Potato Gnocchi

Potato Gnocchi
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WHAT YOU NEED:

GNOCCHI:
- 900g russett or mashing potatoes
- 1 ½ cups plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 large egg – lightly beaten

PASTA SAUCE:
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 sprig thyme
- Pinch of crushed chilli powder

TO SERVE:
-Mesclun lettuce

WHAT TO DO:

FOR THE PASTA SAUCE:
Place all pasta sauce ingredients in a pan, combine them together and then leave the sauce to simmer, stirring occasionally, until it begins to thicken up.

FOR THE GNOCCHI:
1.First you need to cook the potatoes.Pierce the skin a few times with a fork, then bake in the oven at 200g for about 45 minutes, or if you’re short on time you can microwave them for five minutes.Don’t boil them, because you need the potato to be as dry as possible for good gnocchi.
2.Once the potatoes are cooked, allow them to cool completely.
3.Cut each potato in half, then scoop out all the flesh from the skin with a spoon.Then you need to push all of the potato flesh through a sieve. This is a bit trickier than mashing the potato, but it’s best to do it this way because it makes the potato nice and airy which makes for perfect gnocchi.
4.Once all the potato flesh has been pushed through the sieve, add the lightly beaten egg and the salt to the potato and mix it all together.
5.Start adding the flour, just a little at a time.Add small amounts of flour, mix it in, and add a bit more – keep going until you get to the stage where the dough won’t stick to your hands.You may not need to use all of the flour.
6.Next, you need to knead out the dough.Bring the dough together with your finger tips and knead it out over a very clean, floured bench for about 3 – 4 minutes.
7.Divide your dough into six pieces and roll each piece out into a long snake shape about 1 ½ cm thick.Then chop your dough snakes into 2cm pieces.You can cook your gnocchi just like this, but gnocchi traditionally has little ridges on it which helps grab onto your pasta sauce.You can achieve this by rolling each piece of gnocchi along the back of a fork – the fork prongs will create the ridges.
8.To cook the gnocchi, have your water at a gentle simmer rather than a boil – if there are too many bubbles in the water it might break your gnocchi apart.Cook the gnocchi in batches.When the gnocchi rises to the top of the water, leave them in there for an extra 30 seconds, then remove them from the water with a slotted spoon and carefully place the next batch into the water, until all of your gnocchi is cooked.Grab an oldie to help you out here.

Serve your gnocchi on a bed of mesclun lettuce, topped with pasta sauce.

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