Potato gnocchi are one of the easier types of ‘pasta’ to make at home and are most definitely worth the effort. The ones that you find in the stores are,well … hardly worth eating—especially after you’ve tried the real thing. The best homemade potato gnocchi are light and really do taste of potatoes. Once you’ve made them a couple of times, they will take you no more than an hour to make, including the initial cooking of the potatoes. It is a skill well worth cultivating.
- Boil potatoes till tender but still firm. Peel them when cool enough and mash when still warm.
- Combine mashed potatoes, flour salt and egg in a large bowl or on countertop. Knead gingerly until dough forms a ball.
- Using your hands make a rope and cut into 1-inch lengths. Take each bit of dough and flip it with your index finger against the inside of a fork .
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in gnocchi and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until gnocchi have risen to the top; drain and serve with your favorite sauce. Yummi!
- For 4 people
- 2 lb. organic russet potatoes -
- 300 gr. unbleached flour - extra flour for the countertop
- 1 egg -
- 1 Tbs fine sea salt - + 3-4 Tbs coarse salt for the water
- about 3 Tbs salted butter -
- about 1/3 c. cream -
- fresh sage (2 sprigs) -
- freshly grated parmigiano cheese -
Boil (or steam) the potatoes with their jackets on until quite tender.To test for doneness, stick a pairing knife into one of the potatoes; if you can slip it out easily without picking up the potato, then it’s done.
Drain the potatoes and, as soon as they are cool enough to handle, peel them and pass them through a potato ricer into a large bowl or onto your countertop. You can use also a food mill or a potato masher.
Working very gently with a spatula or by hand, mix into the puréed potato a Tbs of salt, the egg (optional) and most of the flour, just enough to make a smooth, soft and only slightly sticky dough. Do not over knead the dough or it will become gummy, just mix the ingredients together as delicately as you can. Form the dough into a smooth ball and place it on a well floured surface.
Then cut off a small chunk of the dough, cover the rest with a kitchen towel, and roll with both hands until you have a ‘rope’ about the thickness of your thumb.
USING A FORK: Cut this rope into 2 cm (a bit less than an 1 inch) lengths. Take each bit of dough and flip it with your index finger against the inside of a fork . This will cause the gnocchi to take on a concave shape with the typical ridges on the outside, which will ‘catch’ any sauce you put on them.
USING A GNOCCHI PADDLE: this is a special rigagnocchi, or ‘gnocchi paddle’ (shown), which you can find in some speciality food shops. This will make the process a bit easier and faster.
Place your gnocchi on a lightly floured dish, (or on a floured baking sheet if you're going to freeze them) as you make them.
Just a few minutes before adding the gnocchi to the boiling water, in a medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add sage leaves. Cook until butter browns and sage becomes almost crispy, about 5 minutes. Add some whipping cream to make the sauce "creamier.
Cook gnocchi in a gently boiling well-salted water. They are done just as soon as they rise to the surface of the water.
Transfer to a bowl immediately and then dress them with the sauce, sprinkle with some freshly grated parmigiano. Serve immediately. Enjoy!