Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce or Arugula Pesto

By Elisa Cucini from Agriturismo il Molinello in Tuscany.

You might enjoy this recipe on our tours in Tuscany or other regions, given the popularity of this type of pasta in Italy!


Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 500 gr (~1 pound) of potatoes
  • 150 gr (1 cup and 2 Tbsp) of al purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1.5 Tbsp of salt



  • Boil the potatoes. Peeled them and mash them while still hot
  • Beat the egg
  • Make a small "mountain" and then a "little crater" in the middle and pour in the beaten egg
  • Add flour and knead to get your dough. Adjust consistency as necessary–I.E. add one more egg if too dry or more flour if too moist
  • Roll out pieces of dough with your hands to form a section of ~1-2 feet long and ~1/2 square inch thick
  • Cut into strips and then into small pieces and roll them out on the back of a fork 
  • Bring water to a boil, then add salt (the water should taste slightly salty. If not, add salt)
  • Throw in the gnocchi and drain them as soon as they start to float. Pour in a bowl and mix with the sauce


Ingredients for sauce with tomatoes:

  • 4 fresh tomatoes

  • 1 Tsp of EVOO

  • 1 garlic clove



  • Blend tomatoes in a food processor
  • Sautée garlic (finely minced or whole, your choice) and EVOO in a pan until it gets lightly brown
  • Add blended tomatoes and cook until sauce is thick
  • Adjust with salt


Ingredients for sauce with arugula pesto:

  • 150 gr (1/3 pound) of arugula
  • 75 gr (~3 ounces) of walnuts
  • 30 gr (1 ounce) of pine nuts
  • 20 leaves of basil
  • 80 gr (2/3 cup) of grated pecorino cheese and parmigiano reggiano
  • a pinch of salt
  • 75 gr (1/3 cup) of EVOO
  • 150 gr (2/3 cup) of hot water 



  • Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth
  • If too dry add water or EVOO


Buon appetito!



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