The Mystery of the Passover Potato Gnocchi

A Passover seder plate, photo by Sarah Biggart via Flickr Creative Commons

A Passover seder plate, photo by Sarah Biggart via Flickr Creative Commons

From ReadTheSpirit host Bobbie Lewis:

Passover will soon be upon us and I’ve invited my Australian friend, Andrea Cooper, to share a column for the holiday. We met nearly 20 years ago in a “bulletin board” (remember those?) for public relations professionals. When we discovered that we were both Jewish we started emailing privately and have been in contact ever since. Andrea has done a couple of interesting pieces for Feed the Spirit, including one about the Pavlova wars between Australia and New Zealand and one about an unusual family recipe.

The most-observed Jewish holiday

As Andrea points out, almost all Jews around the world observe Passover in some way.

“At a basic level it may mean attending a Passover seder meal or abstaining from bread or other wheat/grain based products over the full festival eight days,” she wrote. “Jewish cooks take up the creative challenge of the Passover food laws and find inventive ways” to make palatable meals.

“In Australia, I participate in two strictly orthodox kosher Facebook pages,” she wrote. “With Passover only a few weeks away, the discussions are currently full of diverse ‘kosher for Passover’ food questions.

Traditional gnocchi can be kosher for Passover if made without flour; (photo by Ess Eppis via Flickr Creative Commons).

Traditional gnocchi can be kosher for Passover if made without flour; (photo by Ess Eppis via Flickr Creative Commons).

Making pasta without grains

“One interesting thread has been about pasta and how one might make this without wheat or other grain flour. A question was asked about pasta made with potatoes. I quickly responded that I make Passover potato gnocchi. A couple of requests quickly surfaced for my recipe, which I proudly provided.”

Then Andrea started to wonder if she should have published the recipe online.

“You see the recipe is not mine. It sits hand-written in my Passover notebook titled ‘Bobbies Pesach Gnocchi.’ My online, also kosher, friend from across the world gave me the recipe many years ago. I have no idea where she got the original from but it’s great!

“Though Bobbie and I have never met, for almost 20 years we’ve shared many aspects of each other’s lives.

“What should I do now? Would Bobbie mind? I then thought, oh, she edits the Feed The Spirit food pages. Why don’t I just write up this as a story for her?

“So Bobbie and all readers, here it is!”

A mystery recipe

Pumpkin gnocchi, photo by Harold Walker via Flickr Creative Commons

Pumpkin gnocchi, photo by Harold Walker via Flickr Creative Commons

But here’s the funny part about Andrea’s gnocchi recipe, which she makes every year to rave reviews: I have no recollection of it!

I have a manila folder, similar to Andrea’s notebook, stuffed with Passover recipes and notes. Some are dishes I make just about every year. Other recipes have been in that folder for more than 30 years and I have yet to try them. There are kugels (puddings) and cakes galore, but no gnocchi.

It’s a mystery. Perhaps Andrea and I were discussing recipes and I sent that one to her because it sounded like something she’d like and then neglected to keep it myself. Or perhaps it came from another Bobbie altogether!

This year I’m copying it and putting it at the top of my pile so I will try it for sure.

And by the way, in case you have concerns similar to Andrea’s, there’s no problem sharing a recipe you find elsewhere; recipes cannot be copyrighted. The commentary about a dish, and any detailed instructions that aren’t part of the recipe itself, are covered by copyright laws. This is something I was careful to check before starting this blog.

I do try to credit the person or publication where I got the recipe, if I know it. Unfortunately, in the case of “Bobbie’s” Passover Potato Gnocchi,” I have no idea!


Passover Potato Gnocchi

Vegetarian Dishes

Gnocchi in tomato sauce, photo by Jan Paul Koudstaal via Flickr Creative Commons


  • 900+gm (2 lb.) warm mashed potato*
  • 1 cup potato flour
  • 1 egg plus one extra yolk
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 Tbs. softened butter/margarine
  • Sauce of your choice
  • Grated hard cheese, e.g. Parmesan (optional)
  • *Alternatives: Sweet potato or pumpkin also work well with this recipe.


  1. Add potato flour to the warm mashed potatoes, then mix in rest of ingredients. This should form a dough-type mixture (might need a little more potato flour)
  2. Hand roll into long sticks and cut into 2 cm. (¾ inch) pieces; and dent each piece with a fork.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Fill a large saucepan with salted water and bring to the boil.
  5. In batches place the gnocchi into salty boiling water.
  6. Cook until they float to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well.
  7. Place in a baking pan with the sauce of your choice – a tomato or pesto sauce would work well.
  8. Sprinkle with grated cheese if you like.
  9. Bake until the sauce bubbles and the cheese melts.
  10. Alternatively, you can heat the sauce separately and pour over the gnocchi, or serve the gnocchi in soup.





  1. Andrea Cooper says

    Thanks Bobbie, I’m also smiling on the other side of the world at our story.

    Just a note for readers who prefer non-dairy. This works great without the cheese.

    I often prepare a fresh sauce (Italian style) in a frying pan, then add in my gnocchi to warm through. I’ve never done with a bolognaise sauce, but I suspect this would also be great.


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