Potato Gnocchi
September, 2004

Serves 6 / The best potato to use in this gnocchi is a dry-fleshed russet, but for a richer flavor, try golden-fleshed Yukon gold or biinjis. Yam or sweet-potato gnocchi are scrumptious and have a vibrant orange color. The moister the potato, especially in the case of yams, the more flour you'll need to add. In addition to spices such as nutmeg, add any herb or the cooked, chopped greens of your choice for a fresh flavor. The mild taste of the dumplings will complement almost any sauce; however, a heavy cream sauce only masks the light texture of the gnocchi.

Prep Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

2 pounds potatoes
2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs
Pinch of nutmeg
3 tablespoons fresh herbs or 1/2 cup cooked, chopped greens (optional)
3/4cup flour, used only as necessary

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Wash potatoes, puncture several times with a fork and bake on a baking sheet until very soft -- about 1 hour. Remove from oven and wait until they're cool enough to handle. Cut the potatoes in half and scoop out all the flesh. Push the potato flesh through a ricer (see Tips for Making Gnocchi on page 52) or mash using a mixer or fork.

2. Place potatoes in a large bowl. Make a well in the center. Drop salt, eggs, nutmeg, herbs or cooked greens into the middle. Blend thoroughly with your hands.

3. Begin adding flour a few tablespoons at a time and mix until it forms a delicate dough and pulls away from the side of the bowl. The dough should remain soft and not elastic. If you add too much flour, the gnocchi will be chewy and tough.

4. Turn the dough onto a floured board. Divide into 6 pieces. Roll each into a log about 1 inch in diameter. Continue to keep the board and the gnocchi well-floured. Cut the log into 1-inch pieces. Run each piece across the back of a fork or a grooved wooden paddle, or use your thumb to form small indentations in each piece. This enables a more even cooking time and gives a unique texture.

5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the gnocchi in batches of about 10 to 15 at a time into the water. Stir gently and briefly to make sure they don't stick to the bottom of the pot. Remove once they float to the surface of the water. Serve hot, drizzled with olive oil, tossed with garlic and fresh herbs and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

Calories 223,Fat 2,Perfat 8,Cholesterol 71,Carbo 45,Protein 7,Fiber N/A,Sodium N/A