Most wouldn’t consider the beloved potato very attractive, but when we cry out for comfort food the ugly, dusty potato becomes a siren. This recipe requires the same amount of work as a bowl of mashed potatoes but is infinitely more satisfying and elegant.
Serves 6-8Print this recipe
3 pounds large Yukon Gold Potatoes
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups all-purpose flour
Butter and Extra Virgin Olive Oil to Serve
Grated Parmesan, Optional
Note: The gnocchi can be made up to two weeks in advance and frozen on sheet pans. Once they are frozen solid they can be transferred to a zip lock bag or wrapped tightly to avoid freezer burn. Do not thaw them before cooking or they will stick together.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Wash the potatoes, prick them with a fork and place them on a sheet pan. Bake them in the preheated oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until they are very soft. Resist roasting them at a higher temperature to speed the process. This will cause the skin and flesh just inside the skin to become crusty. Cool them slightly and scoop out the insides. Rice the scooped out potato with a ricer or mash them with a fork. Season with salt to taste, taking into consideration that you will be adding a sizable amount of flour. Place them in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth to cool to barely warm.
3. Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour to the potatoes and mix lightly and quickly until well-combined. Beat the eggs and yolk lightly together in a small bowl. Add them to the potato mixture along with a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper. Mix gently with your hands until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Add more flour if the dough is sloppy sticky.
4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured flat surface. Knead lightly until dough is smooth and ingredients are uniform. The dough should be slightly tacky but not overly sticky. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes, uncovered.
5. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into thin 1/2-inch logs and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Using a generous amount of flour on your hands, pick up a piece of dough and press the cut edge against a ridged gnocchi paddle. Push the piece firmly against the paddle to make a hollow, roll it as you press to make the ridges on the outside. Let the gnocchi roll off the bottom of the paddle onto the counter. Alternatively, if you don't have a paddle, press each piece against your thumb tip to make a hollow or roll it over the back and off the tip of a floured fork tine to make the traditional ridged shape. Place the finished gnocchi on a lightly floured sheet pan. Cook them as soon as possible in boiling salted water (2 tablespoons of kosher salt per 5 quarts of water).
6. Lower the gnocchi into the boiling water, when they rise to the top let them cook for a minute or two and then remove them with a slotted spoon. Drain the gnocchi well and place in a heatproof dish. Sprinkle the gnocchi with salt if needed and then dot with butter or drizzle with good extra virgin olive oil. Dust with Parmesan, if desired. If the gnocchi are not to be cooked right away, they should be frozen. To cook them, throw the frozen gnocchi directly into the boiling salted water without thawing. Their cooking time will be slightly longer than unfrozen but their preparation should be completed in the same manner as with fresh gnocchi.
Crispy Golden Gnocchi: The fresh uncooked gnocchi can be sautéed to a crisp golden brown in butter and extra virgin olive oil. Heat a large pan over medium high heat. Add butter and brown lightly. Add a touch of olive oil and then the gnocchi. Cook, tossing frequently, to brown all sides of the gnocchi evenly. Serve as a side dish to accompany roasted meats and fish.
Brown Butter and Sage Drizzled Gnocchi: Fry sage in butter until the butter is brown and the sage is crisp. Drizzle over cooked gnocchi.