This is one of Maria Lucrezia's signature recipes when she has friends over for dinner. Who doesn't love gnocchi?
This time we had them with sausage ragù, which is faster to make than the classic beef ragù and even more tasty. And with a pinch of Parmigiano cheese, perfection is achieved.
There are a thousand other sauces with which we like to eat gnocchi: with butter and sage, with simple tomato, alla sorrentina (tomato and melted mozzarella), with pesto etc..
Dress them as you like, but don't underestimate gnocchi: the dough can sometimes be tricky because of the different types of potatoes. Read the tips section carefully and I hope you will be spared our mistakes :)
PREPARATION: 60 min. / SERVING SIZE: 4 people
700 g of floury potatoes (mehlige Kartoffeln)
180 g of 00 flour (405 type)*
1 pinch of nutmeg
1 pinch of salt
* The amount may vary depending on the potatoes you use. If you want to be extra sure, cook a couple of gnocchi and see if they hold their shape. If not, you may add some flour.
500 g of bio pork sausage
1 clove of garlic
1 small white onion
1 small carrot
1 rib of celery
half a glass of red or white wine
300 ml of tomato puree
300 ml of water
1 spoon of olive oil
1/2 tbs of salt
black pepper, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, marjoram
Start by making the sausage ragù: in a large-bottomed saucepan sauté the chopped onion, the whole crushed clove of garlic, the carrot and celery stick in the olive oil.
In the meantime, remove the sausage from its casing. crumble it into the saucepan and fry it until it turns white.
Deglaze the sausage with the wine and let the alcohol evaporate.
Add the tomato puree and dilute it with water.
Add the spices (rosemary, thyme, laurel, marjoram) and the salt, and leave to cook on a low flame with the lid on for about 40-50 minutes. When it becomes thick, it is ready!
Proceed with the dough for the gnocchi: wash the potatoes and boil them whole with their skins.
Remove the skin from the potatoes and mash them with a potato masher or vegetable mill while they are still hot, but let them cool down before mixing them with the flour (see tips).
Add egg and salt and then knead the mixture shortly, until it comes together.
Roll out the dough into 3 cm thick rolls and cut them into 2-3 cm wide pieces. Place each piece on the "riga-gnocchi" or the prongs of a fork and press down lightly with your thumb to give the characteristic ridge on one side and the hollow on the other.
Gradually place them on a clean cloth sprinkled with flour.
Throw the gnocchi directly into boiling salted water. I do not recommend cooking too many at the same time (they would stick all together in the pot). When the gnocchi come to the surface, they are ready! Drain them gently with a slotted spoon and put them in the pot with the sauce.
1. The most suitable potatoes are the floury ones. Choosing the right potatoes is crucial to the success of the recipe: otherwise you risk obtaining gnocchi that are too soft and fall apart during cooking.
2. It is essential to cook potatoes with their skin. Not only they retain their flavour, but the pulp does not absorb too much water and risk to flake.
3. Potatoes should always be mashed when hot, because as they cool they suffer a retrogradation of the starch and become sticky. Once mashed, it is best to knead them while they are lukewarm to not to burn yourself and to not to denature the proteins in the flour in contact with a food that is too hot.
4. As with shortcrust pastry (see previous article), the gnocchi dough only needs to be kneaded long enough to compact all the ingredients, to prevent it from becoming too wet due to the starch released from the potatoes. Unlike shortcrust pastry, however, gnocchi do not have to rest in the fridge, but can be cooked immediately or frozen.
5. Dough too soft and sticky? Don't add flour, just transfer it to another floured work surface and knead it patiently.
6. You can freeze uncooked gnocchi: place them on a tray lined with greaseproof paper and freeze them, then seal them in a freezer bag and keep them in there for up to three months. To store cooked gnocchi, place them in a container with a lid and keep them in the fridge for up to one day.