Ingredients: Per 4 servings
- 3 ½ oz all-purpose flour
- 1 lb potatoes
- 1 egg
- 1 ¼ oz butter
- 2 oz grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- salt to taste
Place potatoes in a pot and completely cover with cold salted water, stopping when the water is 1 inch in above the potatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender (or when a knife entres easily), about 50 minutes.
Let cool until they can be handled. Peel and put them through a ricer or food mill.
Combine hot peeled potatoes with flour, egg and salt. Turn dough out onto a floured cutting board and cut into 3 portions.
Gently roll each portion into a long log about 3/4 inch thick. Cut each log into 3/4-inch pieces with a floured knife.
Press a piece of dough against tines of a floured fork, and push with a floured thumb in a forward motion toward end of tines, letting gnocchi fall from fork onto a floured kitchen towel. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough.
The gnocchi should be cooked in salted water, well drained, then dressed with a generous helping of butter and Parmesan cheese.
Add (to taste) tomato sauce or even better still, fresh cherry tomatoes browned in butter.
Hand-made potato gnocchi cook very quickly: they should be boiled in salted water and removed just as soon as they rise to the top of the pot.
Popular throughout the world, gnocchi, or potato dumplings, are simple and quick to prepare. Gnocchi not only have ancient origins, but are probably the oldest type of pasta made by man, originally formed by pushing the dough through small tubs and shaping them with your fingers. Although potato gnocchi are the most popular type of dumpling nowadays, they can be made with a variety of ingredients, including wheat, rice, vegetables of dried bread. In the past, gnocchi were actually made from a dough of bread, milk and almonds and were called zanzarelli.
And at the beginning of the modern age, a legend began to spread associating gnocchi with the city of Verona. In 1531, the city experienced a terrible famine due to both the invasion of the Landsknechts and a terrible flood. Hungry citizens stormed the main piazza and tried to attack the bakeries to get bread. Thanks to the actions of Tommaso Da Vico, they people of Verona were not successful. On the last Friday of Carnival, Da Vico distributed, at his expense, bread, butter, flour and cheese to the people so that they could make gnocchi. It seems that in his will, Da Vico asked for the tradition to continue. Every year during Carnival, Verona is host to a gnocchi festival.
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