, divided from each other, over a well floured plate to avoid from sticking together.
  9. Let them rest for 15 minutes.
  10. To cook Gnocchi, bring a large pot of salted water to a full boil and add a tbsp of extra virgin olive oil to avoid them from sticking while cooking.
  11. Drop Gnocchi (both fresh or frozen), a few at a time, into the boiling water, make a little stir.
  12. When they rise to the surface, immediately remove and drain them with a slotted spoon and put onto the serving dish.
  13. Put pasta sauce over them and serve immediately.

How to cook pasta


Everybody should know how to cook pasta, but there is always someone who doesn’t.

I’ve seen that in many websites are explained wrong instructions about cooking pasta so, here are mine:




  • fill a large cooking pot with water and bring it to a boil;
  • add salt only when water is boiling because salt lengthen boiling time, so try to avoid putting it at the beginning or you will have to wait more for the water to reach the boiling point;
  • do not add oil because pasta will become slippery and the sauce will not stick to it (exception: a little drop can be used to make Potato Gnocchi – super easy and delicious recipe here);
  • wait until water is in a running boil to add you pasta or it will turn out rubbery;
  • stir pasta for half a minute or it will stick together;
  • keep water to a little boiling point;
  • cook pasta (uncovered) for the cooking time written in the package to have it “al dente” (now I tell you a secret but please don’t tell anyone especially if is Italian because they will get mad at me…. I always add 1-2 minutes at the cooking time because I don’t like it too tough, anyway… cook pasta as you like but “for God sake” remind to cook it “al dente” if you invite an Italian for dinner 😀 );
  • at the end drain your pasta very well and toss it with your favourite sauce.

So these are the right instructions to cook pasta for perfect results! Super easy, right?