Homemade potato gnocchi
( SERVES 4 )
Potato gnocchi are not difficult to make — just make sure your potatoes are floury in texture with not a hint of waxiness. Potato gnocchi are best made with late autumn/winter floury potatoes. If you don’t have a potato ricer you can mash potatoes or even push them through a sieve.
- Boil the potatoes until tender, about 35-40 minutes, depending on size. Drain and dry off potatoes over heat. As soon as you can hold the potatoes (use a piece of kitchen paper to help here), scrape off their skins and discard.
- Pass the warm potatoes through a potato ricer directly on to your bench top. Add egg yolks and parmesan cheese, if using.
- Sift over flour and baking powder. Mix and work lightly into a soft dough. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each into a long rope. Cut with a lightly floured knife into 3cm pieces. Roll each piece over the back of a fork to make little tracks (this helps to trap sauce).
- Freeze in layers between sheets of greaseproof or baking paper. Cook gnocchi straight from the freezer.
To test if your gnocchi are the correct consistency
Place a small saucepan of salted water on to boil and slip a piece of gnocchi into the boiling water. It will be cooked when it floats to the surface. If the mixture is too wet it will disintegrate. If this happens you will need to add more flour to your dough.
For a quick dinner
Cook gnocchi in batches in a large saucepan of salted boiling water until firm and floating to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon. Pour heated store-bought tomato passata (thinned down if necessary with a little of the gnocchi cooking liquid), over cooked gnocchi and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan.