Some experts insist that gnocchi should be made without eggs, as they believe egg makes the potato smell bad and can make the gnocchi heavy. I disagree. Gnocchi should be featherlight, like delicate clouds, not hard or lumpy, and I think egg improves the texture. I prepare my gnocchi in advance, then allow it to reheat in the sauce.
- Cook the potatoes in their skins by either boiling or baking until cooked through.
- Do not overcook them or they will fall apart and absorb too much water. (You want to reduce the water content.) Peel and mash the potatoes while still hot.
- A potato ricer is brilliant for this, as it improves the evaporation. Do not be tempted to use a food processor as this will result in a gluey mess.
- Once the potatoes are cold, place them in a large bowl with the egg, 200g of flour, salt, olive oil and parmesan cheese.
- Mix well, then turn the mixture out onto the bench and continue to knead while adding the remaining flour and the nutmeg.
- This will take about 10 minutes to become slightly elastic and smooth.
- Roll the dough into long sausages about 1.5cm in diameter, then cut into 2cm lengths.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi in small batches, removing them as they rise to the surface.
- Plunge the gnocchi into a bowl of iced water to cool, then drain and toss in a little oil to prevent sticking.