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Prepare the PotatoesThere are many versions of gnocchi. Depending on what part of Italy you are in, the ratio of flour to potatoes will vary greatly. Some recipes use eggs, some do not. For this version of gnocchi, I use 2 pounds of russet potatoes, 2 cups of flour, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1 large egg.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake potatoes until easily pierced with a fork (about 45 minutes). You can also boil the potatoes, but baking creates a drier dough and a lighter, fluffier gnocchi. Let the potatoes cool... slightly, then peel.
Pass the potatoes through a ricer or grate them into a large bowl.Continue to 2 of 10 below.
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Add the Flour and EggAdd the egg (slightly beaten)to the potatoes. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
Add the flour to potatoes a little at a time, mixing well with a wooden spoon. Add just enough flour so that the dough doesn't stick to your hands.Continue to 3 of 10 below.
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Knead the DoughWhen all the flour has been incorporated, bring the dough together with your fingertips.
Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a slightly floured surface. Knead the dough as you would bread dough. Press down and away with the heel of your hand, fold the dough over, make a quarter turn, and repeat the process. Knead for about 5 minutes.Continue to 4 of 10 below.
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Form a BallForm the dough into a ball and then divide it into 6 smaller balls.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Roll Out the DoughOn a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough using your fingertips. The rope of dough should be about 3/4 inch thick.Continue to 6 of 10 below.
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Cut the GnocchiCut the dough into 1 inch pieces.Continue to 7 of 10 below.
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Marking the Gnocchi
You can cook the gnocchi as it is now, but traditional gnocchi has ridges. To create the ridges, press each piece of dough against the tines of a fork or on a gnocchi board.Continue to 8 of 10 below.
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Rolling the GnocchiWith your finger, gently roll the pressed dough back off the fork. This takes a little practice. If you find the dough sticking to the fork, dip the fork in flour before you press the dough against it.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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Cooking the GnocchiPlace the gnocchi in a single layer on a lightly floured dish.
To cook the gnocchi, place the dough into a pot of boiling water. After a few minutes the gnocchi will float to the top. Continue to cook for one minute then remove and set aside.Continue to 10 of 10 below.
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The Final Dish
Serve the hot gnocchi immediately, tossed with butter and a little Parmesan cheese or with the sauce of your choice.
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