These light-as-air potato dumplings are a staple of Italian cuisine. Russet potatoes provide the perfect combination of starch and moisture; do not use other potato varieties, as the dumplings will lack the desired airy texture.
To cook gnocchi, pour them, in 2 batches, into a large pot
of boiling salted water and let them cook until they float, about 3 minutes. Drain and top with your favorite tomato sauce
, or simply toss them with butter and grated Parmesan cheese.
5 russet potatoes, about 2 1/2 pounds total weigh, baked until soft
2 large eggs
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
|Rice the potatoes.
When the potatoes are just cool enough to handle, cut them in half lengthwise. Using a large metal spoon, scoop out the potato flesh from the skins. Fit a potato ricer with the disk with the small holes. Rice the potato onto a large, rimmed baking sheet. Spread out the potato flesh on the sheet and let it cool completely.
|Add the egg mixture.
Break the eggs into a bowl and check for shells. Add the salt and beat with a fork until blended. Drizzle the egg mixture evenly over the cooled potatoes. Then, sprinkle 1 cup of the flour evenly over the potatoes. Using a bench scraper, scoop, lift and fold the potatoes to mix them with the eggs and flour until a coarse dough forms. It should look raggedy.
|Incorporate the flour.
Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the remaining flour onto a work surface. Spread the potato mixture on the surface and sprinkle with another 1/4 cup flour. Using the bench scraper and then your hands, scoop, lift and fold the mixture, lightly pressing it as you work, until the flour is incorporated.
|Shape the dough.
Shape the dough into a ball, dust with flour and cover with an overturned bowl. Dust 2 large rimmed baking sheets with flour. Using the bench scraper, scrape the work surface clean and then dust it with flour.
|Divide the dough into 8 pieces.
Using the bench scraper, cut the dough into 8 equal pieces. Slip 7 of the pieces back under the bowl. Place 1 dough piece in the center of the surface and shape it into a short cylinder.
|Roll the dough into a log.
Using the fingers of both hands, roll the dough back and forth over the surface, gradually shifting your hands to the ends, to form it slowly into a narrow log about 1/2 inch in diameter.
|Cut the log into pieces.
Cut the log into 3/4-inch pillow-shaped pieces. Place the pieces in a single layer, not touching, on the prepared baking sheets. Roll and cut the remaining dough pieces in the same way. Cover the baking sheets with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
Serves 6 to 8.