I can’t even write this recipe without having the taste sensation of the light, fluffy potato dumplings in my mouth, coated with the rich tomato sauce and strong smell of basil floating in the air. Belissimo! A great Italian classic that l have been cooking for many years, satisfying many hungry stomaches. It’s easy, affordable, deliciously light – well, that depends on how many you want to eat. I serve this as a starter although it can easily be served as a main meal.
Ingredients – Serves 10 as a starter or 6 as a main
1 kg potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters, 1 large free range egg, 2 cups plain flour
- Steam the potatoes for 30 minutes or until cooked.
- Place potatoes into a large bowl and using a potato masher, crush until smooth.
- Add the flour and egg to the potatoes and mix with a wooden spoon.
- Put your hands into the bowl to make a dough.
- Sprinkle flour over a wooden board, place the dough on the board and shape with your hands into a square, 1cm thick.
- Using a knife cut the square in half then cut each half of the dough into thin strips.
- Roll each strip into a thin sausage, then cut into small pieces about 2cm long, so you have small cylindrical shapes.
- Flour your hands and use your thumb to roll each piece of gnocchi gently down the back of a fork. The final result should be that one side of the gnocchi has an indent from your thumb and one side ridges from the fork. If this is too hard just roll them into small balls.
- Sprinkle some more flour over a baking tray and place each small piece of gnocchi on top.
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add 1/4 of the gnocchi, within 2 minutes they should float to the surface of the water, let cook for a further 40 second and then lift out with a slotted spoon.
- Transfer them to a warm plate so they are not sitting on each other, sauce them as soon as you can. I like them with either a rich tomato sauce with basil leaves ripped into the sauce or briefly sautéed with pesto, cream and garnished with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Note – If you don’t use all the Gnocchi, put pieces sprinkled with flour on a baking tray and place the tray into the freezer for 2 hours. Take the frozen Gnocchi and slide from the tray into a plastic zip seal bag and leave in the freezer until needed. This way they won’t stick together and can be used when desired.