Pan-frying gnocchi gives it a nice golden color and deepens the flavor, and the fresh basil and grated Pecorino Romano cheese further add to the excellent taste of this delicious dish that represents Italian comfort food at its best. Whether you make homemade gnocchi from scratch using our homemade potato gnocchi recipe or head to the store to purchase a package of fresh pre-made gnocchi, the results will dazzle your taste buds.
If you love gnocchi like we love gnocchi, you will probably make your pan-fried gnocchi with every type of sauce eventually, but this recipe is perhaps our favorite and couldn’t be simpler to make. If you can melt butter, you’ve pretty much mastered it already. A dash of salt and pepper and your basil and freshly grated cheese you have pan-fried gnocchi that makes the perfect weeknight dinner.
To make these crispy pan-fried gnocchi you will need the following items in the kitchen:
The entire recipe takes less than thirty minutes from start to finish. Delicious gnocchi fried to perfection will be your new favorite weeknight dinner when you don’t have time for something more elaborate.
These potato dumplings are so easy to make. Just: boil gnocchi, cook gnocchi, eat gnocchi!
In a large skillet, over medium heat, melt the butter until it starts to bubble, then add a dash of salt and pepper and turn off the heat (photo 1).
If you want to boil the potato gnocchi first. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fresh pre-made gnocchi and cook for 2 minutes, or until they float to the top of the boiling water (photo 2).
Remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon or hand-held strainer and place them spaced out on a serving platter lined with a clean tea towel (photo 3). Gently pat them dry, being sure they don’t stick together.
Turn the heat back on under the skillet with the butter and after a minute or two transfer the gnocchi to the pan and sauté for 2 minutes or until golden brown, they should have crispy edges and sides (photo 4).
If you want to pan-fry gnocchi without boiling them first. Add the gnocchi directly to the melted butter and coat completely and cook over medium heat for about 8 minutes, mixing and turning the fried gnocchi as they pan fry.
Mix in the fresh basil leaves and Pecorino Romano and gently stir, pan-frying it all together.
Transfer the fried gnocchi to a serving plate or medium bowl and serve hot.
Other gnocchi recipes to try out:
Keep things interesting by trying variations on this recipe each time you enjoy gnocchi pasta.
Sauces to pair gnocchi with:
Please do not buy the vacuumed-packed boxes of “gnocchi” that are not refrigerated; they will ruin the dish. You should be able to buy good quality, pre-made gnocchi in your local supermarket’s refrigerated section or at an Italian specialty food store.
Pan-fried gnocchi are best eaten immediately and are challenging to reheat. They can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To reheat, we recommend preheating the oven to 180° C and then putting the gnocchi in an oven-safe container with a few drops of water, a drizzle of oil, and a generous amount of cheese and baking in the oven for approximately 15 minutes or until the Parmesan cheese has melted, similar to what we recommend with reheating homemade gnocchi.
Another idea would be to reheat them directly in already-cooked tomato sauce until warm through and then serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
Dry or dried gnocchi pasta are not the same as fresh gnocchi in the refrigerated pasta section of the grocery store that we are using in this recipe. They are usually a wheat flour pasta formed into a hard shape (like other dry pasta) and they do not contain potatoes at all. Dry gnocchi pasta will not work in this recipe.