authentic italian gnocchi recipe result

Traditional Italian Gnocchi Recipe With Eggplant Rolls

The first thing you’ll probably think about when hearing gnocchi, is Italy! In this post, Marie will explain to you how to make this authentic Italian potato gnocchi recipe! This delicious Italian recipe will for sure tingle your taste buds!

Read on to find the full recipe and instructions!

Hi there!

I’m Marie Muccio a wife, mum of three and the girl behind the food blog

Ever since I can remember I’ve always been passionate about food. My aim is to inspire people to get excited about cooking. My website is all about sharing easy, healthy and delicious recipes to nourish your family and take the stress out of deciding what to cook for dinner. 

It’s the simple dishes cooked with love that taste the best!

I’m borne and bread in Melbourne and I love everything about our beautiful city. Including the diversity and multicultural food scene. 

Both my amazing grandmothers however were born in Italy. I grew up in their kitchens watching and helping them cook beautiful humble dishes made with love.

Italian cooking is a big part of my life and my family. I am so proud to share this special recipe that’s very close to my heart.

The cultural background 

There is nothing more comforting than a bowl of homemade gnocchi. That is unless you pair it with grilled eggplant rolls filled with fresh ricotta, spinach and basil

Did you know Gnocchi get their name from the words “nocchio” which means a knot in wood and or “nocca” meaning knuckle?

This recipe comes from northern Italy where the climate is better for growing potatoes. My Nonna comes from a town called Modena which is well known for making balsamic vinegar.

Gnocchi are small, soft dumplings made from potato, flour and egg which forms a dough. The dough is then rolled out in a long sausage shape and cut into small pieces.

This recipe encompasses slices of grilled eggplant which are rolled up encasing fresh ricotta, spinach and basil. The rolls are baked in a beautiful sauce and then served together with soft pillows of fluffy gnocchi. 

The authentic Italian gnocchi recipe with eggplant rolls 

Ingredients – 4 people

For the Gnocchi 

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1tbs salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta 

For the eggplant rolls

  • 1 onion finely diced 
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 cans baby Roma or cherry tomatoes 
  • 1tbs oregano 
  • Small bunch basil leaves picked 
  • 2 medium eggplants sliced lengthways 
  • 10 basil leaves 
  • 200g fresh ricotta 
  • 200g spinach wilted and finely chopped 
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese plus extra for over the top


For the eggplants

1. Start by slicing your eggplants. I use a mandolin with a 1.5 attachment.

2. Working in batches, place the sliced eggplants on a tray lined with baking paper, brush with olive oil and season well.

3. Place the tray under a hot grill for 5 min until the slices are cooked and lightly golden.

4. Repeat until all the eggplant slices are cooked.

cooked eggplant slices for the simply italian gnocchi recipe

For the gnocchi 

1. Place the flour and salt in a large bowl and mix. Then, make a well in the centre, add the egg and ricotta and mix until a dough starts to form.

2. After that, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and gently kneed until you have a ball of dough. Add a little more flour if it’s too sticky.

3. Divide into 4, roll into sausage shapes and cut into 2-3cm pieces. Use a fork to roll the gnocchi to make an indent and place it on a tray which has been lightly floured

the gnocchi pasta for the authentic italian potato gnocchi recipe
The gnocchi

For the sauce 

1. Heat 1 tbs olive oil in a large casserole pan or ovenproof dish.

2. Cook the onion until it’s soft (duration: around 8 min)

3. Add garlic and cook for further min.

5. Add the can tomatoes, oregano and basil leaves and season well. Let it simmer for 15 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, assemble your eggplant rolls and preheat the oven to 200 degrees (celsius).

7. Place some eggplant slices on a clean, flat working surface and put a basil leaf in the centre followed by a tablespoon of the ricotta mixture. Roll the eggplant and fold over to enclose. Then, repeat for the other rolls.

8. Gently place the eggplant rolls in your sauce and sprinkle with extra Parmesan. 

9. Put it in the oven and let it cook for 20 minutes until it’s golden.

10. For the gnocchi, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the gnocchi in batches for 3-4 minutes.

11. When it’s cooked, transfer the gnocchi to the sauce with the eggplant rolls and serve with crusty bread!

result of the gnocchi dish


The gnocchi only take a short time to cook. They are ready when they float to the top of the pot. Be careful not to overcook or you will be left with stodgy gnocchi.

In my opinion, this dish is the ultimate comfort food and perfect to warm you up on a cold winter day!

The result!

authentic italian gnocchi recipe result

It’s up to you now!

What do you think about this Italian gnocchi pasta recipe? Looks delicous right?

If you tried this Italian recipe for gnocchi at home, I would love to hear how it turned out! Let me know in the comments!

For more great Mediterranean recipes you can visit Marie’s food blog at!

Interested in more international recipes? Check out my other Recipes Around The World!

2 thoughts on “Traditional Italian Gnocchi Recipe With Eggplant Rolls”

  1. Oh my goodness – this is amazing!!!!! I sooo want to make something like this! I love gnocchi AND eggplant. Going to give this a shot!

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