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Making fresh, soft gnocchi is easier than you think. Roll them up and experiment to your heart's content.

Basic gnocchi. Photographer: Jana Langhorst
Serves: 6
Fresh from the garden: Eggs, potatoes
Season: All

Rolling and cutting fresh, soft gnocchi dough is a wonderfully tactile experience. This simple recipe shows how easy it is.

Note: To save time, cook the potatoes in advance.


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What to do

  • 1. Place the potatoes in their skins in a stockpot, cover with water and boil until tender.

  • 2. Drain the potatoes and allow them to cool slightly in a colander before peeling. (Note: If using a ricer you will not need to peel the potatoes.)

  • 3. Put the potatoes into a large bowl and mash them until smooth, or pass them through a ricer or Mouli. Do not over-mash or the potato will become sticky and your gnocchi will be heavy.

  • 4. Rinse and refill the stockpot with water and bring it to the boil.

  • 5. Pour the flour onto a clean workbench, reserving 2 tablespoons to use later if required.

  • 6. Put the mashed potatoes on top of the pile of flour. Add the egg.

  • 7. Knead the mixture into a soft dough. If necessary, sprinkle a little extra flour to stop the dough sticking to the workbench.

  • 8. Divide the dough into four, then roll each piece into a 2 cm-wide log.

  • 9. Cut the logs with the butter knife at 0.5cm intervals to create gnocchi, then lightly use the fork to create ridges on the gnocchi (don’t squash them flat!).

  • 10. Dust the gnocchi with a little more flour to stop them from sticking.

  • 11. Dust a baking tray with flour and spread the gnocchi onto the tray.

  • 12. To cook the gnocchi, add a tablespoon of salt to the boiling water, then carefully drop the gnocchi piece by piece into the pot, making sure they do not stick together. Boil them in two batches if necessary to avoid crowding the pot.

  • 13. The gnocchi are cooked when they rise to the surface. Spoon them out with the slotted spoon and place directly into your sauce, or into a serving dish.

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