Little pillows of happiness in a butter and herb sauce makes for a lovely appetizer, light lunch or the first course in an Italian feast.
- 3 russet potatoes
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup ricotta
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/3 cup chives
- 2 cups flour (making sure you have extra on hand for rolling them later)
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and pepper
Bring a large pot of water to boil and add the russet potatoes. Boil for 45 minutes, drain the water through a colander, and let the potatoes cool.
Once the potatoes have cooled down, remove and discard the skins. In a large bowl, mash the potatoes. The mixture needs to be as smooth as possible, so use an immersion blender or hand mixer if that helps.
Add the eggs and stir into the mixture.
Once the eggs have been incorporated, stir in the ricotta, parmesan, and chives.
At this point, the mixture should be very thick, but it needs to be as thick and malleable as dough. Add the flour and stir together until you get that consistency. The mixture will still be a little sticky, that's ok. Take a handful or two of flour and scatter it on a smooth surface. Place your dough on the flour and roll around until it's more dough-like and doesn't stick to everything in sight.
Begin rolling with your hands as if you're forming a large snake. You will end up getting a very large tube of dough, about two feet long. Cut this into quarters, and continue rolling each individual segment until you form rolls that are no bigger than a quarter in circumference. (Any bigger and you'll have difficulty cooking them.)
From the skinnier rolls, take a knife or pinch off little sections and roll them around in the palm of your hand to make the gnocchi. You may need to continue dredging them in a little flour as you go, which is fine. Once the gnocchi is shaped, using the back side of a fork, gently roll the gnocchi it give it the fork marks. Set all the finished gnocchi on a large plate to the side.
Once all the gnocchi have been formed. Dump them into a boiling pot of hot, salted water. Boil the gnocchi for five minutes to ensure their centers are nice and dense. (They will automatically start popping up to the top of the pot once they're cooking, but make sure you give them a little extra time in the water.)
Drain the boiled gnocchi through a colander. Then, in a very large saute pan over medium high heat, add two tablespoons of oil and butter. Add just enough gnocchi to the pan where they have enough space to get a light, brown crust around them. Add more oil, butter, and gnocchi when the first batch is done.
Lightly season the gnocchi with a little kosher salt, parsley, or extra chives.