He Who Must Be Fed is Italian — really Italian. So, it only makes sense that I would make some of his Italian favorites. However, I have a little confession to make: I’ve always been a little intimidated making Italian dishes. I feel as if his ancestors — and a few of mine — who hailed from the boot are looking down at me, judging my humble attempts. After all, I didn’t think I could ever make anything as delicious as my grandmother or my father-in-law.
Awhile ago, I found a recipe for gnocchi with brown butter and sage in the April 2012 edition of the Food Network magazine that I clipped to save. As you can see, it took me some time to work up the courage to try it, but I’m so glad I did.
It’s not hard. Really. The first time I tried it, I made it with the brown butter and sage, according to the recipe. But, since He Who Must Be Fed makes delicious pasta sauce, I skipped that part in later attempts, covering them with his sauce instead.
- 3 large russet potatoes
- 1 to 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- kosher salt
This prevents the potatoes from browning and draws out the moisture. Bake until they are fork tender. When they’re done, remove them from the oven and let them sit until cool.
Either press the flesh through a ricer or mash with a hand masher. Dust your counter with flour and spread the potatoes on the flour. In a small bowl, beat the egg with 1/2 teaspoon of salt then drizzle over the potatoes.
Sprinkle the potato mixture with one cup of flour and knead until smooth. Add up to another 1/2 cup of flour until the dough isn’t sticky. You can test your dough by inserting your finger. If it comes out clean, you’re ready to go. Cover your dough with a kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
To cook the gnocchi, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Once it boils, carefully add the gnocchi. When they float to the surface, let simmer another 30 seconds. I always taste one to make sure it’s done. Drain the gnocchi into a colander and immediately plate and cover with pasta sauce, grated cheese and a sprig of fresh basil to make it look — and taste — pretty.
Full recipe disclosure: First, do NOT throw away those potato skins. Tomorrow I’ll tell you what you can do with them. Also, this recipe is good for four medium-sized portions. So theoretically, if you’re cooking for just two, you can freeze half to save for another meal.