Hand-made pasta and gnochi are two things that have always intimidated me in the kitchen. Yesterday I decided to tackle the gnochi and though I have no idea what they are meant to taste like, we were all pleased with the results and that’s what counts in the end. The recipe was a bit larger than anticipated so it did take awhile to execute and I’ve frozen half for later.
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons salt
freshly ground pepper
2 cups flour
Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with with water. Bring to a boil and simmer 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and let sit 10-15 minutes to cool a bit. Peel potatoes and grate into a large bowl. (You can use a food mill for this but as I didn’t have one a grater seemed to work quite well.) Mix together the heavy cream, egg, salt and pepper and pour this over the potatoes mixing it in gently with a spatula. Gently cut in the flour just until it’s shaggy and not quite a dough.
On a floured cutting board, scoop out 1/4 of the dough at a time and knead once or twice. Form into a long rope about an inch thick and cut off 1/2-inch pieces. Roll each piece down the tines of a fork to form a slightly ovoid shape. These may be frozen or cooked within the hour. (You can refrigerate briefly but after some hours they will oxidize and turn grey.) Cook in boiling water 4-5 minutes or until they float to the top. Remove to a serving dish and toss with melted butter. Mine were topped with crushed tomatoes and fresh basil.