Gnocchi

Now’s the time to honour Italy like never before.

I usually make them on the big side. Big boys. This is because I would rather wait longer for them to cook than roll out a million gnocchi, but you can decide for yourself how big you want them.

These are delicious with any sauce. Pesto, pan fried with capers and parmesan. Here I’ve gone for a ragu with lashings of parmesan and dried chili flakes.

There are few things in life more comforting than a bowl of these pillowy, potato dumplings.

Ingredients

1 kg potatoes

1 tsp salt

1 large egg

300g 00 flour

Directions

Potatoes. You have two choices here.

1.Boil them – but do not allow the skins to break! You want the potatoes to be as dry as possible.

2.My method of choice – bake them. Prick them with a fork and bake at 190°C for about an hour.

Dough. Peel the potatoes and mash, while they’re still hot. If you have a potato ricer, use that. I don’t so I grate them on a box grater, and then go over it again with a fork. Allow to cool.

Sprinkle over the salt and egg, mix well. Add half of the flour, and mix in well. Tip out onto a clean work surface and incorporate the other half of the flour by gently kneading.

If you have time, place the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes, it’s easier to work with when cold.

I find a dough scraper easiest to work with for this bit, but a large kitchen knife works perfectly fine. Cut off pieces of dough and then roll into a snake that’s about 3/4 inch diameter. Cut off squares and place onto baking sheets, dusting lightly with flour to prevent sticking.

Optional. Roll the gnocchi off the back of a fork to achieve ridges on one side and a dimple on the other. Purists say this helps the sauce cling to the gnocchi, and they’re not wrong. Realistically, I often skip this step, and I’m not alone. Your gnocchi will be delicious whatever you decide.

Cook. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Salt it less than you would for pasta, if it’s too salty your gnocchi will clump together. Cook in batches, they are done when they float to the surface.

Serve with the sauce of your choice.

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