Family Recipe: Homemade Gnocchi

Submitted by Daniel of the Giosta Family in Washington D.C.

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Who taught you this recipe?

My grandmother Mary Giosta, who got it from her mother Pierina Zamboni, who brought it with her from Italy when they came to America in 1913.

How long has this recipe been passed down through your family?

100-plus years.

When does your family use this recipe?

My grandmother would make gnocchi for my father on his birthday. I began making gnocchi about 20 years ago when my brother, sister and I began making Christmas dinner for our parents. Although our parents are gone now, it has become a family tradition to have gnocchi with meatballs and sausages on Christmas Day.

A lot of people say making gnocchi is “hard work” — not really. But it does take time and care and attention — as most loving things do.

gnocchi and sausages for 2
Daniel’s table is set: Gnocchi served with sausage, sautéed spinach and garlic bread.


The following ingredients make about 100 gnocchi –

2 medium peeled potatoes (boil)
¼ teaspoon of salt
2 egg yolks
1 cup of flour (about)


Boil the potatoes. Remove from water and mash while warm.

Once cool, add salt, flour and egg yolks. Mix good, adding more flour if necessary.

Turn on a floured surface and knead. Keep adding about ¼ cup more of flour.

Roll dough into long strips and cut into ¾-inch long pieces.

Holding an inverted dinner fork against a well-floured counter top, use the middle finger of your dominant hand to push one of the little dumplings against the tines of the fork. This will cause grooves to form on one side of the dumpling while causing an indentation to form on the other side. This part takes practice.

Cooking Instructions:

Boil water, then add a few gnocchi at a time. When they’ve come to the top of the water, boil “gently” 3 minutes.

Drain and serve with your sauce.


More gnocchi recipes:

Family Recipe: Gnocchi Vittoriosi


Autumn Pasta Recipe: Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi


Recipe: Authentic Gnocchi Bolognese

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