The Daring Cooks – Garlic and Herb Gnocchi in Pepper & Tomato Sauce with Golden Mushrooms


Todd, who is The Daring Kitchen’s AWESOME webmaster and an amazing cook, is our September Daring Cooks’ host! Todd challenged us to make light and fluffy potato Gnocchi and encouraged us to flavor the lil pillows of goodness and go wild with a sauce to top them with!


Sure, I’ve eaten shop brought gnocchi before. This, however, was of absolutely no comparison to the chewy, tough, rubbery, machine formed dumplings that you find in the supermarket. Frankly, it knocked our socks off. Soft, melt in your mouth gnocchi, with the homemade charm of being various shapes and sizes.


The pillows were bursting with garlic and herb flavours from thyme and oregano which complimented the rich tomato sauce and golden, slightly caramelised mushrooms.


I used new potatoes here as that’s what I had. I boiled them in their skins (to avoid water-logging) then pushed them (with their skins on) through a ricer, added herbs and gradually added flour until a soft dough was formed. Alternatively you can bake your potatoes and scoop out the flesh, The flour measurements below are what worked for me but have extra to hand and add it gradually as the required amount may vary based on your cooking method and type of potato used. I used over double the amount of flour suggested in the basic recipe given for the challenge! Of course, add any herbs you like or leave plain or add other flavourings.


This may be a bit too complex and time consuming for a weeknight meal but great fun for the weekend or to serve to guests. It would also be a good dish to make with little ones, the would have great fun making the dough and rolling the dough into sausage shapes!


Ingredients: Serves 4 with a side salad


  • 800g (1.8 lb) potatoes, unpeeled
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 200g/1.5 cups plain flour (or gluten free blend)

Tomato sauce:

  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 400g (14 oz) can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 250g (8 oz) mushrooms


  1. Add the potatoes to a pan with the peeled garlic cloves, a good pinch of salt (garlic salt if you have it) and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender. Drain and set aside to cool slightly and steam dry.
  2. Once cool enough to handle, put the potatoes and garlic through a ricer, with the skins on which will get left in the ricer. Alternatively, remove the skins and mash until smooth. Stir in the herbs and gradually add the flour, stirring in until you have a soft but sturdy dough. Add more or less flour as you feel necessary.
  3. Bring a pan of lightly salted water to a fast boil.
  4. Bring the dough into a ball on lightly floured surface then divide into 8 pieces. Take one piece and roll into a long cylinder with the palm of your hands, keeping the remaining dough covered to avoid it drying out. Cut the gnocchi at inch intervals then press the flat tines of a fork onto the surface (this helps the gnocchi to hold the sauce). Repeat with the remaining dough.
  5. Add in small batches to the boiling water, when the gnocchi rise to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon to a colander and continue to cook the rest of the gnocchi.
  6. Make the sauce. Add the chopped onion, garlic and pepper to a pan then cover with the tomatoes. Add the herbs and seasoning, bring to a low simmer for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
  7. Heat a large frying pan on a high heat then add the sliced mushrooms and dry fry til golden. Blend the sauce with an immersion blender until smooth.
  8. Add the gnocchi to the sauce to heat through. Then serve topped with the mushrooms and a sprinkling of thyme.


Nutritional Benefits

Very low in saturated fat
No cholesterol
High in iron
High in selenium
High in thiamin
Very high in vitamin B6
Very high in vitamin C
I’m entering this into the Tuscany Now Competition.
This entry was posted in Daring Cooks, Gluten-free, Mains, vegan, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to The Daring Cooks – Garlic and Herb Gnocchi in Pepper & Tomato Sauce with Golden Mushrooms

  1. Janet Rörschåch says:

    Gnocchi is so lovely. Well done and thank you for giving a gf alternative.

  2. Om nom nom! You timed this one right…I’m sitting here thinking, “hmm….what to do for dinner…..” 😉 Great post and I’m now super hungry!

  3. Gnocchi is my favorite Italian dish! Looks so yummy Poppy!! Celeste 🙂

    • Poppy says:

      It is mine now! I was so blown away by homemade gnocchi. I’ve never eaten it homemade or in a restaurant before so all I knew was the tough vacuum packed supermarket stuff which was ‘OK’ but never high priority on my shopping list.

      I will definitely take the time to make homemade gnocchi more often – so rewarding and it really didn’t take long at all. Nothing like making pasta, fiddling with pasta machines and all that…simply rustic!
      Thank you Celeste!
      Poppy 😀

  4. Kelli says:

    These are beautiful, Poppy! I made gnocchi once and they were a mushy mess 🙂 I don’t eat mushrooms, but even without those this would still be a beautiful dish!

    • Poppy says:

      Thank you Kelli!
      I tried making squash gnocchi before and it didn’t work but this was a great success…so delicious! My research to avoid mushy gnocchi suggested leaving them in the water too long can cause them to break apart and thus turn to mush so I literally scooped these out as soon as they floated to the top and had no problems! The mushrooms are in no way a necessity, we’re just mushroom obsessed, but you could leave them out or add another vegetable. 😀

  5. Aisha says:

    It looks delicious! 🙂

  6. Kumu says:

    Looks yum ! I was wondering about the flour proportions. Sounds like a 4:1…and was hoping to try these with Sweet Potatoes too! Hope they work…

    • Poppy says:

      I’ve seen so many variations on the flour amount, I’m not sure there is any standard proportion as it is affected by so many things – the type of potato, the cooking method of the potato, the absorbency of the flour and so on so I think it’s best to use your judgement! Sweet potato gnocchi sounds fabulous, I bet the colour would be so vibrant and beautiful! Let me know how it goes! 😀

  7. Gnocchi is pretty fun to make especially making carrot gnocchi, I made it for the VVP 3.0,, your orange tomato sauce looks divine!

  8. E-Gusta says:

    That looks really tasty!

  9. My grandmother used to make gnocchi, maybe I will try to keep the tradition going! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  10. ninezerofit says:

    Reblogged this on nine zero fit blog and commented:
    Great healthy alternative!

  11. Your gnocchi sound so flavorful!

  12. Pingback: THE DARING COOKS’ SEPTEMBER, 2013 CHALLENGE: POTATO GNOCCHI | Simply Sophisticated Cooking

  13. Yummy! That looks great!

  14. Oh, does this sound heavenly! You’re making me really miss the Daring Bakers/Cooks… It’s been years since I last participated, but I do still wish I had time to jump back in. Until I get more time, I’ll just have to live vicariously through your creations. These homemade gnocchi look wonderful.

    • Poppy says:

      Hi Hannah, thank you for your lovely comment!
      The Daring Cooks/Bakers challenges are so fun. I stopped for ages but just got back in to it earlier this year and am glad I did for things like this – I wouldn’t have known how much better homemade gnocchi is compared with store-bought!
      Thank you, Poppy 😀

  15. Yvonne says:

    That sauce looks amazing!

  16. I have always wanted to try Gnocchi. I will defo try this recipe it looks so tasty and all the flavours will work so well together . Thank you for sharing 🙂
    Marie xx

    • Poppy says:

      Hi Marie, I am so pleased I tried making it, I’m planning to make another batch today as we’ve just been craving it ever since!! Hope you love it… 😀

  17. andy says:

    Your gnocchi looks great\!

  18. Sharon Holistic Living says:

    Looks delicious! My husband is not a fan of mushrooms. Do you have another suggestion to replace the mushrooms?

    • Poppy says:

      Hi Sharon. Grilled courgette or aubergine slices works wonderfully with the sauce and the herbs…or any other vegetable that you have on hand…I think Mediterranean vegetables work best. Hope that helps 😀

  19. Yum! I’ve only ever had storebought gnocchi but I’m guessing the homemade variety are way better! I definitely need to try making my own once mofo is over.

    • Poppy says:

      Like you, I had only tried store-bought before I made these and couldn’t believe the difference. Honestly, so so so much better and one of those things really worth making over buying! 😀

  20. Look at all these gnocchi lovers! The dish looks absolutely scrumptious! I like you artistic photos too! 😀

  21. Pingback: Potato Flat Bread | Poppy's Patisserie | Bunny Kitchen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s