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Potato Gnocchi

Serves 3 – 4 as a main course, 6 as a first course

1½ lbs baking potatoes

1 large egg, beaten well

½ tsp fine salt

1½ - 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, or as needed

Preheat oven to 400°.

Wash the potatoes. Dry them well and prick all over, then cover the bottom of a sheet pan with a layer of coarse salt and arrange the potatoes on top. Bake for about an hour until completely cooked through and are soft when you squeeze them.

Remove from the oven, and as soon as they're cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and discard.

Heap 1 cup of the flour over a clean work surface along with ½ tsp fine salt. Use a potato ricer to push the potatoes on to the flour, then make a well in the center and add the beaten egg.

Using a bench scraper, gather the mass together and knead, adding more flour as necessary, but stopping as soon as it comes together into a soft dough.

Keep it light; the more you work the dough, the more flour you will need and the gnocchi will become heavy and dry.

Scrape the work surface and dust it with a little more flour. Cut the dough into three equal pieces. Roll out each portion into a long rope about 18 inches long (about ¾” diameter) then cut across into 2/3” long pieces and dust them with flour.

Working one piece at a time, roll each over the tines of a fork (or a gnocchi board), and using a “flicking motion” press your thumb into the dough to make an indentation on one side and grooves on the other. Put the finished gnocchi on a flour-dusted tray. Repeat the whole process with the remaining pieces of dough.

At this point the gnocchi must be cooked immediately or frozen.

To cook fresh gnocchi:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the gnocchi, five or six at a time, into the boiling water. Once the water returns to a boil (but not rolling, gentle), cook gnocchi for 2 – 3 minutes until they plump up and float to the surface. Using a slotted spoon or skimmer, remove the gnocchi a few at a time from the water. Drain and transfer to your sauce.

To freeze gnocchi:

Arrange the gnocchi in a single layer on a baking pan and place the pan in a level position in the freezer. Freeze until solid, about 3 hours. Gather the frozen gnocchi into resealable freezer bags. Frozen gnocchi can be stored in the freezer for 4 to 6 weeks.

To cook frozen gnocchi:

DO NOT THAW THE GNOCCHI! Frozen gnocchi must be cooked directly from the freezer in plenty of boiling water, or they will stick together. Then, follow the directions above for cooking.


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