HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT GNOCCHI
If you like a recipe that you can follow precisely, right down to the number of grains of salt, you might struggle with gnocchi. With gnocchi, you have to be able to feel the consistency of the dough rather than rely on exact quantities. Different varieties of potato – and even different potatoes in the same box – will absorb different amounts of water and change the amount of flour you need – so it’s impossible to be precise. Naturally, most Italians would have learnt this visceral skill through years of languorous Sunday mornings with Nonna. For the rest of us humble mortals, here are our top tips for knocking up great gnocchi.
- 600 g Potatoes
- 180 g Wheat flour
- 2 Eggs
- Boil the potatoes whole in salted water with their skins on for 20 minutes or until tender. It’s important to leave the skins on so they don’t absorb too much water. Peel the skins off as soon as you can handle them and pass them through a potato ricer.
- Mix the flour, mash and eggs in with your fingers and then knead it in, to make an even dough.
- Cut the dough in half and roll each piece into a long sausage shape about 2cm 3/4 inch in diameter.
- Cut the lengths of dough cross wise into small pieces. Mark the pieces with the back of a fork, a cheese grater or a specially made wooden paddle.
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and drop in the gnocchi. The bob to the top when they are cooked, after about 2 or 3 minutes.Scoop out the gnocchi and toss in your favourite sauce. e.g Pest bolognese etc.
- Use potatoes which are neither too waxy (won’t mash) nor too starchy (will turn to mush).
- Don’t peel the potatoes before cooking them, peel them by hand once they’re done.
- Use the least amount of flour possible– you shouldn’t taste flour in the finished thing.
- Don’t overcook the gnocchi – as soon as it floats, it’s done.
- Give the gnocchi some grooves, to keep their shape, hold more sauce, and just generally be groovier.