Des Moines chef George Formaro says no food hugs you like potato gnocchi. The good news is, his recipe for the Italian classic is super easy--and so are his ideas for how to sauce them.

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Ingredients

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Scrub and peel potatoes; rub with olive oil. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes or until a knife inserts easily. Remove potatoes from oven and cool for 20 to 25 minutes or until easy to handle.

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  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the egg, Parmesan, butter, salt, and pepper.

  • While they're still warm, rice the potatoes into a large bowl. (The dry roasted exterior will act like a jacket and won’t pass through; discard it.) Drizzle the egg mixture over the riced potatoes and mix lightly with a fork. Add the flour and stir lightly until just mixed. Knead only a few times; don't overwork. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and rest for 10 minutes. (Any lingering streaks of flour remaining will absorb during this time.)

  • Divide dough into quarters, rolling each quarter into a long rope about 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick. Lightly dust the ropes with flour and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. (If you like, spread uncooked gnocchi on a lightly greased or floured sheet pan, freeze, and then store in a zip-top bag for future meals.)

  • To cook gnocchi: In a large pot bring 4 quarts of salted water just to boiling. Add the gnocchi in batches. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. When gnocchi start to float, cook them for one minute more. (If you froze your gnocchi, boil them straight from the freezer. They’ll cook in about the same time, maybe a minute longer) Using a strainer, lift gnocchi out of boiling water and toss with your favorite sauce.

  • For seared gnocchi: Cook and drain well in a colander. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and/or butter in a large skillet. Add well-drained gnocchi in a single layer. Cook, without stirring, until gnocchi start to brown. Stir and cook until browned on all sides (about 2 minutes total).

Shopping Tip

Imported “double-zero” flour is used in pasta and pizza dough. It’s very fine and yields lighter gnocchi. Buy it at specialty stores like Whole Foods Market, or just use all- purpose flour.

Gnocchi with Crispy Sage and Brown Butter

Melt butter slowly on low heat, cooking until golden brown. Add fresh sage leaves; fry until crisp. Add gnocchi and toss to coat. Serve with grated Parm.

Gnocchi with Blush Sauce

Brown crumbled Italian sausage; add tomato sauce, a handful of frozen peas, a splash of cream and chopped fresh rosemary. Bring to a simmer to cook peas and meld flavors.

Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cream

Blue cheese and gnocchi are a traditional pairing. Add crumbled Gorgonzola cheese to a good-quality purchased Alfredo sauce and warm gently with gnocchi in pan.

Nutrition Facts

243 calories; 5 g total fat; 32 mg cholesterol; 870 mg sodium. 44 g carbohydrates; 7 g protein;

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