I love Gnocchi (anun. naw kee) with about any sauce on them. I've made them with different add ins too. But my fav will always be good ol' potato gnocci. The best I ever had was in Rimini, Italy that my cousins took us to. That's what got me to really get into my Italian heritage cooking. My mom already is a master of it but it wasn't until I went back to Italy to visit family did I get a new appreciation. The food is so good there! When I came back home about a month later, I made gnocchi for the first time, but it will never be the same as when I had them in Italy. But one can only try! I don't roll them on the special ridge board, I'll just use a fork, but really you don't have to do it. I had them as little pillows when I ate them in Italy.
1Pierce potatoes several times with the tines of a fork. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes, until tender.
2While still hot, slice potatoes in half width-wise and carefully scoop out all the insides. Place in a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher until uniform consistency but not completely smooth. Let cool for 15 minutes.
3Add egg to the potatoes and stir to combine. Work in flour, starting with a 1/2 cup, add parmesan cheese. If it gets too difficult to combine with a spoon, use your hands. Form the dough into a soft, only-slightly-sticky ball. (Add more flour as needed if the dough is too sticky.) Knead for about a minute in the bowl.
4Divide the dough into 6 sections. Work with one section at a time and refrigerate the others.
5On a floured surface, roll each section of dough into a long strip. Cut into 1/2 – 1 inch pieces. Continue until done. Roll the gnocchi into oval shapes or press with the tines of a fork, if desired. (This is the point when you can freeze the gnocchi. Just place on a cookie sheet in a single layer and flash freeze for 20-30 minutes. Then transfer to a plastic freezer bag.)
6Bring a large pot of water to a slow boil. Working in small batches, add some gnocchi to the pot. Boil just until they rise to the surface. Drain and transfer to a plate that is lightly spread with olive oil to prevent sticking. Repeat until done.
7You can serve the gnocchi as they are at this point and top with a favorite sauce. Or saute in some melted butter for about 5 minutes, just until the gnocchi are very slightly crisp on one side. Transfer to a serving plate, top with the melted butter from the skillet and some salt, pepper and freshly grated parmesan cheese.