Typically, gnocchi is made with semolina, wheat flour or potato, which was introduced to Europe in the 16th century. I have always made my version with potato; must be the Irish in me! These are true Italian comfort food and so satisfying. If you've shied away from making gnocchi because you thought it was too hard, I know you won't anymore when you see how easy they really are.
3 large baking potatoes
1 large egg
2 T heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven 425F-degrees. Wash and scrub the baking potatoes. Use a fork to pierce the skin in several places. I use a baking stone, but you can also wrap the potatoes in aluminum foil. On the baking stone, it took 1 hour 15 minutes. Pierce the skin with a tip of a paring knife to check for doneness. Remove from oven and let rest.
Use a paring knife to remove the skin. Cut potato in half and place it in a ricer (alternatively you can use a masher). Rice all the potatoes into a large bowl.
Add the egg, heavy cream, salt and nutmeg. Stir to combine. Add the flour--it's easier to use your hands to knead the dough, adding a tablespoon of flour at a time, if needed to get to a smooth ball.
I divided the dough into quarters, then eighths for ease of rolling it into a rope.
Use a dough blade or knife to cut the rope into approximately 1-inch pieces. To achieve the "ridged" look of gnocchi, you can use a fork to roll the 1-inch piece off or if you're lucky enough to find a gnocchi maker, roll your dough off that.
Either technique provides the necessary ridges to hold on to the sauce! Place the gnocchi on a lightly floured (with all-purpose flour or semolina) pan until you've completely finished making all of them.
Meanwhile, bring a 6 quart sauce pan with two-thirds full of water to a boil, adding 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt to the water. Drop about 15 gnocchi into the boiling water at a time.
As the gnocchi cooks it will rise to the surface when they're done. Use a slotted spoon to remove them.
The gnocchi can go into your favorite marinara sauce or into the Browned Butter/Sage sauce at this point.
Browned Butter/Sage Sauce:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 tsp. dried sage
In a sauce pan, heat the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the butter stops foaming and browned bits appear, add the dried sage. Stir to combine.
Add the freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top and put into a 350F-degree oven for 15 minutes to toast the cheese.
Homemade gnocchi will surely impress your family and friends, not to mention it's a wonderful addition to any meal as a main entree or side dish. Enjoy!