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My darling Italian grandmother is an expert at gnocchi, and my dad is a close second, so I thought it was my time to try and create the lightest, softest Italian dumplings and hope to live up to their reputations.

I always thought you had to turn your kitchen upside down with flour and sticky dough because that’s how I saw my Nonna and father do it. And in true familial style, that’s exactly what I did! I went about mashing potatoes and kneading with gusto, the mess felt well deserved. There are some food products that you should never buy from the shop, and gnocchi is now coming off my shopping list. Say NO to stodge! My home-made gnocchi was bellissimo! A little messy but not in anyway difficult, you will find most ingredients in your pantry or fridge, and you can make it your own, by adding different spices, herbs and ingredients.

What you need 

(serves 4)


4 large potatoes (mashing potatoes such as agria) – chopped/ cubed
2 egg yolks (beaten)
2 Tbsp milk
salt/ pepper
4 nobs of frozen spinach defrosted (or a bunch of chopped and wilted fresh spinach)
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese (extra for garnish)
dusting of flour


I used store-bought but if you want to make your own see Vanessa’s recipe for pesto

I also threw a handful of pine nuts into a fry pan and toasted them until golden, and sprinkled them over the top of the gnocchi to finish.

How to make

In a pot, add water and boil potatoes until soft. Drain water and mash potatoes. Add egg yolks, milk, salt and pepper. Mix through spinach and parmesan cheese until you have a dough. Don’t over mix.
On a floured surface, roll into logs, adding flour when the dough gets too sticky. Cut into 1.5cm rectangle shapes.

Drop gnocchi into salted boiling water in batches, for about 3 mins or until the gnocchi has risen to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon.

In a pan, heat pesto and lightly mix gnocchi into sauce. Place on a plate and scatter toasted pine nuts, and grated parmesan.


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