We fell in love with Italy. The food. The people. The scenery. Did I mention the food? Fresh pastas that barely needed a sauce. So flavorful and hearty they were practically a meal themselves. While making your own pasta may seem like a daunting task, the taste of those fresh ingredients are SO worth the time.
One of our favorites was homemade Italian Gnocchi. Little morsels of goodness so delicious they seem to explode in your mouth. These tiny potato dumplings are a staple in most Italian kitchens. Served with a warm basil or creamy hazelnut sauce to further expand the flavors of this classic dish, these are easy to make if you don’t have your own favorite Italian trattoria close by.
2 pounds (approx 1kg) of a starchy or floury potato – Russet potatoes tend to work nicely.
1 cup (120 gm) of all-purpose flour
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon white wine
Cut the potatoes in half, with the skins still on, and boil for 40-50 minutes until they are tender throughout. Carefully remove the potatoes from the hot water and peel them while they are still hot. Mash the potatoes and mix in the flour. Put this mixture onto a floured, wooden cutting board. Make a well in the center of the potato and flour mixture and let cool for about 10 minutes. Pour in the large egg yolk and wine into the well of the potato and flour mixture and combine all the ingredients together on the wooden cutting board. The final dough mixture should be moist, but not sticky. You can use a light dusting of flour to get to this consistency as needed but you should be careful not to over-flour.
Using approximately 1/8 of the dough mixture at a time, roll into a 1/2 inch (1.25cm) wide log. Cut into inch (2.5cm) long pieces and gently push each into the tines of a fork to make them perfect little sauce grabbers! Boil the gnocchi about 20 at a time in lightly salted water. The gnocchi will float to the top when they are cooked to perfection.