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Gnocchi are not always easy to make but this recipe works well. Adding the flour gently, and knowing when to stop, is the key. Serve with pesto or butter and sage sauce.

Servings: Eight

Ready time: 2 hours 45 minutes including cooling time

Ingredients

2 russet potatoes, about 2 pounds (1 kilogram)

2 egg yolks, beaten

salt and freshly ground pepper

1 1/4 cups to 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Method

Preheat oven to 350 F (176 C).

Prick the potatoes with a fork. Bake potatoes in oven for 1 hour or until soft. Remove and let sit until cool enough to handle. Scoop flesh into a bowl. Leave potatoes uncovered until completely cool, about 1 hour.

Pass potatoes through potato ricer or food mill into a bowl.

Add egg yolks and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Lightly toss eggs with potatoes. Stir in 1 cup of flour with a fork. Different potatoes contain different amounts of water, so add remaining flour as needed.

Dough should have the consistency of soft modelling clay, and still feel tender. It should not be sticky. (Avoid kneading dough; it makes the gnocchi doughy and heavy.) Divide dough into 6 and roll each piece into a rope about 1/2-inch thick. Cut ropes into 1-inch-long dumplings on the diagonal.

Using your thumbs, gently push down on the pointed ends forming two indents.

Repeat with remaining dough. Arrange the finished gnocchi on a lightly floured cloth so that they are not touching. Let dry for 15 minutes. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi in batches and bring to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes after they rise to the surface.

Remove with a slotted spoon and serve with sauce.

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