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Gnocchi with Beef Ragu  

HT  MC  Italian  60mins

Serves 4      Keywords: Hot  Beef Pork Offal Vegetables Alcohol Main Course Italy Europe Eggless


For the Ragu
2 Onions, chopped
1 Carrot, grated
1 stick Celery, finely chopped
2 Bacon Rashers
100g/4oz Chicken Livers, finely chopped
25g/1oz Butter
2 tbsp Olive Oil
450g/1lb Minced Beef
2 teasp Plain Flour

150ml/5fl.oz. Strong Beef Stock
90ml/3fl.oz. Dry White or Red Wine
1 x 400g/14oz tin Chopped Tomatoes
2 tbsp Tomato Puree
Salt and Black Pepper
For the Potato Gnocchi
675g/1 lb Floury Potatoes e.g. Maris Piper, King Edwards
Salt and Pepper
225g/8oz Plain Flour plus extra


1. Heat the butter in a large pan, add the vegetables and bacon and fry until lightly browned. Add the meat and chicken livers and continue to fry over a high heat until browned.
2. Sprinkle over the flour and cook for 1 minute, turning all the time. Gradually add the stock, little by little, together with the wine and bring to the boil stirring.
3. Add the remaining ingredients, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered for at least 40 minutes until the sauce is reduced and thickened.

4. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes until completely tender. This can be done by baking or boiling in their skins or cooking in the microwave. Whichever method you choose, the potatoes should be as dry as possible once cooked. Microwaving in their skins (pierced with a fork or scored with a knife) is recommended as it quicker.

5. Once cooked, peel the potatoes then mash with a fork or potato masher until smooth or pass through a ricer. Do not beat the mixture or add any milk or butter.

6. Whilst still warm, place the potato in a large mixing bowl season with salt and pepper then add of the flour and start mixing together with a knife.


7. Using your fingertips, continue adding more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. You may have to add less flour or more flour, depending on the wetness of your potato mixture but do not knead or overwork the dough.


8. Once you have a non-sticky dough, divide the mixture into 4 or more portions. Working 1 portion at a time, transfer to a well floured work surface and roll into a sausage shape, no thicker than 2cm/ in diameter then cut the sausage into pieces no longer than 2.5cm/1.


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9. Lightly dust all the pieces with flour then make shallow ridges in each piece with the tines on the back of a fork. Roll the dough off, lightly fold or roll in half and set aside on a lightly floured flat tray or plate. Repeat with all the pieces before moving on to the next portion, making sure you keep the formed gnocchi separate once they have been formed. Set aside until the sauce is cooked.

10. Bring a wide pan of around 10cm/4 deep of salted water or stock to the boil. Whilst the water is still at a rolling boil, add the gnocchi stir gently a couple of times then leave to cook for a few minutes or until they rise to the surface. Its best to cook in batches so you dont over crowd the pan otherwise the pieces will stick together.

11. Once cooked, drain with a slotted spoon and transfer to a warm dish before cooking the rest of the gnocchi. Make sure you bring the cooking liquid back to a rolling boil before adding the next batch.

Key techniques used in this recipe

Dust to To sprinkle lightly with flour, sugar or seasonings.

Fry  - To cook over a brisk heat, in oil or fat to obtain a good seal and colour.

Simmer - To maintain the temperature of a liquid at just below boiling.


Make Ahead

The sauce can be made 24 hours before hand. Allow to cool and refrigerate until ready to use. Reheat thoroughly for at least 20 minutes.



The sauce can be frozen. Allow to cool, transfer to freezer proof container or bag. Defrost thoroughly before reheating as above.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the gnocchi in shallow bowls topped with the meat sauce with a green side salad


Main equipment required to make this recipe


Wooden or plastic spoon

Wide saucepan

Slotted Spoon


Related Recipes and Information

More Italian Recipes

More Beef/Veal Recipes 

General Beef Prep & Cooking Times

Beef Cuts 


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