- Course: Side Dish
- Skill Level: Moderate
- Cost: Inexpensive
- Favorited: 39 Times
Can be made ahead of time.
I love gnocchi. To me, they’re sort of magic. They have that soul-satisfying potatoey, floury quality, and with a sauce they are just wonderful.
Peel and quarter the potatoes. Boil them in salted water until they can be pierced with a fork. Drain, return to the pan, and mash with a fork. Set the pan over a very low flame, and dry out the potatoes, stirring occasionally, until they are no longer gummy. This may take as long as 10 minutes. (You can also bake the potatoes in a 450° oven until they are done, then cut them in half lengthwise and put them back into the turned-off oven to dry for 10 minutes. Remove the insides and mash them with a fork. If you use this method, I need hardly mention, you get to eat all the crisp potato skins.)
Put the mashed potatoes in a mixing bowl and beat in the flour, eggs, butter, salt, and pepper. When all the ingredients are incorporated, turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead it gently for 3 minutes. It will be very soft. Spill a pile of flour onto the work surface, and use it to coat your hands while you work with the gnocchi. Pull off a lump of dough the size of a lemon and roll it into a long sausage as wide as your finger. Work from the center out, trying to make the roll even in width. Continue until you have rolled all the dough. Then, using a knife or your dough scraper, cut the dough into pieces ¾ inch long. With the back of a knife or fork, make a slight diagonal indentation and fold it in toward the dent. Roll the gnocchi gently under the tines of a fork so that they are ridged.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Drop the gnocchi into the water about 8 at a time, and cook them for 3 to 4 minutes, until they float to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon, and arrange in a buttered baking dish. Pour on the melted butter and sprinkle with grated cheese. Heat in a 350° oven for 15 to 20 minutes. If you make the gnocchi early in the day, you can get them ready in the pan and then reheat them for 30 minutes in the oven.
To the basic dough add 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil and 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives.
To the basic dough add ½ cup grated Gruyèe cheese and a large pinch of mace.
Spread about 2 cups Light Tomato Sauce over the cooked gnocchi arranged in the baking dish and sprinkle liberally with Parmesan cheese, then bake as above.
Nutritional information is based on 8 servings and does not include grated Parmesan cheese or caciocavallo cheese.