What’s Cooking?: Asparagus Gnocchi and My Momma’s Gnocchi

By Jan D’atri

I get a big kick out of clicking on the pronunciation button on dictionary sites to hear how the word gnocchi gets pronounced. Unfortunately, they don’t often get it right (it’s pronounced Knee-OH-Key).

These delicate little barrels of potato pasta are absolutely divine. The homemade version of gnocchi from my momma’s recipe below takes a bit more time but will melt in your mouth, served with butter or a light marinara sauce. The store-bought variety is best for asparagus gnocchi, as they are not so delicate and will hold up during the cooking process. Either way, buon appetito!

Asparagus gnocchi


• 2 1/4 cups water

• 2 pounds gnocchi (2 packages)

• 1 (8-ounce) container mascarpone

• 2 green onions, sliced fine

• 2 bunches asparagus,
cut into 1-inch segments

• 1 cup shredded Parmesan,
plus more for topping

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 teaspoon pepper


Wash and cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces. In a large pot, add the water, gnocchi, mascarpone, green onions, asparagus, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until the sauce thickens and the gnocchi are cooked, stirring occasionally.

Spoon asparagus gnocchi into serving bowls and top with fresh grated Parmesan.

This recipe can be cut in half. Reduce cook time to approximately 10 minutes.


• 4 large baking (Idaho) potatoes,
about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds

• 2 large eggs

• 2 cups flour

• 2 teaspoons olive oil

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 6 quarts water plus 1 level tablespoon
for the water


Wash and boil the potatoes until knife can be easily inserted. Don’t allow potatoes to break open or they will absorb too much water. Peel potatoes while still warm and mash thoroughly with a ricer into a bowl. Do not put in food processor or blender.

In a bowl, add potatoes, eggs and oil and gradually begin to stir in one cup of flour to the potatoes. Stir until mixture binds together but is not too firm. Some potatoes will require more flour than others. Remove from bowl, and on a floured surface, continue to mix gently by hand, adding flour as needed. Gnocchi are ready when the potato mixture doesn’t stick to your hands. Add a little flour at a time as needed.

Roll into a ball and divide into four sections, covering the sections that are not being used. Roll each section into long logs, about 1/2 inch in diameter. Cut logs into 1-inch pieces. Press each piece against cheese grater or roll off of a fork.

One at a time, place about 10-15 gnocchi into gently boiling salted water. When they pop up, remove gently with slotted spoon. Serve with butter and Parmesan cheese or with a light marinara sauce.

(To make gnocchi in advance, place the raw gnocchi on a cookie sheet and freeze for 2-3 hours. When hardened, place in Ziploc bag and keep frozen until ready to cook.)


Watch my how-to video for asparagus gnocchi here: jandatri.com/recipe/asparagus-gnocchi