Gnocchi Aglio e Olio

published Sep 11, 2023
Gnocchi Aglio e Olio Recipe

This crispy, pan-fried gnocchi is tossed with spicy garlic oil and arugula to make a complete one-pan meal.

Serves4-6

Prep5 minutes

Cook20 minutes to 25 minutes

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Close up overhead view of gnocchi, arugula and ricotta in a white bowl.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: James Park

When my kitchen is sparse and something quick and comforting is what I crave, I look to the simple yet classic pasta dishes that Italians are known for: cacio e pepe, Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce with onion and butter, and carbonara. These are just a few favorites that fall under this umbrella, but aglio e olio is arguably the least fussy of them all. 

Traditionally made with spaghetti, pasta aglio e olio is nothing but pasta tossed in an aromatic sauce of garlic (aglio) and olive oil (olio) that’s kicked up with red pepper flakes. This one-skillet twist swaps the spaghetti for store-bought potato gnocchi and adds wilted arugula to the equation to deliver a complete meal.

Keep a Couple of Packages of Gnocchi on Hand for This Weeknight Wonder

This aglio e olio recipe calls for shelf-stable gnocchi, which I always keep stocked in my pantry. To be honest, though, I never boil it. Instead, I prefer pan-frying the dumplings so they get golden-brown and crispy on the outside, and tender and pleasantly chewy on the inside. 

While you can do the same with frozen or fresh gnocchi, I find that shelf-stable brown and cook the best in a hot skillet. Toss them with spicy, garlic-infused olive oil, arugula, and a squeeze of lemon for brightness, then finish things off with a dollop of whole-milk ricotta for cool creaminess with every bite. 

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: James Park

5 More Skillet Gnocchi Recipes to Try

Gnocchi Aglio e Olio Recipe

This crispy, pan-fried gnocchi is tossed with spicy garlic oil and arugula to make a complete one-pan meal.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes to 25 minutes

Serves 4-6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 6

    cloves garlic

  • 1/4 cup

    plus 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 2

    (16- to 18-ounce) packages shelf-stable potato gnocchi, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    red pepper flakes, plus more for serving

  • 5 ounces

    baby arugula (about 5 packed cups)

  • 1/2

    small lemon

  • Whole-milk ricotta cheese, for serving

  • Flaky sea salt, for serving

Instructions

  1. Thinly slice 6 garlic cloves.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a 12-inch cast iron or other heavy-bottomed high-sided skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Break up 1 package of the potato gnocchi into individual gnocchi and add to the skillet in a single layer. Cover (​​a baking sheet or the lid of a Dutch oven works well) and cook undisturbed until the bottoms are golden-brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of the kosher salt and toss to combine. Cover and continue to cook until the gnocchi are plump and tender, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes more.

  3. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and spread out in a single layer. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to the pan and repeat cooking the remaining package of gnocchi, seasoning it with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and transferring to the baking sheet.

  4. Reduce the heat to low and let the pan cool down for a few minutes. Add the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil to the now-empty pan and heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes and sauté until fragrant and the garlic has softened and is only just beginning to turn light golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

  5. Return the gnocchi to the pan. Add 5 ounces baby arugula a few handfuls at a time, tossing until the arugula is just wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 small lemon over the gnocchi and toss to combine. Transfer to individual shallow bowls or plates. Garnish each serving with a generous dollop of ricotta cheese. Serve garnished with a generous sprinkle of flaky sea salt and more red pepper flakes, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.