Gnocchi al burro e salvia
Updated: Jan 31
Fantastic first course, or even mains, when you have nothing else in the house but potatoes, rest assured it will be loved by everybody, guests included! This will serve 4.
Ingredients for the gnocchi:
300gr plain flour
1 kg potatoes
Ingredients for the sauce:
30gr butter or margarine (not oil)
2 tsp dried sage or 1 tsp freshly chopped sage
Grated parmesan and flaked parmesan
Freshly ground pepper
Peel and boil the potatoes cut in chunks in salted water, then drain well and mash them as well as possible (if you have a potatoe ricer it's even better). Once mashed wait until they become cool enough to handle with bare hands. This recipe works well only if you are working with warm potatoes.
Sieve the flour and put it onto the table in the usual fountain form, make a well in the center, but make sure to have a center quite big enough to accomodate all of your potatoes. Start swiftly to mix with the potatoes, and continue to mix from the center outwards until all ingredients are combined and you have a nice piece of dough. The dough must not be overmixed, and it will be still lukewarm at this point.
Set aside the dough on a floured teatowel and cover it well so that it does not dry up. Cut out a thick slice of dough and start working it onto the flowered table giving it the shape of a narrow (1cm) cilinder.
Once the cilinder is ready cut it into 1cm pieces, shape the pieces between the two palms of your hand to give it the classic oblong shape.
Here you have the choice to leave the gnocchi as they are, per the opening picture, or you can give it the classic stripes and shape by using a "rigagnocchi" (a ridged board used for gnocchi).
In this case you just take a shaped piece, run it lightly over the board from the top down with your finger making an imprint on the side were no ridges will be created. Here is an idea of what I'm talking about:
Proceed until you finish all the dough, taking care to leave the rest tightly covered as it will dry out very quickly othewise.
Prepare the sauce by simply melting over low heat the butter with the sage - mix it and let it bubble very gently for two minutes, then take out of the heat.
Boil your gnocchi in small batches in plenty of salty boiling water using a perforated ladle to both place them in the water and then draining them out of it. Once in the water the gnocchi must be delicately stirred only 1 time, then you need to be ready because in 2 to 3 mins maximum they will bubble up to the surface. Once they float they are ready and don't want to wait! So drain them with the perforated ladle and place in a warm serving dish, pouring some of sage and butter sauce. Continue doing this in batches until all gnocchi are cooked.
Mix them with a little of grated parmesan, then dot it with flaked parmesan and sprinkle with some ground pepper.