I did it! Finally I managed to prepare edible, light, (although I am sure they could be lighter) potato gnocchi.
The various times I attempted to prepare potato gnocchi I always ended up throwing away the whole lot. They came either too gummy or too heavy and so I chose to eat them only in restaurants. But this time I looked for an Italian traditional recipe which uses egg, following my friend’s recommendation. After some research I learned that the egg binds together the flour and potatoes easily and since I am just a beginner I preferred to include it in my mixture. Maybe someday I will be able to prepare light gnocchi without the egg, but practice makes it perfect, right?
So, the original recipe indicated 1kg potatoes, 300g flour and 1 egg. Since I required gnocchi for 2 persons I halved the amounts and worked with the following ingredients:
- 500g floury potatoes (do not use new potatoes)
- 150g flour
- 1 egg, small
Scrub the potatoes well, do not peel them and put them in a pan with salted water, covering them. Bring to boil and cook for around 40 minutes until they soften. Remove from water and peel them when they are still hot, using a fork to hold them and avoid burning your fingers. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher until smooth.
TIP: ideally you use a fine-hole ricer to mash the potatoes.
Prepare the flour on the clean working top, add the mashed potatoes, the egg and a good pinch of salt. Work out the mixture into a smooth ball of dough. You might need to add some more flour if the mixture is sticky but make sure not to add too much.
TIP: The less flour you use the lighter the gnocchi become. However, you cannot risk having them fall apart whilst boiling so the right amount of flour is necessary to amalgamate the mixture. You will get the correct feel once you keep on practicing the preparation of gnocchi.
Sprinkle some more flour on the working top, cut the dough into 4 pieces and start rolling each piece with your hands. moving back and forth, until you have a roll of 2-3 cm diameter. Using a floured knife, cut 2 cm pieces from the roll of dough and form your gnocchi. I did not attempt to shape them this time but left them pillow like.
Lightly flour a dish and place the gnocchi on them dusting them with some flour.
Repeat the same process with the remaining balls of dough. When all the gnocchi are ready put them in the refrigerator for around 15 – 30 minutes.
Remove from the refrigerator and cook them in a pan of salted boiling water until they come to the surface. Remove them with a slotted spoon and add the desired sauce to them.
For this time, I prepared a garlic and tomato sauce with San Marzano tomatoes and topped them with some grated parmesan.