Gnocchi, by hand.

This recipe is adapted from that of Giancarlo Caldesi,  in his cookbook Return to Tuscany.

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1kg of potatoes (old or floury textured works best of all)

80ml sparkling mineral water

300g flour (can use either 00 flour, or just ordinary plain flour)

1 tsp salt

Peel and chop potatoes into cubes, then boil until completely cooked and tender.  While still hot, pass them through a ricer or mincer to ensure there are no lumps.  Place in a bowl.

Stir in the flour and mineral water to make a soft, pliable dough.  Knead only until dough is a smooth, even texture or the gnocchi may become “heavy” or “tough”.

On a floured surface, divide the dough into pieces about the size of a small fist and roll them into “sausages” about 1-1.5 cm in diameter.   Using a knife, cut sausages into 2 cm lengths.  Then, using a floured fork and your thumb, gently but firmly roll the gnocchi over the tines of the fork.  A small trough should form inside the gnocchi as the dough rolls over the tines, with a “ribbed” effect on the outside, enabling them to better capture the sauce they are served with.  (If you take a look a close look at the accompanying photograph, you can see their finished appearance).

Heat a large saucepan of salted water, and when at rapid boil, add the gnocchi.  They will bob to the surface of the water when they are cooked – about 2-3 minutes.  Drain well and serve with your preferred sauce.

This recipe will serve 4-6, depending on the desired size of servings.

** Uncooked gnocchi can be frozen, by placing in a single layer on a well-floured tray, making sure they do not touch one another.  When completely frozen, shake of excess flour and transfer to a freezer bag or container. **


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