If I had to choose one food to live off of for the rest of my life, without hesitation I would choose the potato. I have never met a potato I didn’t like.
Gnocchi is basically a potato dumpling. They aren’t as difficult to make as you might think. It requires few ingredients and can be used in a variety of dishes. The secret to light, pillowy gnocchi is to NOT overwork the dough.
4 medium-large russet potatoes
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1. Scrub the potatoes but do not peel. Place in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender. This will take 20-25 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. Cooking the potatoes this way will keep them from absorbing too much water.
2. Remove the potatoes and allow them to cool. When you are able to handle them comfortably, remove and discard the peels. Using a ricer or a large grater, grate the potatoes.
3. On a large work surface mound the grated potatoes. Cover with the flour and sprinkle with salt. Make a well in the center and add the egg. With a fork, beat the egg. Gently begin to incorporate the potato, flour, and egg together.
4. Use your hands to begin forming a dough kneading gently a few times. Do not overwork the dough and avoid adding more flour. The dough will be slightly sticky but easy to work with.
5. Form the dough into a ball and divide into fourths. If you prefer working with smaller pieces, you could divide each fourth again.
6. Take each piece of dough and roll into a rope about 3/4-1 inch in diameter. Slice each rope into 1/2 inch pieces and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper that has been sprinkled with a little flour to prevent sticking.
7. If you wish to make them dimpled, you can do this by rolling them gently over the tines of a fork. I chose to skip this step.
This recipe made a lot of gnocchi. I froze half of them on a baking sheet for 1-2 hours then packaged them in a food saver bag and stuck them in the freezer for later use.
Shake the excess flour from the gnocchi and place in boiling, salted water for 2-4 minutes until they float to the top. Remove from the water and place them in your sauce of choice.
I used a brown butter with sage sauce that is simple to make and is delicious with gnocchi.
BROWN BUTTER WITH SAGE
1. Melt 4 oz butter in a medium saute pan. Once it goes just beyond the melted stage, it will begin to turn a beautiful amber color and develop a nutty aroma. Watch it carefully because it can burn quickly and you don’t want that.
2. Add 5-6 sage leaves that have been julienned and allow them to cook for about 30 seconds watching to make sure nothing burns.
3. Add the gnocchi to the sauce and cook until they are slightly browned. Scrumptious!