Potato gnocchi is one of those recipes that kind of scare people but, believe me, it’s actually really easy! You only need to bear in mind 2 things: do not use too much flour and do not over mix the dough. If you follow these simple rules your gnocchi will be perfect!
The amount of flour always changes, it depends on type of potatoes you use. So, when you are making the dough remember to add the flour a little at a time. Observe and feel the dough’s consistency and add more flour if needed. Once your dough looks pliable and smooth stop kneading and start to shape your gnocchi.
I love to use a gnocchi wooden board to give them those lovely little grooves, but you can use the back of a fork or just roll them into balls. The grooves, though, add texture and help the sauce to stick to the gnocchi.
This time I used a variety of potato called Vitelotte or Truffle de Chine. It’s a French potato type with a deep purple flesh that gives the gnocchi a lovely violet hue. Their flavour is slightly nutty and sweet, very delicate.
To serve these purple gnocchi I simply used butter and sage but they are great with ragù or cheese sauces (Stilton and Gorgonzola are the best).
Purple potato gnocchi with butter and sage
- vitelotte potatoes: 1 kilo
- plain flour: 100-150 grams
- medium eggs: 1
- unsalted butter: 50 grams
- salt , to taste
- ground pepper , to taste
- nutmeg , to taste
- Parmesan cheese , freshly grated
- fresh sage: 5 leaves
- Wash the potatoes thoroughly under running water. Put them in a large pan of cold salted water, bring to the boil and cook for about 25 minutes or until tender (it depends on their size).
- Drain, leave until cool enough to handle then peel the skins.
- Mash the potatoes using a potato ricer on the slightly floured table or in a big bowl.
- Make a well in the centre, add the egg, some freshly grated nutmeg, pinch of salt and ground pepper.
- Start adding the flour, a little at a time. Depending on the potatoes you may need to use less flour so do not put it all together.
- Knead quickly with clean hands until you have a smooth dough. Do not over knead otherwise you gnocchi will be tough.
- Divide the dough into 4 or 5 pieces and roll each into a long sausage shape about 1.5/2 cm thick.
- Slice each "sausage" in 2 cm long pieces then roll each on the back of a fork or on a gnocchi board.
- Bring a big pot of salted water to the boil and cook the gnocchi in batches for 2-4 minutes until they rise to the surface of the water.
- Meanwhile melt the butter in a pan with the sage and a pinch of salt.
- Drain the gnocchi using a slotted spoon and toss them in the pan with the butter. Mix well shaking the pan and serve with freshly grated Parmesan and some pepper.