I learned how to make Italian gnocchi before I even knew how to say it (nyo-key, for those non-Italian), but shortly thereafter I also learned that you can buy frozen gnocchi in a lot of grocery stores. Gnocchi can be made from potatoes, semolina, flour, or a combination of these, but in all cases it literally cooks in a few minutes. This recipe is for potato gnocchi with butter and cheese, a recipe that you can easily make even richer by adding a few sage leaves. Sage belongs to the mint family and is very aromatic, but it isn’t quite minty. It can be found with the rest of the herbs in the produce section. Romano cheese has a very sharp flavor, so if you aren’t partial to it, substitute parmesan or use less than the recipe calls for. A nice little shortcut here is buying the already grated romano, instead of grating a big romano block yourself. I hope you’ll enjoy this traditional Italian recipe as much as I normally do!
2 pounds baking potatoes (about 4)
2 large egg yolks
Salt, to taste
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Pierce the potatoes all over with a fork. Bake in a microwave oven at high power for 10 minutes, then flip the potatoes and microwave for 5 minutes longer. Transfer the potatoes to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Alternatively, bake the potatoes in the oven for about 1 hour, until tender. Halve the potatoes. Scoop the flesh into a ricer and rice the potatoes. Transfer 2 slightly packed cups of riced potatoes to a bowl. Stir in the egg yolks and 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the 1/2 cup of flour; stir until a stiff dough forms. Knead the dough gently until smooth but slightly sticky.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper and dust with flour. On a floured surface, cut the dough into 4 pieces, rolling each into a 3/4-inch-thick rope. Cut the ropes into 3/4-inch pieces. Roll each piece against the tines of a fork to make ridges; transfer to the baking sheet. In a large, deep skillet of simmering salted water, cook the gnocchi until they rise to the surface, then simmer for 2 minutes longer. In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter. Using a slotted spoon, add the gnocchi to the butter. Season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat for 1 minute. Sprinkle with the cheese and serve your creamy, lovely gnocchi with butter and cheese.