“In Rome, Nonna Teresa introduced me to this method, which doesn’t use eggs. For restaurant service, when the gnocchi mix is made in advance, eggs are useful, but cooked this fresh you don’t need them. She believes the fresher the mix, the lighter the gnocchi, and she’s right – you get a very good result with this recipe. It’s an amazing gift to be able to make good gnocchi at home. It’s quick to cook, very cheap, and total comfort food. ”
- 1 kg floury potatoes , such as Maris Piper, King Edward
- 100 g Tipo 00 flour , plus extra for dusting
- 1 whole nutmeg , for grating
- Use potatoes of a fairly even size, as you’re going to cook them whole. Cook in a large pan of boiling salted water for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tender.
- Drain and leave until cool enough to handle, then remove the skins.
- Mash the potatoes using a potato ricer or masher on to a large clean board.
- Sprinkle over the flour, finely grate over half the nutmeg, season well with sea salt and black pepper, then scrunch and push the mixture together with clean hands. Depending on the potatoes, you may need to add a little more flour – use your common sense.
- Knead on a flour-dusted surface for a few minutes until pliable, then divide into 4 equal pieces and roll each into a sausage about 2cm thick.
- Slice into 3cm lengths – this is your basic gnocchi. Now you can gently roll each piece down a butter pat, the back of a fork or a fine grater to add grooves, which will help your sauce to stick, or simply roll into balls.
- Nonna Teresa cooked her gnocchi 2 portions at a time, as it’s so quick, and it also means they’re less likely to break up. Cook in a pan of boiling salted water for 2 to 3 minutes – as soon as they come up to the surface they’re ready.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and toss with melted butter and finely grated Parmesan, my Hero tomato sauce (or leftover sauce from a stew, which you can see in the picture), then finely grate over a little Parmesan, to serve. I also like to add a little dollop of pesto – homemade or jarred, it’s up to you.
To rustle up a quick tomato sauce, simply fill a baking dish with ripe cherry tomatoes on the vine, leaving the vine on to add flavour as they cook. Season with sea salt and black pepper, add a pinch of dried chilli flakes, some finely sliced garlic and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss well, then roast in a hot oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Leave to cool slightly, then discard the vines, carefully pinch the blistered skins off the tomatoes, and you’ll be left with all that lovely, soft, sweet tomato flesh and tasty juices, ready to toss with your gnocchi.
Source: Jamie Oliver