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Summery holiday series: 5. Home-made gnocchi in tomato sauce


Having lived in Melbourne for a while, I’d become used to the fact that a decent gnocchi was a tram-ride or a short walk away. Now having been in small-town England for a while, this is no longer true. I have to make what I want in my kitchen with what I can find here. It’snot too bad and thanks to food giants  like Tesco, raw ingredients are easy to come by.

I came across this recipe one evening. I’d returned home from work as usual and my partner was going to be slightly late coming home so I thought “Why not make something a little more time-consuming?”. I can’t say I’ve eaten a gnocchi since I left Melbourne so I decided to query my fellow word-pressers for a recipe. Silvia’s recipe looked simple, achievable and tasty and that’ s exactly what it turned out to be. I passed it on to a colleague at work and I know she enjoyed it too.

When we were on holiday in France, I saw that we had potatoes and some parsley. It was very easy to find some dry white wine and a can of tomatoes and voilà, dinner was sorted for that evening. Where we were wasn’t parmesan territory so we used the same yummy sheep’s cheese  as I did in the Summer spaghetti recipe. My partner’s mum made the sauce and I the gnocchi.


Source: Silvia

Potato-carrot gnocchi with sheep’s cheese


1. The sauce, while it looks really simple, is bloody delicious! My partner generally like anything tomato-based and he totally loved this one. I have made pasta sauces from scratch before and they’ve been tedious and the end result being tasty but not out-of-this-world. With this sauce, I’m onto a winner I reckon.

2. Silvia’s got some pretty nice pictures of the gnocchi on her website. I’ve tried to show you the fun mess you can make with this pasta.



1. We only had 2 medium potatoes so I added a large carrot to the mix. This made it a potato-carrot gnocchi. One other time that I made it, I used a jacket potato and a medium sized sweet potato.

2. Portions – 2 medium potatoes+ 1 carrot makes enough for 4 adults. 1 large jacket potato and 1 medium sweet potato makes enough for 2 adults for dinner and lunch the next day, and dinner on the second day. On the second day however, you will need to whip up a new batch of sauce.

3. If you don’t have a potato ricer, use a fork and your fingers to squish the potatoes/carrots into a mush (pictures 1 and 2 below).

4. With the sauce, I added a bit of chilli (ground red chilli) to give it a kick and it worked quite nicely.

5. I needed little more than a cup of flour both times I made the gnocchi. I added as much flour as it took to make sure the potato/carrot mix didn’t stick to the bowl any more.  At this stage, the gnocchi dough was soft and could be rolled into a tube. I will admit that the gnocchi were slightly heavy and Silvia warns against adding too much flour so perhaps you can find a happy middle ground when you try it out.

6. Finally, as I said, we weren’t in parmesan territory and the local supermarket didn’t have a substitute so we had the gnocchi with some lovely sheep’s Cabecou instead.

7. If you are a vegan, use an egg substitute for the dough and exclude the cheese.

8. If you are on a gluten-free diet, substitute standard flour for a gluten-free flour.



1. Start by boiling the potato and carrot until soft, draining the water and using a fork to much the vegetable.

2. Use your fingers to break up the bigger or slightly tougher bits of vegetable.

3. Add enough flour to make a workable dough. When the dough is ready, roll it into a snake/log about 1cm in radium and cut 2cm thick bits from one end.

4. Continue step 3 until all the dough is used up, placing the cut gnocchi on a bit of non-stick baking paper.

5. These gnocchi will be speckled with orange as they contain carrot.

6. Cook the gnocchi in a pot of boiling water with a pinch of salt in it.

7. While you are rolling out the gnocchi, have the sauce cooking on the back burner.

8. Once the gnocchi are cooked, drain and transfer to the tomato sauce.

9. Serve while hot with some parmesan/sheep’s cheese and a bit of parsley

Gnocchi steps


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