Creamy Wild Mushroom & Potato Gnocchi by Odette Williams

Serves 4

This creamy soft potato gnocchi and crispy mushrooms recipe by Australian-born, Brooklyn-based cook and writer Odette Williams is homey and comforting on these cold winter nights. If stinky cheese is your thing, you might want to melt a knob or two in the creamy sauce — delicious!

Recipe by Odette Williams from her latest cookbook, Simple Pasta.


1 recipe of Potato Gnocchi (see below)

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed

450g mixed mushrooms (such as baby shiitakes, oyster, and cremini), large ones torn into bite-size pieces, plus more for garnishing

1 shallot, finely diced

1 garlic clove, finely diced

3/4 cup chicken stock

2 teaspoons fresh thyme, plus more for garnishing

1/2 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for sprinkling


1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.

2. In a large heavy-bottomed frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add half the mushrooms and cook, tossing occasionally, until tender but crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and mushrooms. Keep warm.

3. Turn the heat to medium-low, add another splash of olive oil, if the pan is dry, add the shallot and garlic, and sauté until translucent and soft, about 2 minutes.

4. Add the chicken stock to the pan and deglaze, scraping up the browned bits with a wooden spoon. Add the thyme, turn the heat to low, and reduce the stock by half. Stir in the sour cream and let simmer gently.

5. Add half the gnocchi to the boiling water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or according to package instructions if using store-bought. When they float to the surface, it’s a good indication they’re done. Pop one in your mouth to make sure it’s cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked gnocchi into the frying pan. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi.

6. Stir 1/2 cup of the gnocchi water into the pan and toss to coat. Return most of the mushrooms to the pan along with the butter and gently toss to combine. Season with the salt and pepper.

7. Serve the gnocchi sprinkled with Parmigiano and garnished with the reserved mushrooms and some thyme.

Tip - moisture is the enemy of crisp mushrooms. Don’t soak or rinse fresh mushrooms under water as they will absorb too much liquid. Instead, wipe them clean with a damp paper towel or clean dish towel.

Potato Gnocchi:

680g unpeeled russet potatoes
1 large egg, beaten
1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed


1. In a large wide pot, add the potatoes and enough water to cover them (you’ll also cook the gnocchi in this pot). Bring to a boil and cook until a sharp knife poked into a potato meets only a little resistance, 35 to 40 minutes. Turn off the heat. Remove the potatoes from the water and, when cool enough to handle, remove the skins.

2. Using a ricer, box grater, or Microplane, pass or grate the potatoes into a fine consistency, making sure there are no lumps. Spread the potatoes out on a baking sheet to dry out and cool a little.

3. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, egg, pecorino, salt, and pepper. Gradually add the flour and use your hands to combine everything and bring the dough together.

4. Place the dough on a clean, dry, lightly floured work surface and knead just until the dough comes together in a smooth ball. If the dough feels a little sticky, add a bit more flour. If you won’t be rolling out immediately, cover with a piece of plastic wrap.

5. Dust a large baking sheet with flour. Lightly flour a large wooden cutting board or work surface. Take a small piece of dough and roll it into a snake about 3/4 inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut the snake into pieces about a thumb’s width. (If you’d like to give your gnocchi a little flair, roll the cut pieces along the tines of a gnocchi paddle or a fork.) Place the gnocchi on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.

6. If cooking within a couple of hours, leave the baking sheet on the counter. To store, freeze in a single layer of gnocchi on the baking sheet, transfer the frozen pasta to a ziplock bag or airtight container, and freeze for about 1 month. To cook, don’t defrost, just boil frozen; otherwise, they will fall apart.

About Odette Williams

Born and raised in a coastal steel town two hours north of Sydney, Australia, Odette moved to New York in 2006 with her husband, Nick, and the couple now have two children, Opal and Ned. It all started with her eponymous line of aprons, which was inspired by an apron design she made for her own kids when she couldn’t find any existing options, and has collaborated with brands such as goop, Anthropologie and Le Bon Marche.

Odette is the author of Simple Cake [named one of the Best Cookbooks of 2019 by The New York Times, among other accolades] and Simple Pasta [named one of the Best Cookbooks of 2022 by The New York Times]. Additionally, as a food writer, Odette has contributed to top national publications including Wall Street Journal, Epicurious, Saveur and many others. Last summer, Odette debuted her Wall Street Journal column, Party Trick, that provides tips, hacks, and recipes for effortless entertaining. She lives in Brooklyn with her family, and travels back to Australia when it’s time to escape winter.

Photography by Graydon Herriott.