It is amazing how so few ingredients produce something quite delicious, if done right. Aristotle was right when he said “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” However I have a slight suspicion that he did not have gnocchi in mind when he came up with the saying. But stranger things have happened. After all apparently an apple inspired Newton to formulate his theory of gravity.
Anyway, I’ve made gnocchi a number of times, sometimes not strictly following the recipe, but the result always turns out to be edible. So if you are afraid of trying it, don't. And the shape does not really matter.
I haven’t given the recipe for tomato sauce. I made it without a recipe, its tomato paste, garlic and oil cooked together. Doesn’t get any simpler than this.
Recipe Source: Martha Steward
2½ pounds russet potatoes
1¾ cups flour, plus more for dusting
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons salt
1. Bring potatoes to a boil in salted water, then simmer until potatoes are tender, about 35 to 40 minutes.
2. Lightly dust two baking sheets with flour. Set aside
3. Drain potatoes and peel while still hot. Immediately pass potatoes through a ricer onto a work surface. Let cool completely.
4. Sprinkle potatoes with flour and 2 teaspoons salt, then top with egg. With your hands, work flour and egg into a dough.
5. Knead dough until smooth but not elastic, dusting with flour if it becomes too sticky, about 4 minutes. Do not overwork dough.
6. Divide dough into 8 portions. Roll each portion into a rope (1/2 inch thick and 24 inches long). Cut each rope into 1/2-inch pieces.
7. Gently roll each dough piece against the back tines of a fork to make ridges, then arrange in a single layer on prepared baking sheets.
8. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In batches, add a few handfuls gnocchi and cook until most have floated to top, 2 minutes. With a wire-mesh spider or a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi immediately to a sauce.