I've tried making gnocchi before, and it was a disaster. Instead of beautiful fluffy potato pillows, I got chewy and doughy clumps...., quite disgusting. I wanted to give gnocchi another go, and after reading loads of different recipes, I decided to use one of my food heroes, Jamie Oliver's, recipe. This recipe use baked potatoes instead of boiled potatoes, the idea is that this will result in drier and fluffier potatoes for the gnocchi, thus requiring less flour and lighter gnocchi. I was so right to trust Jamie, the result was great! I served the gnocchi with tomato sauce and Parmesan, but if you want to be really indulgent, serve with Gorgonzola cheese and fried sage....
If you aren't cooking all the gnocchi, they can be frozen on a tray.
Once frozen, they can be stored in bags and then cooked by dropping directly into boiling water for 1-2 min, super easy when you need a quick meal.
Gnocchi with tomato sauce (serves 4)
750 g potatoes
1-2 egg yolks (1 large or 2 small)
1 tsp salt
1-2 dl flour
0.5 tsp black pepper
1 pinch grated nutmeg
1 can of high quality tomatoes
1 garlic bulb, cloves sliced in thin sections
1 tbsp capers, finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
0.5 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 pinch of chili flakes
1 pinch of sugar
salt and black pepper
Parmesan cheese, grated
Bake the potatoes at 225C for about an hour until soft
While the potatoes are cooking, make the tomato sauce. First saute the garlic in olive oil in a pot on gentle heat for 2-3 min, then add the capers and chili flakes. Saute for another minute, then add tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, and herbs. Simmer for 30 min. Add water during the cooking if the sauce starts to get to thick or dry. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
Let the potatoes cool slightly, and then, while they are still warm, scoop out the flesh. Put the potatoes through a ricer or sieve into a large bowl
Add the egg yolk(s), salt, pepper, and nutmeg, stir into the potatoes. Add enough flour to bind the mixture until you have a doughy consistency. The dough should keep together, but be soft and supple without being wet or sticky. Be careful not to add too much flour as the more flour added the firmer the gnocchi will be.
Divide the dough into three parts, and on a flour dusted surface, roll each part out into long roll around 2 cm wide
Cut the rolls into 1-2 cm long pieces, and using a fork lightly press down on each piece to make a ribbed pattern
Let the gnocchi rest for 10-15 min on a floured tray.
Cook the gnocchi in gently boiling salted water for 1-2 min, or until they float to the surface
Serve with the tomato sauce, a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper