Mar 282009

Passover-potato gnocchi

The recipe for these Passover gnocchi has been sitting in my hard drive since last year. No mention of the source – so if anyone recognizes it, please let me know, and I’ll happily acknowledge.

I must say that the texture of these gnocchi is somewhat mealier than the usual, but that didn’t bother my family, who liked them very much indeed. The Little One couldn’t get enough, as a matter of fact. I’m definitely planning to serve them again during the holiday.

Gnocchi are usually served with pesto, marinara sauce, or just plenty of butter and grated cheese. I love all of those, but as the dish accompanied a meat dinner for Shabbat, I had to improvise something else. There were mushrooms, herbs, a few slow-roasted tomatoes, and chicken soup on hand. The sauce that resulted was pretty good. Recipe follows after the gnocchi.

Passover Gnocchi

serves 6


3 medium potatoes

1/3 cup matzah cake meal

1/2 cup potato starch

1 egg

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper or about 5 twists of the pepper grinder

5 tsp. olive oil


1. Wash the potatoes and pare away anything you don’t like, but don’t peel them.

2. Boil, whole, or cut in half, till they’re tender.

3. Drain the potatoes and, keeping them in their cooking pot, shake them over a low flame till they are very dry.

4. Allow them to cool slightly, and peel them as soon as you can handle them. The hotter they are at this stage, the better. I put on latex gloves to pick them up and peel.

5. Mash the potatoes. Make a well in the center and add the rest of the ingredients.

Get in there with your hands, mixing and kneading till you have a cohesive dough. You shouldn’t need to add any more matzah meal or starch; just keep working at it and in a few minutes the dough will solidify.

6. Cover the dough and let it mature for at least half an hour, in the fridge. I left mine out about an hour at room temperature, and it appeared to have fermented slightly – not surprising, given that potato and flour together ferment like crazy. I’m noting this because it’s probably a Pesach no-no, similar to sourdough. So keep your dough in the fridge and go on to the next step.

7. Cut the dough into four pieces.

8. On a flat surface well dusted with potato starch, roll each piece out into a snake about 3/4 of an inch thick.

9. Start plenty of salted water boiling in a large pot.

10. Cut out pieces about 1/2 inch long. I used a dessert fork to do this, and imprinted each piece with the tines as I cut along. The reason gnocchi have these impressions is to allow the accompanying sauce to cling to them all the better. It takes only a few minutes to get the hang of it; then the work goes quickly.

11. Boil the gnocchi, giving them one more minute after all have risen to the water’s surface. The whole thing takes only 2-3 minutes.

12. Drain the gnocchi, and if not dressing them with sauce right away, drizzle them with olive oil (or melted butter, for a dairy meal) and push them around gently with a wooden spoon to get coated with it.


I confess: my favorite dressing is plain butter and lots of grated Parmesan cheese. But as I said, I needed a meat-based sauce for Shabbat, so this is what I did.

Herb and Mushroom Sauce for Passover Gnocchi (Meat)


Olive oil for frying

3 large shallots, diced

3 or 4 halves of fresh, ripe tomatoes or the same of slow-roasted

2 peeled and minced garlic cloves

1 small basketful of champignon mushrooms, clean and sliced in thirds

1/2 Tblsp. chopped fresh sage

1 tsp. salt

freshly ground pepper to taste

1 Tblsp. matzah cake meal

1 cup chicken soup

A few tablespoons white wine (or more soup)


In a large skillet, sautee the shallots and tomatoes.

When the vegetables are soft, add the sliced mushrooms and the garlic.

Stir-fry for a few minutes, till the mushrooms are tender.

Add the sage and the salt & pepper; stir and allow to heat through.

Clear a space in the middle of the skillet. Pour the matzah meal into it. Stir to heat through.

Add the soup. Stir diligently to distribute everything. Once the sauce is formed, add the wine and taste for seasoning again. If it seems to be drying out, add more soup.

Pour over the gnocchi and serve right away.

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 Posted by at 10:27 PM

  22 Responses to “Passover Cooking: Potato Gnocchi”

  1. I love these Pesach recipes that you’ve been posting. I definitely plan on trying some of them.

  2. Great, let me know how they turned out!

  3. Mimi, this starchy Pesach food looks like the kind of food my kids will enjoy. You make them look so good I might be tempted to eat 1 or 2 (or 3 or 8…).

    I should print it now.

    Nyuck, nyuck. (I’ve never heard gnocchi pronounced; I’ve only read the word).

    I wonder how they taste re-heated (the dilemmas/conflicts of hilchot Shabbat and gourmet food!).

  4. Leora, I know what you mean about starchy Pesach food. I thought this an interesting variation on the potato, matzah, matzah, potato theme.

    They stayed on the ceramic platter you see in the photo, resting on the plata, and were fine with Shabbat dinner. On Sunday they were fine, re-heated in a frying pan with a little water dripped over to steam them. If I’d had any leftover soup, I would have used that – but they were good anyway.

    Gnocchi are pronounced nyohkee. Don’t you love it? How about gnu?

  5. I’ve not have much success with potato gnocchi so I will be trying this recipe on Pesach.
    Even if the gnocchi doesn’t do well for me the sauce looks delicious – I’ll replace the chicken soup with parve and a sprinkling of Parmesan for a delicious supper.

  6. Sounds great! I’m pleased to know you’re improvising on a given recipe. I often do that too.

  7. […] Potato Gnocchi Mimi: Fish Soup (this recipe for fish soup with vegetables is undescribably yummy) Mimi: […]

  8. wow – u did your very own gnocchi – well done – I love the sound of your recipe :)

  9. Thank you, asiajo.

  10. Please try baking the potatoes instead of boiling them; I think you’ll like the texture of the gnocchi better – I sure do!

  11. Rivka, there’s the boil school of thought and the bake school…the idea is to mash the potatoes as hot and dry as possible. I sometimes do it one way, sometimes another.

  12. Oh! It all makes sense to me now! When I bake russet potatoes, they are hot and dry, but when I boil yukon potatoes, they may be hot, but they have a high water content. Oh DUH! Thank you so much; boy do I feel silly…

  13. Is this recipe possible without the matza flour or us non gebrots people

  14. Gnocchi needs wheat flour of some kind in order to hold their shape. Substituting more potato starch feels risky to me – but it’s the only thing I can think of. It might work…it would make very light gnocchi if it does. But it’s a lot of work for a risky deal.

  15. Nay, dear lady, do not feel foolish. No one is born knowing…

  16. fermenting is of course not a problem , since by definition none of the ingredients are chametz….

  17. Yes, and of course we do eat fermented foods like pickles, and drink wine, which is fermented grape juice. Right!

  18. I just made these in a test run for Seder. They are GREAT! I just have to remember to make them smaller… they poofed up so nice like soft pillows of yummyness.

    I am going to make these to serve my brisket over, which I am making in a daube Provencal style.

    Def adding you to my list of favorite foodies on my blog.

  19. Hi, Amy,

    I’m so pleased you like the gnocchi. And I liked your humorous blog and added it to my blogroll. I was struck by your idea of just running the back of a knife’s blade over charred peppers – I usually wet my fingers and pick the skin off, making a sticky mess. I’m converted to the knife idea now.

  20. The source for this recipe is Daniel Castleman from April, 2006. I have been making variations of it since then, including one last night with fresh green garlic pesto–yum! The original can be found at:

  21. Thanks for providing the source, Rene. I haven’t made these gnocchi this Passover, but remembering how good they are, think I’ll do them tomorrow.

  22. […] found the original recipe here, where it was originally posted in 2009.  And since Amy posted it in 2010, I thought it was time […]

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