How to Cook Gnocchi: Floating Method

The classic way to cook gnocchi is the floating method where you add them to boiling water and then remove them once they gradually start floating to the surface. Not all recipes, however, call for this cooking technique. Don't worry because in each recipe we'll tell you what to do. If you are required to use the floating method to cook your gnocchi, these are the steps you must follow.

ONE. Choose the Right-size Pot

Yes, the size of the pot is important! Use a wide and tall pot because gnocchi need space to move and float when cooking. Also, consider the amount of gnocchi you will be cooking. The more gnocchi there are, the larger the pot has to be.

Serving size. The serving size for gnocchi varies according to the type of gnocchi you are preparing. For the gnocchi recipes in our primo course, we will tell you how many hungry mouths the recipe feeds.

TWO. How Much Water and Salt?

Fill about 3/4 of the pot with cold water. Don't add salt yet.

Place the pot over high heat and wait for it to boil. You can use a lid to help bring the water up to the boil more quickly.

When the water starts boiling, add the salt (fine or coarse).

How much salt? Add 10 grams of salt (about 2 teaspoons) for every liter of water (40 oz). Gnocchi taste better when cooked in salted water.

THREE. The Floating Method

Important. Don't boil all your gnocchi at the same time. Since it takes just a few minutes to cook, you want to cook the gnocchi in small batches.

When the water starts bubbling vigorously, drop the gnocchi into the water. Gently stir them with a wooden spoon being careful not to damage them.

Once they start floating to the surface, they are ready!

Use a slotted spoon to remove the gnocchi from the pot. Repeat the process with the remaining gnocchi.

FOUR. The Final Touch

Gnocchi taste better when surrounded by a lot of sauce, so be generous! As you remove the floating gnocchi with a slotted spoon, transfer them to a serving dish or a saucepan. It all depends on the sauce you are serving them with.

Recipes. Check out all the dishes you can prepare with your homemade gnocchi in our primo course!

Fresh Sauce

If you will be using a fresh sauce that doesn't require further cooking (like pesto), transfer the gnocchi directly to the serving dish with the sauce. Serve immediately.

Cooked Sauce

If you will be using a cooked sauce that can be heated up (like a tomato sauce, ragù), complete your dish the Italian way. Here's how!

As you boil the gnocchi (in batches!), heat the sauce in a large enough saucepan that can accommodate them all. When the gnocchi begin to float, transfer them to the saucepan. Repeat until all the gnocchi are cooked.

Cook the gnocchi in the sauce over high heat for just a few minutes. Use some of the starchy cooking water to add moisture to the sauce, if necessary. The starch in the water will also help to emulsify the sauce.

Serve immediately ... Buon appetite!

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