There is something so decadent about a bowl of fluffy, light gnocchi covered in sauce. It’s such a beloved dish that I know some folks who will order it every single time they see it on a menu.
The ridges that are characteristic of classic gnocchi are one of the features that make this dish so perfect.
While you might think that gnocchi is a pasta, technically it is classified as a dumpling made from potatoes.
That being said, it generally has a pretty neutral taste and a wonderful pillowy texture that you can use as a base for hearty pasta sauces and other delicious toppings like cheese.
In order to get the perfect rounded and ridged shape of classic gnocchi, you will want to invest in a gnocchi board.
Without the ridges, your homemade gnocchi won’t be able to hold onto all the sauces and toppings that you’ve prepared to go with them.
So, how do you choose the best gnocchi board? First, decide if you need a whole gnocchi-making kit and whether you’ll be making other types of pasta. Then make sure it’s got vertical ridges, is made from wood, has a comfortable handle, and for true Italian authenticity, look for a rounded paddle.
Read on to learn how to use a gnocchi board, what to look for to choose your best gnocchi board, and the best boards to choose from.
Once you’ve found your perfect gnocchi board, you’ll be able to make homemade gnocchi like a pro!
How To Use A Gnocchi Board
If you want to make your own amazing gnocchi right in the comfort of your own home, then you can invest in a gnocchi board, called a rigagnocchi.
They aren’t super expensive, but they can take your gnocchi from amateur to professional in one quick little move.
Each board is typically made of wood with thin ridges running lengthwise down the whole board, with a handle on one end so you can keep it steady as you create.
By rolling your gnocchi down the board you’ll make an impression from the ridges and your fingers on the pasta, which holds your sauce and toppings.
In order to create the ridges in the gnocchi that allow the sauce to stick to the tiny dumplings for maximum flavor, you’ll want to use a gnocchi board to roll out your dough.
It will take a bit of time and practice to roll your dumplings perfectly, but if you keep at it you’ll become a gnocchi pro!
Follow these steps to start rolling your own gnocchi:
- Once you have made your dough, roll it out into long, thin ropes that are about 1/2 an inch thick.
- Cut the ropes of dough into small pieces that are about 1/2 an inch long
- Hold your board on a 30-45° angle. You will likely want to hold the board with your non-dominant hand so that you can roll the dough with your dominant thumb, but you can try out different options to find the one that works best.
- Lightly dust your gnocchi board with flour to help prevent the gnocchi dough from sticking as you roll.
- You can then use your thumb to roll the dough gently down the gnocchi board so that one side is covered in the depressions from the board and the other is gently pressed in from the weight of your thumb.
- Place to the side until you have finished rolling all of your gnocchi, then add to a heavily salted pot of gently boiling water.
- When the gnocchi float to the top of the water, they’re cooked. Scoop them out and finish them with your preferred sauce and toppings.
As you can see, once you’ve invested in a gnocchi board and made your dough, rolling out the cool little ridged shapes is as easy as can be.
The boards below have all been chosen because their deep vertical grooves will give you that perfect gnocchi texture.
How To Choose The Best Gnocchi Boards
When it comes to choosing the best gnocchi boards to make this pillowy little dumpling, there are some things to look out for.
Check out the following guide to help you pick the best gnocchi boards for your budget and dumpling-making needs.
Decide If You Need Just The Board Or A Gnocchi Making Set
If you want to get serious about making gnocchi at home you will need a few different tools to get the job done. These items are:
- A potato ricer. In order to get the soft, pillowy texture typical of authentic gnocchi, you’ll want to invest in a potato ricer. It gives your cooked potatoes a smooth-as-silk texture that’s perfect for making gnocchi.
- A dough cutter. If you have a pizza cutter at home you can use that, but a dough cutter will help you quickly and evenly slice through your gnocchi dough ropes to create the perfect sized little dumplings.
- A small wooden dowEL rolling pin. This pin isn’t necessary to make gnocchi, but if you want to use your gnocchi board to make other types of pasta, such as garganelli, it’s a great addition.
- The wooden gnocchi board. This piece is the main event. A long wooden paddle, with vertical grooves that you roll the gnocchi down to get the distinctive shape that catches all the sauce.
If you already have the other tools at home then you can buy just the board and get cooking.
But if you’re starting from scratch and don’t have any of the above-mentioned tools, then it’s worth investing a few more dollars for the complete setup.
Decide If You’re Going To Use It To Make Other Kinds Of Pasta
I know gnocchi isn’t technically a pasta, but for simplicity’s sake, we’re just going to roll with it (pardon the pun).
Now, if you’re investing in a gnocchi board, you may want to decide if you’ll be making other types of pasta such as garganelli.
If you plan on making this super interesting pasta, then you will want to buy a gnocchi board that comes with a dowel rolling pin.
It’s required to make the specific shape of the garganelli, by rolling the dough down the board, around the dowl.
I’ve included several boards that come with this little pin so that you can push yourself outside your pasta-making comfort zone and try some new shapes and techniques!
Make Sure Your Board Has Vertical Ridges
The most important feature of a gnocchi board is the vertical ridges that run from end to end. These ridges are the feature that gives your gnocchi the indentations that hold all your delicious sauces and toppings.
Without these ridges, you can still make tasty gnocchi, but it won’t hold sauce and cheese nearly as well.
Look For Boards Made From Woods Such As Beechwood, Bamboo, Or Walnut
Gnocchi boards made from wood are the top choice of home cooks and chefs around the world for a couple of reasons.
They are typically non-stick and will give your gnocchi dumplings the perfect texture. Wooden boards are also free of BPA and other chemicals common in plastic utensils.
Look For A Handle
To ensure your gnocchi-making experience is as smooth and easy as possible, make sure that your gnocchi board has a handle that is comfortable to grip.
Many of the paddles on this list have a comfortably designed wooden handle to make it easy for you to hold the board stable.
You’ll be holding your board on an angle as you roll your dough, so you want to make sure you have something to grip onto to keep it steady as you go.
Look For A Rounded Shape
These boards are a little harder to source outside of Italy, but I was able to find one gnocchi paddle that has a rounded shape so that you get the most authentically shaped dumplings possible.
It doesn’t make a huge difference in terms of taste or texture, but it can give you a little taste of Italian authenticity in your kitchen.
The 9 Best Gnocchi Boards
Now that you know what to look for in terms of the best gnocchi boards, you can check out the choices below to find the one that best fits your dumpling-making needs and budget.
|1.||Patelai 4 Piece Gnocchi Board Set||Best overall gnocchi board|
|2.||Deliqo Gnocchi & Cavatelli Maker Board Kitchen Set||Includes a stainless steel potato masher|
|3.||Gaucho Market Rounded Gnocchi Board||Authentic rounded shape|
|4.||Qualiteia Gnocchi Board Set for Rolling Dough||Made from sustainable bamboo wood|
|5.||Crafted Home Goods Walnut Gnocchi Board - Hand Crafted in USA||Made from beautiful dark walnut wood|
|6.||Yueshico Natural Gnocchi Boards||Easily storable|
|7.||Country Trading Store Co. Gnocchi Boards and Wooden Butter Paddles||Comes with 2 boards|
|8.||Eppicotispai Garganelli and Gnocchi Stripper||Made in Italy|
|9.||Happy Sales Gnocchi Paddle||Great starter board|
1. Patelai 4 Piece Gnocchi Board Set
I wanted to start our list off with a couple of gnocchi-making kits just in case you had to build your kitchen utensils from scratch.
This kit is great because it comes with everything you need to start making gnocchi like a pro.
The Patelai kit includes a stainless steel ricer with three different-sized shape inserts depending on how fine you want your potatoes riced.
It also comes with a plastic trapezoidal baking scraper so that you can scrape and cut your gnocchi dough quickly and easily.
Finally, this kit comes with a wooden paddle lined with vertical ridges for that perfect gnocchi shape.
It has a comfortable handle so that you can keep the board stable and includes the wooden dowel rolling pin so that you can use your kit to make garganelli and other kinds of pasta.
For the home cook looking for all the tools, this kit is a great choice since it has all your bases covered.
2. Deliqo Gnocchi & Cavatelli Maker Board Kitchen Set
I found another great kit from Deliqo to get you started on making the perfect gnocchi in your own kitchen.
Like the kit above, this one includes a stainless steel potato masher that comes with 3 different sizes of inserts so that you can choose the perfect potato consistency.
Instead of a plastic scraping and cutting tool, this one is a little more solid since it is made from stainless steel and has a rounded handle.
As a bonus, it also has a ruler etched right into the blade, so it’s as easy as can be to measure the size of your gnocchis.
Finally, it comes with a beechwood gnocchi board lined with vertical ridges to make sure you can create the perfect gnocchi every single time.
If you want to use your board to make other types of pasta, such as garganelli, it also comes with a wooden dowel rolling pin.
3. Gaucho Market Rounded Gnocchi Board
This gnocchi board from Gaucho Market gets the third slot because it is the only one on the list that has a rounded shape for that authentic Italian gnocchi experience.
It is made from beechwood and has a comfortable handle so that you can keep the board stable as you roll.
The vertical grooves and ridges on this gnocchi board ensure you will be creating amazing gnocchi that will hold all your sauces and toppings.
It doesn’t come with a wooden dowel rolling pin or any other items, so it is best for folks who are looking for a dedicated gnocchi board and have the other items such as the ricer and dough cutter already on hand.
4. Qualiteia Gnocchi Board Set for Rolling Dough
I really love this set from Qualiteia!
While it doesn’t include a potato ricer, it does have all the other tools you need to make perfect gnocchi and other types of pasta.
This kit is made from sustainable bamboo wood and comes with 2 paddles.
The paddles are lined with super deep vertical ridges for that perfect gnocchi texture. The paddles have little leather hooks so that you can hang them for easy storage.
It also comes with a wooden dough cutting tool and a wooden dowel rolling pin for pasta making.
Since they’re made from bamboo, all the items in this kit are durable, but super lightweight and made to last.
It’s the perfect option for folks who already have a potato ricer, but are looking for the other gnocchi-making tools, like the dough cutter and dowel rolling pin.
5. Crafted Home Goods Walnut Gnocchi Board – Hand Crafted in USA
This gnocchi board from Crafted Home Goods is a great choice if you’re looking for a high-quality gift for the home cook in your life.
It’s made from beautiful dark walnut wood and has those deep, vertical ridges that you need to create perfect gnocchi every time.
It also comes with a beautiful dark walnut wood dowel rolling pin. So, while it doesn’t include the dough cutter or potato ricer, it is a great choice for folks who want to experiment with different types of pasta making.
The board is made from renewable & sustainable American-Grown walnut and handcrafted right here in the USA.
You will want to occasionally season this wood with linseed oil to keep the wood soft and supple. With proper care, this is a special gnocchi board that will last lifetimes.
6. Yueshico Natural Gnocchi Boards
This traditional gnocchi board from Yueshico is made from natural beechwood.
The wood is lined with deep vertical ridges so that you can roll beautiful gnocchi that will hold all your delicious sauces.
If you are looking for a choice that includes the wooden dowel rolling pin, then this gnocchi board should rank high on your list.
It also has a perfectly sized hole drilled into the paddle so that you can easily store it and lower your risk of losing it.
It comes with a comfortable handle, which makes it easy to hold your gnocchi board for perfect rolling every single time.
There’s also a rope look on the end of the handle so that you can hang it up for easy storage. Make sure to handwash it to preserve the life of your beechwood.
7. Country Trading Store Co. Gnocchi Boards and Wooden Butter Paddles
This choice from Country Trading Store Co. actually comes with 2 beechwood gnocchi boards.
The double boards can also be used to mold pats of butter, roll butter balls, shape stick butter, and press buttermilk.
Both boards have long vertical ridges for perfect gnocchi shaping and have comfortable handles so that you can hold your boards stable as you roll.
They have loops on the ends of the handles so that you can hang them up to store them, so they are always easy to find.
These gnocchi boards don’t come with a wooden dowel rolling pin, so they’re not the best choice for folks who are hoping to experiment with other types of pasta making.
That being said, you get two high-quality wooden gnocchi boards for a very great price.
8. Eppicotispai Garganelli and Gnocchi Stripper
This gnocchi board from Eppicotispai is made in Italy out of beechwood.
It has a comfortable wooden handle easy gripping and the board is lined with deep ridges so that you can make gnocchi that will soak up every ounce of sauce.
It does come with a wooden dowel rolling pin, so it’s a great choice if you’re looking to try making some other types of pasta, such as garganelli.
It doesn’t include the potato ricer or a dough cutting tool, so if you need those items you might want to choose another kit above.
This gnocchi board is a great price and will definitely set you up to start creating beautiful little gnocchi dumplings right in your own kitchen.
9. Happy Sales Gnocchi Paddle
The last gnocchi board on our list from Happy Sales is the most basic.
It is made from beechwood and has those distinctive vertical ridges that are so important on a gnocchi board.
It has an ergonomically designed handle so that you can comfortably hold it in place as you roll.
It’s made in Italy and comes with a really affordable price tag, so it’s a great choice for beginners who are interested in trying to make their own gnocchi.
This choice doesn’t come with the wooden dowel rolling pin, so again, if you are someone who is planning to use your board for multiple types of pasta, then you may want to choose a different option from this list.
With that said, it’s an affordable entry point for folks curious about making gnocchi.