Gnocchi might be the kind of dish that can seem intimidating. In reality they actually only require a few simple ingredients and a little time. The secret to keeping them light and tender is to use starchy potatoes and only as much flour as you need to hold the dough together.
Servings: 4 to 6
1 kg Russet (or other starchy) potatoes
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
Because you want the potatoes as dry as possible for making your dough it works well to bake them in oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Wash potatoes and pierce them a few times with fork. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake for about an hour or until they are feel soft when you insert a knife.
Allow the potatoes to cool enough so you can handle them and then peel them, discarding the skin.
Put the potatoes through a ricer to make them fine in texture for your dough. If you don’t have a ricer, you can grate them on the largest holes in your grater. Allow the potatoes to cool fully.
Lightly whisk eggs with salt, nutmeg, white pepper.
Make a well in the middle of your potatoes and pour in the egg. Now sprinkle the potatoes with 1 cup flour. Gently start to pull the potatoes, egg and flour together with your hands to form a dough. Only add as much flour as you need to make the dough stay together without being sticky — up to 2 cups. You may only need 1.
Do not overwork the dough or add excess flour as these are the things that can make your gnocchi heavy instead of light in texture.
Cut off strips of the dough and roll them into a tube-like shape. Using knife or pastry cutter start to cut them into small bite-size pieces.
Roll each piece along the back of a floured fork to make indentations.
Place the gnocchi on a tray as you make them. At this point you could freeze them on the tray, and once frozen put them into a a freezer bag. They can be cooked from frozen.
If cooking immediately, heat a large pot of water to a gentle boil and drop in the gnocchi a few at a time — stir gently to make sure they don’t stick.
When they float to the top, give them another second and then scoop them out (or taste one to make sure it is cooked).
When adding sauce to your gnocchi be gentle when you coat them so they don’t break up. You can serve them plain with butter, with a gorgonzola sauce or any tomato-based sauce.