The “topini” or better known as “gnocchi” is a very traditional recipe. In Livorno, my hometown, they are called “topini.” This word means “little mice”, a form that this peculiar pasta recipe made of potato and flour takes. I pass the recipe to you as we have made it at home for generations. It is very soft and can be accompanied with different sauces or even eaten as is with a little olive oil. They are great!

Be careful because they don’t need much cooking, a few minutes will be enough. Once done, they are thrown into a pan of boiling water abundantly. The trick to knowing if they are ready is when you see that they are rising and floating to the surface.


-1kg of potatoes

-300gr of flour


-1 egg

Steps to prepare the recipe:

1- Unpeeled potatoes are boiled (so they don’t absorb so much water) in a saucepan with plenty of water and salt. Cook for about 40 or 50 minutes (depending on the size). To know that they are already cooked you can prick with a fork. Before they are completely cool, peel and mash them with a fork or mash.

2-Once crushed, add the potatoes to the flour that we have prepared on the kitchen counter.

3- You begin to knead everything with your hands gently. Be careful not to burn yourself because the potatoes may still be hot.

4- Add the salt to taste while you are mixing together with the egg.

5- Once everything is kneaded, we form a ball. Do not knead it too much or you could make the dough hard and when you cook the gnocchi they will not be so tender.

6- Take a little of the dough and stretch it by rolling it under our hands, forming a round and elongated “sausage” about 2 cm thick.

7-We proceed in the same way with all the dough.

8-Once the strips are made, they are cut to the most regular shape and size possible.

9- The last step before boiling them is to mark them with a fork giving them the shape of the lines so that they are more beautiful. This step is optional since it is quite laborious but they will be much more beautiful when serving the «topini.

10- Now it’s time to boil them. Remember that they cook quickly and that the trick is to leave them enough minutes until they float to the surface. When this happens they will be ready to eat. Serve them with the sauce that you like the most. It is a forceful but very rich recipe.

Recommendation: the old potato is better since it does not suck as much water and thus we will not have to add flour to the recipe. The gnocchi will be softer and lighter.

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