Italian Cooking Lessons {Recipe #3: Gnocchi Alla Bava}

I have made this recipe about 3 times since the last Italian Cooking Lessons but I kept forgetting to take pictures! Doh!

So finally, my little sister Amy, asked me to teach her how to make homemade gnocchi over Christmas break and i convinced Husbuddy to take pictures for me.

This is his all time favorite Italian recipe of mine.

His favorite.

i am not kidding.

everytime I am in the mood to pull out on of my Italian recipes, he asks for this one. The conversation usually goes like this:

me: “i’m in the mood for some italian. Let’s make something we haven’t made in a while.”

hubuddy: “make gnocchi!”

m: ” we made that last time. let’s try something else.”

h: “come on, gnocchi is the best. it’s the best thing you make. it’s so soft and yummy and cheesy and healthy (potatoes are vegitables right?) and there’s always so many leftovers…please? i’ll do anything for you.”

m: “so will you help me make the millions of little gnocchis? {yes. i said gnocchiS. get over it} you know it takes me forever by myself and my hands get so messy…”

h: “um… you know i don’t like getting my hands dirty…i’ll do anything else for you…”

m: sigh…”fine. i think you’ll owe me a month of back massages.”

ha. it’s not that much work. i promise!

it just makes my life easier if he would help me once in a while instead of just watching and drooling … but as he said, he hates getting his hands dirty… haha.

so folks: get ready to get your hands dirty making this handmade potato pasta! 🙂


(isn’t my little sister the cutest?!)

First we’ll make the pasta.

pasta ingredients:

  • 1 lb baking potatoes
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour {or more depending on potatos. you will also need more for all surfaces}
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg yolk

-Boil potatoes (in skin-my italian teacher said this is how to keep in more the nutrients when cooking them) in salted water until tender, drain, put back in pan to let dry over low for a few seconds.


-put through a potato ricer onto a floured surface.  this allows air to get into the potato mixture. {very important! don’t use a masher!}

-mix in egg yolk with 1/2 teaspoon salt and flour to make the dough. {use as much flour as needed to make elastic}

-kneed a little to make it elastic.

-make the dough into a ball.

-divide into parts that you then roll into a rope 3/4″ diameter. cut into pieces

-shape pieces using a fork. use thumb to flick/push the dough along tines to create ridges and bowl shape.

you’ll make so many of these you’ll become a pro. see? doesn’t Amy look so happy that she’s becoming a pro? 🙂

-place on heavily floured plate. {here i already thought i had enough flour on them… they didn’t stick to the pan}

aren’t they pretty?
OK. now let’s cook these yummy little suckers.
To cook:
-boil 4-5 quarts of water. drop in 1 at a time. when they rise to the surface- they’re done! {sometimes i allow it to sit for a minute at the top to make sure it’s “al dente”
Sauce: {the “alla Bava” part!}
  • 1/2 lb Fontina or fontal cheese
  • 1/4 c. melted butter
  • fresh sage
  • nutmeg
  • Parmesan cheese

-cut cheese into small cubes.

-when putting cooked gnocchi into a bowl, layer with cheese cubes.

{note: since i have a large family, and we were making dinner for everyone, we made half homemade gnocchi and half store-bought. hence those different colors… those are store bought… pretty much tastes the same! SO: if you feel lazy just go buy a pack of pre-made gnocchi and make it with this sauce… but everyone in my family agreed that the homemade were better}

{make sure to cover the bowl while you finish cooking the rest of them}

add the layers of gnocchi and cheese as you cook them…

see the difference from the store bought and the handmade? i think the handmade have more character… therefore they taste better! 🙂

-melt butter in pan and add sage leaves.

-pour butter over all the gnocchi and cheese.

-sprinkle with nutmeg and parmesan.

-serve immediately.

now. stop drooling. they do taste AMAZING as they look, i promise. but you should go make them yourself so you stop embarrassing yourself with all that drool.  🙂 hee hee.

{note: this may not be the best dish for those with new year’s resolutions having anything to do with eating healthy: so much cheese and potato… it is definitely a winter dish!}

0 Responses to Italian Cooking Lessons {Recipe #3: Gnocchi Alla Bava}

  1. Austin January 31, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    Hey thanks for the recipe – gnocchi is my favorite too! I’m going to try this out this week! I’ll letcha know how it goes haha.

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