I'm by no means a novice when it comes to making gnocchi but a little advice from a pro never hurts. So here's the quick and dirty of what I learned watching Chef John Collura, of Cibo eVino, make gnocchi at his house.
1. Use Russet potatoes. They have the proper starch needed to give gnocchi their light pillowy texture.
2. Bake don't boil the potatoes, this will keep them dry so that the finished product melt in your mouth.
3. Peel the potatoes when they are still hot and use a ricer to aerate the flesh.
4. Mix with as little flour as possible to form a firm but moist dough and be sure to not overwork the dough.
5. Create ridges in the gnocchi either with a ridger or the back of a fork to help the sauce evenly coat the dumplings.
(courtesy of Chef John Collura)
1 lb potato
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp salt
Bake the whole potatoes until they are soft. While still warm, peel and pass through ricer onto a clean surface.
Set 6 quarts of water to boil in a large spaghetti pot.
Make well in center of potatoes and sprinkle all over with flour, using just enough flour to make them firm but moist. Place egg and salt in center of well and using your hands, stir into flour and potatoes, just like making normal pasta. Once egg is mixed in, bring dough together, kneading gently until a ball is formed. Knead gently another 4 minutes until ball is dry to touch.
Roll baseball-sized ball of dough into 3/4-inch diameter dowels and cut dowels into 1-inch long pieces. Flick pieces off of fork or gnocchi ridger.
Drop into boiling water and cook until they float (about 1 minute). As gnocchi float to top of boiling water, remove them.
Top with your favorite sauce and enjoy!