Your gnocchi will (hopefully) be like light, velvet cushions, not the heavy, solid lumps that some shop-bought stuff can turn out to be. Don't worry too much about making them look pristine. I started to get annoyed that I couldn't get the fork marks perfect on each gnocchi until I realised that was very much a first-world problem. The gnocchi won't look uniform, but you won't care once you've stirred through your favourite sauce.
I made a simple tomato sauce with shallots, garlic, chilli, basil and plum tomatoes, but these would be lovely with pesto, butter and sage, or a creamy sauce. You can also add them to soups or stews.
Gnocchi (serves 2)
You will need:
- 300g potatoes (about three large potatoes)
- 100g plain flour
- Half a beaten egg
- Salt and pepper
- Chop the potatoes into large pieces and boil for around 30 minutes in a pan of salted water until tender. Remove from the pan and set aside until you can handle them.
- Peel the skins and mash the potatoes while still warm. Don't overmash them or they'll turn to glue - you just want a nice even consistency with no lumps. Use a potato ricer or food processor if you have one. Leave to cool, or the egg will cook when you add it.
- When the mash is ready, add the flour, egg and seasoning, and bring together into a soft dough. Add the egg slowly as you may not need all of it.
- Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead. Divide into four pieces and roll each one out into a long sausage about 1cm thick.
- Cut each sausage into pieces around 2cm long. Refridgerate on a floured plate until dinner time.
- Take your proto-gnocchi out of the fridge and add the final touches. Shape each one into a crescent and press a fork onto one side to give the gnocchi its trademark ridges.
- Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add the gnocchi in batches. Cook them for three minutes - they will rise to the surface about halfway through.
- Toss the gnocchi with your sauce and serve.