Dinner Party

Gnocchetti with Lemon and Goat Cheese

September 24, 2018
3 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Living in Italy, one of my favorite dishes to make for family dinner is this homemade gnocchetti (just like gnocchi, only smaller) blanketed in a creamy, lemony goat cheese sauce. Making the gnocchetti from scratch is straightforward and simple (in this recipe, you let the oven do most of the work), and the sauce comes together in as long as it takes water to boil.

This recipe is featured in the story, Meet Gnocchetti, the Itty-Bitty Gnocchi Your Sunday Dinners Are Missing, sponsored by Lagostina.Emiko

What You'll Need
  • For the gnochetti:
  • 500 grams starchy potatoes (russets, Dutch creams, or king Edwards, for example)
  • 300 grams rock salt
  • 50 grams potato starch
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • For the lemon and goat cheese sauce:
  • 2 large organic lemons
  • 50 grams butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 125 grams fresh or young goat cheese
  • 50 grams (a handful) of grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • Optional: red pepper flakes; fresh parsley
  1. For the gnochetti:
  2. Rinse and pat dry the potatoes, but leave them whole, skins on. It helps for cooking time if they are roughly of similar sizes. Place the rock salt in a baking tray in an even layer. Place the potatoes on top of the salt layer and bake at 350°F for 1 hour, or until a fork can easily pierce the potatoes.
  3. Remove from the oven and let cool ever so slightly so they are warm, but can be handled, and remove the skin with a small sharp knife. Place the potato flesh in a large bowl and, while hot, mash or put through a potato ricer so you have a smooth, fluffy consistency. Spread the mixture out with a fork to allow the heat (and steam) to escape and allow to cool without covering (this ensures the mixture does not retain too much liquid).
  4. Add the egg yolk and ½ teaspoon of salt to the cooled potato and and mix to combine. Then, fold through flour until you have a soft dough. Pinch off fist-sized portions and with the palm of your hand, roll into a 1 centimeter-thick log, then cut the log into 1 centimeter pieces and roll each one until round. If needed, dust surface with potato starch.
  5. *Note: Baking the potatoes with the salt layer helps to absorb any excess moisture, all helping to make that fluffy, airy potato filling. Using potato starch (note, not potato flour; you can substitute cornstarch) helps makes these not only fluffy and light, but also happens to be gluten-free. You can use regular wheat flour if you don't have a problem with wheat, although you will likely need to use more—double and even up to 250 grams, depending on the humidity of your dough.
  1. For the lemon and goat cheese sauce:
  2. Put a large pot of salted water on to boil the gnocchetti.
  3. Finely grate the lemons with a microplane for their zest (careful not to use any of the white pith, it is bitter), then, cut them in half and squeeze all the juice from them. Set aside.
  4. Place butter and olive oil in a skillet to melt over medium heat. Once melted, add the lemon zest and let infuse for about 1 minute, stirring. Do not let the lemon burn; add the lemon juice and let simmer 3 minutes. Add the goat cheese, about half the Parmesan, and season with salt and pepper; cook a further 1 to 2 minutes, or until thick. Add the chiles and parsley, if using, then remove from the heat.
  5. Cook the gnocchetti in the simmering water for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until they float. Drain carefully (save about 125 ml of the cooking water), and place the gnocchetti in the pan with the lemon sauce, swirling to coat. Add some extra cooking water if it is looking dry. Serve with the rest of the grated cheese (and more if desired).
  6. *Note: Seek out organic lemons, as they haven't been treated with pesticides or waxed; since the flavor of this dish relies mostly on their zest, those kind of treatments are the last thing you want to taste. Do give them a good rinse under running water and pat dry before using, though. You can also use single cream instead of the goat cheese.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Rob Charles
    Rob Charles
  • Emiko
  • nancy essig
    nancy essig
  • Andras Lovejoy
    Andras Lovejoy

20 Reviews

Rob C. January 14, 2020
Gnocchetti are not just "little gnocchi." They are, in fact, a different type of pasta that may look like small gnocchi, but they are not made from potato starch. What you are making here are actually short gnocchi.
Emiko January 15, 2020
That is interesting because here in Florence where I have lived for 15 years gnocchetti are precisely the same as gnocchi just smaller or 'shorter' (actually they also go by the name 'topini' here). I'm guessing that the gnocchetti pasta you are talking about are another regional specialty from somewhere else?
Patricia R. January 16, 2020
Please convert to US measures.
For those of us who haven't used the European measures, it is a bit daunting to trust one's conversions! Thank you! If you read through, I am not alone in this request. Thank you
Andras L. October 27, 2018
so.... I couldn't find potato starch anywhere local and I'm the impatient sort. I do have potato flour on hand so I may experiment mixing half corn starch and half potato flour. My family loves gnocchi and we make them all the time, usually with ricotta instead of potato, but these look amazing. Wish me luck.
Paula D. October 25, 2018
I agree it would be extremely useful to have this recipe converted to US measures.
For those of us who haven't used the European measures, it is a bit daunting to
trust one's conversions! Thank you!
nancy E. October 27, 2018
Buy a digital scale. Cheap and precise for better results
Patricia R. January 15, 2020
Thanks again
Patricia R. October 22, 2018
Thank you to those who responded. I still would love this recipe converted to US measurement if possible. Other sites give you the option to use both measurements by the click of a button.
nancy E. October 27, 2018
Buy a digital scale
Patricia R. January 14, 2020
Thank you for no help....I live in US and we do not use grams ....
So go gram yourself...Thanks again
nancy E. January 14, 2020
A digital scale reads in grams or ounces so go gram yourself and relax.
Patricia R. January 15, 2020
Thanks again!
Cat October 21, 2018
Thank you for putting this recipe in grams! The worst invention ever was the cup measurement!! When you want a recipe to turn out properly, use grams or ounces.
kirstidavis October 20, 2018
Can we get the recipe not in grams? Cups, lbs etc...
Zsuzsa October 10, 2018
300g rock salt? Not fluor?
Emiko October 10, 2018
Right! If you read through the recipe, you'll see the rock salt is for baking the potatoes with; you won't need any flour for this recipe but you will need potato starch, so this is suitable for those who can't have wheat flour.
Jon D. October 20, 2018
I read the directions several times and am still unsure of the phrase “fold through flour until you have a soft dough.” Will you please elaborate?
Emiko October 21, 2018
It refers to the potato starch so it should technically say starch not flour, apologies for the confusion.
Jon D. October 21, 2018
Thank you. I thought it might be an obscure Italian culinary technique.
Patricia R. January 14, 2020
Why can't you put the recipe in in cups and lbs for your US fans?