Gnocchi is a typical Italian dish which is produced in different varieties. This is a delicious recipe for all family to enjoy and the perfect comfort food for rainy cold days. It takes a little time to make them from scratch but it’s totally worth it. You will love them!
Serves 4 small portions
1kg potatoes, boiled with skin on
450gr plain flour (300gr to add in the potatoes and 150gr to add a little at a time while working the dough)
1 teaspoon salt
Few things to keep in mind:
Boil the potatoes with their skin as they retain their flavour better, the pulp does not absorb too much water and most of all, it does not flake.
Mush the potatoes as soon as possible. Because of the starch, if they cool too much, they become sticky. On the other hand, don’t add the flour and the egg if the potatoes are too hot.
To prevent them from losing consistency, don’t wait too long before cooking them.
To prevent from sticking in the pot, cook one portion at a time.
As you cook them (remember, it takes only few seconds to float to the top), place them in a bowl adding a little olive oil to prevent from sticking together.
The best potatoes for gnocchi are the floury type with red skin. However, rest assured that you can have great gnocchi even if you use the all-purpose potatoes.
Remember that the more flour you add, the harder they become. They should not be too hard and chewy and not too soft either.
Boil the potatoes. You know they are done when you can pierce them through with a pointed knife and easily slide off.
Once cool down a bit, peel them, put them in a large bowl and crush them with a potato ricer or a masher.
Add the flour, the egg and salt, and with your hands, blend the ingredients for a couple of minutes (the dough should be soft and should hold together well).
Flour a flat surface and start quickly working the dough by dividing it in small pieces (each should fit in the palm of your hand).
Roll and gently stretch each piece while adding a little flour when necessary.
Cut the stretched pieces (about 2cm long) and place them in a well-floured tray.
You can make a small hollow at the centre of each piece (one side only) but I wouldn’t bother too much giving them any particular shape because as you pick them up to put them in the water, due to being soft, they automatically change shape. I also prefer them misshapen because they hold better the tomato sauce.
In the meantime, bring a large saucepan or pot of salted water to the boil and leave on the side a large bowl and a small colander.
When you done making the gnocchi, drop them one by one into the water, cooking small quantities at a time.
As they come up to the surface, scoop them with a slotted spoon and put them in the bowl you prepared, adding a little olive oil.
Serve them with your favourite sauce and enjoy!