1kg floury potatoes (Desirée, King Edward etc.)85g ‘OO’ Pasta flour½ medium egg, beatenSalt and pepperExtra-Virgin olive oil
Heat the oven to gas mark 5/375°F/190°C.
Firstly, bring a pan of salted water to the boil and prepare a bowl of water with a few ice-cubes in it.
Prick the potatoes all over, rub with olive oil and a little sea salt. This helps the moisture escape the potato as it raises the exterior temperature.
A top tip if you’re after a nice fluffy jacket spud for a quick supper: bake the potatoes for about two hours, or until nicely browned and crunchy.
Remove the potatoes from the oven and quickly smash them on a hard surface. This ‘shatters’ the flesh within, making it easier to scoop.
Halve the potatoes and scoop out the flesh and pass through a mouli or ricer. If you don’t have one, mash the potatoes,but go quickly and don’t over-work.
Allow the mashed potato to cool a little, then taste and season well. Knife the flour into the mixture, again working quickly, and then add the egg and gently bring the mixture together.
Rest this mixture in a cool place for 10 minutes. Flour a flat surface with ‘OO’ pasta flour.
Divide the potato dough into two and roll out into ‘sausages’ about two fingers thick.
Cut the sausages into 4cm square pieces and, using a fork or the back of a knife, put a few ‘grooves’ into each gnocchi.
Check the water is boiling, and drop in the gnocchi, a few at a time. When they begin to float about near the surface, they are ready.
Quickly whip them out of the pan and drop them into the iced water. Leave them for a few minutes, and then drain on a tea-towel.
When dried off, store them in a container, rolled in extra-virgin olive oil until needed. They will keep, refrigerated, for a couple of days.
To finish, fry or bake in butter or oil until golden and crispy, and serve with a little extra butter, a dusting of Parmesan, or the pasta sauce of your choice.
Next week, it’s asparagus time. The first of the native crop is with us, and I feel a quiche coming on.