Baking potatoes, usually called Idaho potatoes or russets, are best for gnocchi; since they're drier than other varieties, they'll produce lighter dumplings. Oven-roasting the potatoes also helps make the dough drier.
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2 pounds medium baking potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
About 1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, trimmed of fat and cut into thin strips
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 400°. Prick the potatoes once or twice with a small knife and bake for about 45 minutes, or until tender in the center when pierced. Let cool slightly.
Peel the potatoes and pass them through a potato ricer or food mil into a large bowl. Let cool completely. Stir in the salt. Gradually stir in about half of the flour until the mixture becomes stiff. Transfer the mixture to a lightly floured surface and knead in as much of the remaining flour as necessary until the dough is no longer sticky.
Line 2 baking sheets with wax paper and dust with flour. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Set one piece on a floured surface; keep the remaining dough covered with an inverted bowl. using your hands, roll out the dough to a 1/2-inch-thick rope and then cut the rope into 3/4-inch lengths.
Dip a fork in flour. Roll each piece of dough down the back of the tines; press gently with your thumb so the tines leave ridges. Alternatively, flatten the gnocchi by pressing each one gently with a fork. Set the gnocchi on the prepared baking sheets in a single layer without touching. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
Heat the olive oil in a large nonreactive skillet. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Stir in 2 tablespoons of salt, then add half the gnochhi, a few at a time, and simmer until they float to the surface. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a rack to drain thoroughly; don't pile them or they'll stick together. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi.
Stir the prosciutto and basil into the tomato sauce. Spoon the gnocchi onto 4 large plates, top with the tomato sauce and serve.
The gnocchi and sauce can stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Rewarm the sauce before serving.
One Serving Calories 326 kcal, Protein 12 gm, Carbohydrate 58 gm, Cholesterol 12 mg, Total Fat 6.3 gm, Saturated Fat 1.1 gm.
The bright flavors of a Chianti Classico Riserva would suit the tartness of this tomato sauce.
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