Thanks to mom and uncle Don for passing down this Italian family tradition. Like most gnocchi’s, this is a potato-based pasta, which means it’s easy to get stuffed on a smaller portion. The recipe makes ~6 adult servings. Just about any tomato-based sauce can accompany this gnocchi, including sauce with ground meat, meatballs or Italian sausage. But please, no canned or bottled sauces. Also a warning that this recipe takes quite a bit of preparation time, so plan accordingly.
1.5 lb Russet potatoes
6 Egg yolks
¾ cup Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
½ tsp Nutmeg – freshly grated
¾ tsp Salt
½ tsp Fresh ground pepper
2 cups All purpose flour
Coarse Kosher salt
Directions: Preheat oven to 425.
Spread a layer of Kosher salt on baking sheet and arrange potatoes on top of salt. Bake until slightly overcooked (about 45 minutes). Let cool and cut potatoes in half and scoop out the “meat”. Pass potatoes through a ricer or grate on large holes of a box grater. (Should result in about 3 cups)
Make a mound of potatoes with a well in the middle. Add 4-5 egg yolks, the parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper into the well. Mix all the mounded ingredients together well with your hands. Sprinkle ¾ cup of flour over the new, raw gnocchi pasta. Using knuckles, press flour into the raw pasta. Fold the mass over on itself and press down again. Sprinkle on more flour, a little at a time, folding and pressing the dough until it just holds together. DO NOT KNEAD.
If the mixture is too dry, add remaining egg yolk or a little water. The dough should give with slight pressure – firm but yielding. To check consistency, roll a ½ inch rope on a well floured board. If the dough holds together, it is ready. If not, add more flour, fold and press several more times.
Divide the large dough clump into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a ½ inch diameter rope. Cut in ½ inch segments. Lightly flour as you cut.
Now, this part is hard to describe. Each small segment needs to be “rolled” so that it will cook properly. If you don’t do this, you will have a lump of dough that will be overcooked on the outside and undercooked in the middle. The way you roll it is as follows: Put your thumb in the middle of the gnocchi and press down. Then, push/roll your thumb toward one end so that the pasta kind of curls up. This makes it have the right shape to cook.
After shaping the gnocchi pieces, dust lightly with flour, place on a baking sheet covered with waxed paper. Let dry in front of fan, if possible. In either case, turn over after ½ drying time (1-2 hours total drying time, don’t worry about over-drying).
Bring a large pot of water to boil with salt added. Add one “batch” of gnocchi noodles at a time to the boiling water, cooking them for 90 seconds after they float. For the amount of pasta described in this recipe, you can split into 2-3 batches for boiling – depending on the size of the pot. Remove each batch with skimmer or large straining spoon, shaking off excess water and adding the next batch to the already-boiling water. Once done, mix with sauce, serve and enjoy!