The word gnocchi means “lumps”, and may derive from nocchio, a knot in the wood, or from nocca (knuckle). It has been a traditional Italian pasta type of probably Middle Eastern origin since Roman times.
2 pounds of potatoes
1 cup Thunderbolt or Maid Marian Wholewheat Flour*
1 egg, lightly beaten*
Pinch of salt (preferably sea salt, fine-grain)
Pinch of nutmeg
*Measurements approximate; you’ll be adding egg and flour until you reach the
right consistency. This is how you make perfect gnocchi. See steps below.
Light tomato sauce, pesto, or butter and grated cheese
Preheat oven to 300°F. Toss the potatoes in extra virgin olive oil with salt and pepper and bake for 1 hour. Peel potatoes when they are lukewarm, and put through a ricer.
- Place the riced potatoes in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the riced potatoes and sprinkle with 3/4 of the Thunderbolt or Maid Marian Wholewheat Flour.
- Place egg and salt in center of well and using a spatula, stir and fold them into the potatoes. It will yield a light crumble. Once the egg is mixed in, kneading the dough very gently into a ball. Add more flour, as needed, until the dough is the consistency of Play-doh.
- Roll the dough into logs about the diameter of a dime. Instead of trying to roll out a big loaf of dough, first flatten the dough to about 1 inch thick and cut into strips; roll out the logs from there.
- Cut each log into 3/4″ pieces (the gnocchi) and use the back of the fork to pinch the sides of the gnocchi. This gives the gnocchi a rustic look and provides ridges for more sauce to be absorbed. This takes practice: Lay the back of the fork against the working surface, holding the handle up so that the top edge of the tines are lifted slightly off the surface. With the other hand, place a gnocchi against the tines of the fork, cut ends out, and use your thumb to lightly press it against the length of the fork. This should curly it into a slight “C” shape and leave tine impressions across the back. This step takes some practice, so don’t worry if your gnocchi are irregular at first—they’ll still taste delicious.
- Set aside and repeat with the remainder of the pieces, dusting with flour as needed, until you are ready to boil them.
- Cook the gnocchi in boiling salted water; they will float to the top when they are finished. Remove with a slotted spoon.
- Serve with your favourite sauce. To store gnocchi, cool (you can use an ice bath for several minutes, then drain) and toss with canola oil. Store covered in refrigerator up to 48 hours.