These Are the Days for Gnocchi Gratin

Set aside a weekend afternoon to make this perfect winter dinner

Mark Bittman
Published in
3 min readFeb 5, 2021


An oval casserole dish of gnocchi gratin garnished with crispy sage leaves.
Photo: Aya Brackett

If you’re in the Northeast and Midwest, you’re likely slogging through days that include snow, sleet, and grey skies. In other words, it’s the perfect weather for comfort food dishes.

This one is a bit of a project: Since gnocchi are known to be ornery, the key to getting pillowy lightness with these Italian dumplings is to add only enough flour to bring the dough together. The first thing you’ll notice with this dish is probably the rich sauce, then you’ll bite into the sublime dumplings. You’ll want to make this over the weekend.

Gnocchi Gratin

Makes: About 4 servings
Time: About 2 hours


  • 1 ½ pounds starchy potatoes (like russets), scrubbed
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ to ¾ cup flour, or more as needed
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 16 or more small whole sage leaves
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
  • ½ cup grated or chopped high-quality melting cheese (like Taleggio or Gruyère), about 2 ounces


  1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Put the potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the skin hardens into a shell but the potato is tender when pierced at the center, about 1 hour. Immediately split them open to let the steam escape. Carefully scoop out the flesh and discard the skins.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Working in batches, pass the potato flesh through a ricer or food mill. (You could also use a potato masher, but not a food processor, which will make the potatoes gummy.) Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Sprinkle about half the flour on a clean counter or cutting board, and gently knead it into the potatoes, sprinkling in more flour a little at a time, until the dough just comes together. Don’t overwork the dough; it’s better to have too little flour than too much at this point. Pinch off a piece of dough, and drop it in the boiling water. If it holds its shape…



Mark Bittman

Has published 30 books, including How to Cook Everything and VB6: The Case for Part-Time Veganism. Newsletter at