A few years ago, when we traveled in Italy, my favorite thing to eat on the street was gnocchi. They are little potato dumplings often served with pasta sauces or pesto. When I came home I tried to make them with no success. My effort produced doughy tough little balls worthy of the garbage disposal. I never tried again. This fall someone brought a gnocchi dish to a party we went to. It was made with commercial gnocchi and frankly they tasted very good. So, I went to purchase some gnocchi, which you can buy in the pasta asile of some grocery stores. They are expensive--about $4.00 for a 12 oz. pkg. The price renewed my interest in trying to make them myself. The internet is awesome for researching cooking problems and after an hour of looking at different recipes I came up with one that has turned out to satisify my gnocchi craving. I used a scale to weigh the potatoes and should have measured the grated potatoes but hopefully you can make them with the following information.
The secret of good gnocchi is not boiling the potatoes but baking them. The potatoes should be as dry as possible after cooked. Bake 2 lbs. of potatoes. I used 7 smallish potatoes and baked them 2 or 3 at a time in the microwave (when done they should be soft ready to eat). Let them sit for at least 5 minutes and then pull off the skins and grate with a large grater or put through a ricer. (I actually tried this twice baking them in the oven and I like the microwave better because the skins get heavy and stuck to the potato more when oven baked plus they start to brown a bit inside the skin. Maybe wrapping them in foil would help or just do the microwave thing.) Beat one large or extra large egg and add it to the potatoes with ¼ C. Parmesan cheese and 3/4 cup flour and ½ tsp. salt. Knead the mass together until it starts to cling –1-2 minutes. Cut tennis ball size pieces off the mass to use to make into ¾ inch ropes rolling like play dough snakes with a little more flour as needed. Cut the rope into ¾ inch pieces. Round the ends, a little, quickly with your fingers. Have a duch oven sized pot of salted boiling water ready. When you have a pile from a couple of ropes boil for exactly 2 minutes. The Gnocchi will rise to the top of the boiling water. Remove with a slotted spoon and put into a 2-quart casserole dish. Cook batches until all are done. Toss with the butter sage sauce and ½ C. parmesan cheese or toss with 2 cups marinara sauce mixed with ½ cup whipping cream and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 350—just until heated through. This serves 4-6 people but the recipe is easily doubled. Hey, while your at it make a lot.
Butter Sage SaucePut ¼ C. butter in small sauce pan with 1 grated garlic clove. Cook until the garlic starts to brown. Add 1 tsp. rubbed sage ¼ tsp. pepper ¼ tsp. salt.