To read Diana Henry speak about handling these little dumplings like you would flowers, it is a perfect analogy. They need a light touch and some delicate manipulation but they are a great way to use up leftover potatoes and are far superior to the chewy, hard little nuggets they call gnocchi at the grocery store.
800g potatoes (about 5-6 medium)
2 cups bread flour (pizza flour)
3 teaspoons salt
1 can tomatoes
1/2 cup cream
1/2 onion diced
1 garlic clove chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
Make the gnocchi: Peel and boil potatoes until fork tender. Mash them well – preferably put them through a food mill to remove all the chunks. Or use a hand blender to smooth the lumps.
Add egg and 2 teaspoons salt and mix well. Slowly add 1/2 cup of flour using hands to blend. Continue adding flour by half cups – you may need more or less flour. Use your hands to incorporate the flour. The dough should not be sticky but should be smooth and pliable.
Place dough into fridge for 30 mins. Remove from fridge and place onto heavily floured work surface. Roll into a log shape and cut into jellybean sized pieces. Use the back of a fork to indent. Gnocchi will be soft especially in a warm kitchen.
Make sauce: Add olive oil and onion to pan and cook for 5 mins. Add garlic and sauté for one minute. Add tomatoes and 1 tsp salt and allow to cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Add cream and then transfer the sauce to a blender – adding fresh herbs into the blender. Blend until smooth. Return sauce to pan and heat on low.
Cook gnocchi: Bring a large pot of well-salted water to boil – 1 tablespoon of salt for every L of water. Once boiling quickly and carefully drop gnocchi into water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir gently. They will not need very much time – use a strainer to remove from boiling water.
Drain gnocchi and add to pan of sauce. Coat gnocchi thoroughly then add Parmesan to serve.