With the right recipe, gnocchi is really easy and so much fun to make! You can get your kids to help you as there is lots of rolling and cutting involved. This recipe works really well and you can experiment with all types of sauces. Its great as a starter or main. When you get more confident, you can substitute the potato with sweet potato, butternut or pumpkin!
6 baking potatoes
1 large egg yolk
½ nutmeg, grated (0r 1/2 tsp dry)
3 handfuls of plain flour or 00 flour
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Wash the potatoes, prick them with a fork and rub them with olive oil. Place on a baking tray and bake for about 1 hour until crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes, then cut in half. Ideally cut the potatoes only when you’re ready to rice them – hotter potatoes rice more smoothly and don’t produce lumps.
2 .Pick up the potatoes with a tea towel and scoop out the middles into a ricer or a bowl and mash well.
3. Separate an egg, and place the yolk in a bowl. Add some freshly grated (or dry) nutmeg to the bowl along with a splash of water to bind the mixture. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4. Add the parsley and mix everything together. If the mixture is too wet, add a little more flour, or if it’s too dry, add a little more water. Use your hands to mix. Test a small piece of dough by popping it in a pan of salted boiling water – if it falls apart, add a little more flour.
5. Divide the dough into 6 pieces and roll each piece into a long sausage. Don’t overwork the dough or it will become tough and you want gnocchi to be like little pillows. Cut each sausage into 2–3cm pieces with a blunt table knife and place on a bed of semolina on a tray. Pop in the fridge for about 10 minutes to set.
6. Cook the gnocchi in a pan of salted simmering water for about 2–3 minutes, or until they float to the top. Once cooked, use a slotted spoon to lift them out of the pan.
7. Toss the gnocchi gently in the sauce (that you have prepared) with a splash of the cooking liquid. Serve with freshly grated parmesan and small basil leaves sprinkled over the top.