Gnocchi di prugne – Friulian prune-stuffed gnocchi

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This curious prune-stuffed gnocchi recipe hails from the city of Trieste in Friuli, and combines sweet and savoury flavours to create something truly remarkable. The potato dumplings are stuffed with prunes, flavoured with Parmesan and topped with butter, breadcrumbs and cinnamon. They're served both as a dessert or a savoury course.

First published in 2018

This recipe comes from the province of Trieste. The gnocchi are large – more like dumplings than the ones we are used to – and have a remarkable sweet and salty flavour. The recipe seems to have originated in Bohemia and then trickled down through Austria into Friuli. It is still sometimes known by the German name zwetschgenknödel.

This version is made with prunes, but it can also be made with fresh plums (susine) when in season. The gnocchi have an extraordinary taste that becomes quite moreish with every bite.




  • 1kg floury potatoes
  • 20g of butter
  • 60g of grated Parmesan
  • salt
  • 1 egg
  • 300g of plain flour
  • 250g of prunes
  • 2 tbsp of granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp of fine breadcrumbs, toasted
  • ground cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp of butter, melted


Peel the potatoes and cut them in half. Place them in a large saucepan of water, bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft
Drain the potatoes and transfer them into a large bowl. Mash them together with the butter and grated Parmesan. Add salt to taste, then leave to cool slightly
When the mashed potatoes have cooled, add the egg and then the flour, bringing it together to form a dough. If the dough is too sticky, add another tablespoon or so of flour
Remove the stones from the prunes and cut them in half. Dust them lightly with sugar
Divide the dough into 3 then roll into sausages about 2cm thick. Slice into 2cm pieces
Flatten a piece of dough into a disc in your palm. Press a prune half into the middle, wrap the dough around it, and then roll it between your hands until it forms a ball. Repeat this process until you run out of dough or prunes
In a large saucepan, bring 8 liters of salted water to the boil
Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water. Wait for them to rise to the top of the saucepan (about two to three minutes) and then cook for a further ten or fifteen seconds. Test to check that the gnocchi have cooked through
Drain and divide the gnocchi between four serving bowls. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cinnamon and pour a little melted butter over the top. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving

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Luca Marchiori is a food writer, recipe developer and food historian. His blog Luca’s Italy is all about discovering authentic Italian food and sharing the recipes that Italians really eat.

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