2000s Recipes + Menus

Gnocchetti all’Amatriciana

Tiny Potato Dumplings with Tomato, Onion, and Guanciale Sauce

Serves8 (first course)
  • Active time:1 1/2 hr
  • Start to finish:2 hr
March 2003
Our gnocchetti are lighter than most because they don’t contain egg; the richness comes from the tomato guanciale sauce.

For sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 oz guanciale or pancetta, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped (1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 (28- to 32-oz) can plum tomatoes, drained (reserving juice) and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For gnocchetti

  • 1 1/2 lb yellow-fleshed potatoes such as Yukon Gold
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • Accompaniment:

    finely grated Pecorino Romano
  • Special equipment:

    a potato ricer

Make sauce:

  • Heat oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté guanciale and onion, stirring, until onion is golden, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and sauté, stirring, until golden, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes with reserved juice, water, sugar, and salt and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 30 minutes.

Make gnocchetti:

  • Cover potatoes with salted cold water by 2 inches in a large pot, then simmer, uncovered, until very tender, about 25 minutes. Drain in a colander and, when cool enough to handle, peel.
  • Force warm potatoes through ricer into a large bowl. Add flour and salt and stir with a wooden spoon until mixture begins to come together. Gently form dough into a ball and cut in half.
  • Knead each dough half on a floured surface until smooth, about 1 minute (if dough sticks to surface, dust lightly with additional flour). Cut each half evenly into 10 pieces. Roll 1 piece into a 14-inch-long rope (1/2 inch thick), keeping remaining pieces covered with a kitchen towel. Cut rope crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces and toss pieces lightly with flour on work surface.
  • Press a piece of dough against tines of a floured fork and push with a floured thumb in a forward rolling motion toward end of tines, letting gnocchetti fall from fork into a well-floured shallow baking pan. Make more gnocchetti in same manner.
  • Just before cooking, gently shake gnocchetti in 4 batches in a large medium-mesh sieve to knock off excess flour. Cook gnocchetti in 4 batches in a 5- to 6-quart pot of boiling salted water until they float, about 1 minute. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large shallow bowl as cooked and spoon some sauce on top.
Cooks’ notes:
  • Sauce can be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered. Reheat before proceeding.
  • Gnocchetti can be formed (but not cooked) 1 week ahead and frozen in floured baking pan, covered, until hard, about 3 hours, then put in a sealed plastic bag. Do not thaw before cooking. Boil frozen gnocchetti about 2 minutes.
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