Thursday, 24 November 2011


Potato gnocchi are very simple to make, but there are some fundamental rules to follow in order to avoid a disaster.

- Potatoes with red skin are the best for this recipe; I use Red King Edward potatoes;

- cook the whole potatoes, don't chop them, otherwise they'll absorbe too much water;

- they have to cook slowly, on low heat, 20/30 minutes from the moment in which the water starts to  boil;

- you have to work the potatoes while still hot;

-the flour quantity is approximate; it depends of how much of it the potatoes absorb, so start with half of the dose, then add it if needed.


800 g red skin potatoes
400 g plain flour
30 g butter
some sage leaves
grated Parmesan

Scrub the potatoes clean and put them in a large pot. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil.
Cook, uncovered, until potatoes are tender all the way through, about 20 minutes after the water has come to a boil.
Drain potatoes and once they are cool enough to handle but still warm, use a paring knife to scrape off and discard the skins. Push the potatoes through a ricer or food mill into a large bowl or mash with a large fork or potato masher thoroughly.
Stir in 250 g flour - it will seem like it won't combine at first, but keep working it - eventually it will become a smooth dough.Then, if needed add more flour ( you realise you need more flour when the dough is sticky). You can tell the dough is ready when it doesn't have any holes or tears and when it is porous.

Divide the dough into four parts and work with one section at a time. Roll a section of dough into a long, inch-thick snake on a well floured surface. Cut this thin log into bite-size (1.5 cm) pieces.
If you like, you can take each gnocco and push it down the tines of a fork with your thumb, letting it drop onto a floured surface at the end. It should have tine marks on one side and a thumbprint on the other. Arrange gnocchi on a very well floured baking sheet or tray. Repeat with remaining dough.

Gnocchi can stay, covered loosely, at room temperature for several hours.
When ready to cook, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add only as many gnocchi as can comfortably cover the surface of the water. They will sink immediately.Within about a couple of minutes they will float to the surface; remove them with a slotted spoon. Place gnocchi on a warm serving platter and repeat with remaining gnocchi. Toss with melted butter and sage and a generous amount of grated Parmesan.

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