how to make water and flour dumplings – Italian Cuisine

Water and flour gnocchi are a much loved variant of traditional potato gnocchi in Southern Italy. Here's how to make potato-free gnocchi, just like it used to be

The world divides: there are those who love soft dumplings and those who love them more substantial. For those who fall into the second category, better rely on grandma's recipe: the dumplings without potatoes, that is, prepared only with water and flour, they are very common at Southern Italy, especially in Campania, where they triumph on Sunday family tables.
Their peculiarity lies precisely in the consistency: unlike those that have a much softer potato dough, the water and flour dumplings they remain pleasantly full-bodied and firm on tasting.

In addition to being a traditional recipe, making gnocchi without potatoes is an excellent idea if you don't have potatoes at home or if you don't have time (or desire) to boil them. Simple and fast, with very few ingredients, but guaranteed success.

Dumplings without potatoes: how to prepare them

To prepare the dumplings with water and flour, you will need the following ingredients:

Ingredients for 4 people

500 g 00 flour
500 ml water
Salt to taste.
extra virgin olive oil


To prepare the potato-free gnocchi, place the flour in a bowl and create the classic fountain: add a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and slowly begin to pour the water, stirring until a soft dough is obtained, but easy to work, without being too stuck in the hands.

A secret to prevent the dumplings from being too hard, use thewarm water. (For this phase there is also an alternative method: first boil the water in a pot and, once the boil is reached, turn off the heat and pour the flour into it, stirring vigorously to prevent lumps from forming, until to obtain a well mixed dough.)

At this point you can transfer the dough on a lightly floured surface and start working it for a couple of minutes until it becomes homogeneous. Let it rest for 20-30 minutes, covered with a cloth to prevent it from drying out.

Cut small pieces of dough and form long cylinders, rolling them with your hands, and then cut them into pieces of the size you like best. It is time to give form gnocchi: the beauty of these gnocchi homemade their shape is a little bit irregular, obtained by crushing them and dragging them lightly on the work surface with the index finger. In this way they will be slightly excavated and will be able to better accommodate the sauce. Alternatively, you can also to scratch with a fork or with the special rigagnocchi.

Cook the gnocchi in boiling salted water and drain them as soon as they rise to the surface.

Water and flour dumplings: how to season them according to tradition

These dumplings can be seasoned as desired, but a simple one tomato sauce sciuè sciuè it's perfect. A good Naples-style meat sauce or a sausage ragout are equally valid ideas, but the seasoning that goes most with the Campania gnocchi is obviously the Sorrento-style sauce, with tomato, basil and stringy mozzarella.

Sorrento-style gnocchi without potatoes

The Sorrento-style gnocchi you can easily prepare them with gnocchi without potatoes: the fastest method is to serve them "On the plate", adding the mozzarella cubes to the tomato sauce and the gnocchi in the pan only at the last moment, just long enough to melt it; the more traditional version is that of the "Fried dumplings", seasoned with tomato and mozzarella cubes, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and cooked in the oven for a few minutes inside terracotta pans, so as to spin the mozzarella and create a divine crust. Ultimate with a dusting of black pepper, you will not regret it.

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