Makin’ Gnocchi

Tyler helped me do up and abundance of potatoes – we made gnocchi! Here is how we did it.

Ingredients

  • Scant 2 pounds of starchy potatoes, 2 large russets
  • 1/4 cup egg, lightly beaten
  • scant 1 cup of unbleached all-purpose flour
  • fine grain sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Prepare the Potatoes

  1. Fill a large pot with cold water. Salt the water, then cut potatoes in half and place them in the pot. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes until tender throughout, this takes roughly 40-50 minutes.
  2. Remove the potatoes from the water one at a time with a slotted spoon. Place each potato piece on a large cutting board and peel it before moving on to the next potato. Save the potato water. Also, peel each potato as soon as possible after removing from the water. Be mindful that you want to work relatively quickly so you can mash the potatoes when they are hot. To do this you can either push the potatoes through a ricer, or mash them one at a time on the cutting board using the tines of a fork. Don’t over-mash.
  3. Let the potatoes cool spread out across the cutting board – ten or fifteen minutes. Long enough that the egg won’t cook when it is incorporated into the potatoes.

Make the Gnocchi

  1. When you’re ready, pull the potatoes into a soft mound. Drizzle with the beaten egg and sprinkle 3/4 cup of the flour across the top. I’ve found that a metal spatula or large pastry scraper are both great utensils to use to incorporate the flour and eggs into the potatoes with the egg incorporated throughout – you can see the hint of yellow from the yolk. Scrape underneath and fold, scrape and fold until the mixture is a light crumble. Lightly knead the dough. This is also the point you can add more flour if the dough is too tacky. The dough should be moist but not sticky. It should feel almost billowy. 
  2. Cut it into 8 pieces. Now gently roll each 1/8th of dough into a snake-shaped log, roughly the thickness of your thumb. Use a knife to cut pieces every 3/4-inch. Dust with a bit more flour.
  3. To shape the gnocchi hold a fork in one hand and place a gnocchi pillow against the tines of the fork, cut ends out. Use your thumb and press in and down the length of the fork. Set each gnocchi aside, dust with a bit more flour if needed, until you are ready to boil them.

Boil the Gnocchi and Serve

  1. Reheat your potato water or start with a fresh pot (salted), and bring to a boil. Cook the gnocchi in batches by dropping them into the boiling water roughly twenty at a time. When the float to the top – they are done. Remove them from the water a few at a time with a slotted spoon ten seconds or so after they’ve surfaced. Have a large platter ready with a generous swirl of whatever sauce or favorite pesto you’ll be serving on the gnocchi. Place the gnocchi on the platter. Continue cooking in batches until all the gnocchi are done. Gently toss with more sauce or pesto, and serve immediately, with a drizzle of olive oil.
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