Gnocchi is Italian for dumplings. Gnocchi with tomato sauce is known as strangolapreti or strangoloprevete, meaning priest stranglers, because a local priest liked them so much, and ate them so fast, that he choked on them.
1 kg or about 2 lbs potatoes
300 gr or 10 and 1/2 oz flour (“00” or white pastry)
50 gr or 1 and 3/4 oz Parmigiano cheese fresly grated
4 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
Extra flour for the plate and the working surface
It’s best to use aged potatoes to make gnocchi, as they contain less water and will produce a nice soft texture after they are mashed.
Add whole, unpeeled potatoes in a pan with room-temperature salted water.
NOTE: do not peel or cut potatoes otherwise they will loose their flavor and absorb to much water.
Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to a low boil and cook the potatoes for 50 minutes.
Drain the potatoes and remove the skins. Then mash them using a potato masher or ricer. Transfer the potatoes to a board and allow them to become tepid. Quickly mix in the flour, the grated Parmigiano, the egg and a pinch of salt, making a dough.
Divide the dough into several smaller portions and roll each one out of the floured work surface to a long rope-like form. Cut each into tiny pieces, about one inch long each.
Using your thumb, roll the “gnocco” across a gnocchi board. If you do not have it, you can use a fork to mark notches in your gnocchi.
The indentations created by the gnocchi board or fork, catch the flavors of the sauce.
Sprinkle a little flour onto a plate to prevent sticking and place the gnocchi, until you are ready to boil.
Place the gnocchi into the boiling water and you’ll see that they will immediately sink and then they will slowly begin to float. This is the moment to remove, rinse and place them with your choose salsa or condiment.
NOTE: gnocchi dough can be made from semolina flour, potatoes, cornmeal or even bread crumbs. Eggs or cheese are may be added and gnocchi may be poached, baked, fried or poached and baked. Chopped Spinach is also a popular ingredient.