Someone requested I post this recipe and I was more than happy to agree. Unfortunately I have no photos of the process – the next time I make this dish I will have to add some.
Gnocchi is probably my favorite pasta and it is surprisingly easy to make, although the process is time consuming so be prepared to spend a few hours doing it, especially if it is your first time!
I have found that the best potatoes to use are starchy, white fleshed baking potatoes. The ones we grew this year were perfect, even though they were small. Be prepared to start the process several hours before you plan on serving, as you have to bake the potatoes and use them hot. I have tried using old, room temperature baking potatoes for this and it was a horrible failure. Hot potatoes are a necessity for this recipe!
Note: I don’t usually make things that require specific kitchen implements, but for this recipe you absolutely must have either a potato ricer or a large mesh strainer. This is really the only way to get the potato “flour” that you need in order to make these successfully.
2 lbs potatoes
1 – 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
salt to taste
Begin the process by baking the potatoes until they are completely soft. I typically bake them at 350 degrees for 75 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the oven and let them cool just long enough so they can be handled without burning yourself.
Using the above mentioned mesh strainer or ricer, process all the potatoes through until you have a bowl of potato “snow”. You want to remove the peels before you do this, unless your ricer is designed to keep peels out of the resulting mash. I tend to scoop the warm potato out of the jacket with a spoon before pressing it through my strainer.
Once you have finished this step, add the flour and the salt. I like to use a sifter so as to avoid any lumps. Go ahead and add the first cup, kneading the dough with your hands. If it seems exceptionally sticky, go ahead and add flour until it reaches the right consistency.
Turn it out onto a clean, smooth surface knead into a ball. Splitting it into hand sized sections (I usually end up with four) roll the dough out into a long rope. You want it to be no more than an inch around. Cut the dough into 1/2 inch sections and flatten slightly with the tines of a fork. This leaves you with an oblong shaped piece of pasta.
Immediately place into salted boiling water. Cook until the gnocchi rise to the top, usually around 5 minutes, and serve with your favorite sauce. I personally like pesto on mine, however any sauce will work, including a simple brown butter.