Potato Gnocchi

I love making fresh gnocchi because it tastes so much better than anything you can buy at the store and it is extremely satisfying when you get the raves that inevitably come when you make this dish. I serve the gnocchi with a fresh tomato and basil sauce, a richer bolognese sauce (recipe below) or a simple brown butter sauce with sage and shaved parmesan.

2 pounds Idaho or russet potatoes
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons coarse salt
white pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, or to taste
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Place potatoes in a large stockpot. Add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a skewer, about 40 minutes. Drain. When cool enough to handle, peel and mash potatoes using a potato ricer.

On a large work surface, gather warm potatoes into a mound, forming a well in the center. In a small bowl, stir together eggs and then pour in to well. Season potatoes with 2 teaspoons salt, white pepper to taste, and nutmeg. Sprinkle the potatoes with about 1 cup of flour and using both hands, work potatoes and egg mixture together. Gradually add another cup of flour, scraping dough from work surface with a knife or bench scraper as necessary. This process should not take more than 10 minutes. The longer the dough is worked, the more flour it will require and the heavier the dough will become.

Dust hands, dough, and work surface lightly with some of the remaining 1/2 cup flour. Cut dough into 6 equal portions. Using both hands, roll each piece of dough into a rope 1/2-inch thick. Continue dusting as long as dough feels sticky. Slice ropes at 1/2-inch intervals. Indent each piece with thumb, the tines of a fork, or the back of a semicircular grater to produce a ribbed effect.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Working in batches, boil the gnocchi until it comes to a float and is cooked through, about 1-2 minutes. Drain with a slotted spoon and toss with your favorite sauce.
Serves 6