Recipe for Potato Gnocchi


3 lb boiling potatoes; -or- mashed potatoes
3/4 cup flour (or more)
5 egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt; or as desired
1 white pepper; to taste
1/3 cup olive oil


USING UNCOOKED POTATOES, boil them, unpeeled, in salted water until soft. Or cook them in a microwave according to oven directions or bake in a conventional oven. Drain boiled potatoes. Peel potatoes when they are cool enough to handle and puree them through a food mill or potato ricer while still warm. Do not use a blender or food processor for this because it excites the gluten in the potato and makes a sticky mess. If using leftover mashed potatoes, place in a small pot and heat them until they are warm. Transfer potatoes to a mixing bowl, add the yolks and mix. Add nutmeg, salt, pepper and 3/4 cup of flour. Knead together and add the remainder of the flour if necessary, bit by bit, kneading until a slightly sticky consistency is attained. Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Form the dough into sausage-like rolls about the thickness of your thumb. Cut into pieces about 1-inch in length. Using a fork, flatten the pieces so that the tines leave an imprint in the gnocchi. Keep a glass of water nearby to clean the fork. Meanwhile, fill a 3-quart pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat so that the water is boiling at a gentle roll. Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water, about 16 at a time. They will sink to the bottom but will rise to the surface after a minute or so. Continue to cook for another 15 seconds. Immediately remove with a slotted spoon to a colander. Sprinkle with a little olive oil, mix gently and transfer to a heated platter. Continue until all the gnocchi are cooked. Serve the gnocchi ungarnished as a side accompaniment to roast meat or poultry.

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