It has been quite a long time since I last made gnocchi, but with a bag of starchy potatoes sitting on the counter…why not? I know that there are some recipes out there, including one from Mario Batali, that utilize egg in gnocchi. There is probably some that would say it will be fluffier and more pillowy that way, but I opted to use Mark Bittman’s recipe which was for gnocchi sans egg (as it happened, I didn’t have any eggs on hand anyway).
In the past when I’d made gnocchi, I sometimes end up with gnocchi that is a little bit heavy. This time, I opted to ensure I added as little flour as possible — which Bittman stresses heavily. Adding just 1/2 cup at first, I really didn’t need any more flour in the initial mix. I did flour my work surface, which adds a little to the dough, but you want to ensure that you only incorporate additional flour a tablespoon at a time. The more starchy your potatoes (don’t use the waxy variety) the better off you’ll gnocchi will be and taste.
I opted to top the gnocchi with a basic tomato sauce, but a brown butter sauce, cream sauce or anything else you can dream up would work just as well.
From How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman
1 lb of starchy potatoes (russet or Idaho)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup of flour (more or less depending on need)
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
Fresh Parmesan Cheese
Place potatoes in a pot with watcher to cover by 1 inch. Adjust heat so the water is simmering and cook until potatoes are tender, about 30-45 minutes. Drain, peel (use kitchen towel to hold hot potatoes). Mash potatoes with a fork, masher or potato ricer into a medium bowl.
Rinse pot from potatoes and add fresh water and salt and bring to a boil.
Add rosemary, a pinch of salt and a fresh ground pepper, to taste, to the potatoes. Add 1/2 cup flour to mashed potatoes and stor until mixture forms a nice dough. Add additional flour, a little at a time, as necessary to create a dough that you can handle without it falling apart completely. Knead dough on a lightly floured service for about 1 minute, don’t over knead. Break off a pinch of dough and boil to ensure it stays together. If it falls apart, knead dough another 30 seconds. Ideally, you want to use as little flour as possible.
Break dough into about 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 1/2 inch thick and then cut into 1 inch lengths. You can then use the tines of a fork to create ridges in each gnoccho, be sure to press very lightly. Place completed gnoccho onto a cookie sheet lined with wax or parchment paper. Repeat until all gnocchi is completed.
A few at at a time, drop into boiling water and stir. A minute after they rise to the surface, they are ready. Using a slotted spoon, remove and place into a bowl and cover with preferred sauce or butter and serve as soon as possible.** Top with fresh Parmesan cheese and enjoy!!
**If you don’t want to serve immediately, create an ice bath with about 4-6 cups of cold water and lots of ice. After each batch of gnocchi is cooked, drop into ice bath. Once all completed, drain water and add to a medium bowl with several tablespoons of vegetable oil. Will keep in fridge for 48 hours. To reheat, add to a pan with a little butter and top with preferred sauce or simply serve with butter.