Apparently that little tool you roll the dough down to make the characteristic ridges in Gnocchi is called a Rigagnocchi. A little man I know in Umbria whittled off this one for me (plus the delightfully rustic bowl in the background) from ancient olive-tree wood. Its excessively long journey to the UK via Naples and a US military base is a rather long and frankly dull story but thanks to the lovely Robbin this delightful single use implement is now in my possession.
If anyone can actually tell me what else it could be used for in addition to making gnocchi I’d be grateful; gnocchi does not make a terribly frequent appearance on the table here I have to admit, simply down to the fact that previously to learning how to make them the heavy, vacuumed packed gnocchi are simply unpleasant.
And what you need to accompany a handmade, olive-wood, Rigagnocchi is a traditional Gnocchi Recipe! Back in February a cooking class at the Terre Margaritelli Winery in Umbria provided instruction on how to make these versatile little wonders. In truth though, Umbrian Gnocchi, are actually made ‘un-ridged’… Any sauce you dare to concoct can be served with these – a few spoonful’s of a meaty ragu, a fresh, lively pesto or as Mary at Vindulge shows a buttery sage sauce.
This simple, traditional Gnocchi recipe does make a very large amount.
4 medium size potatoes
1 egg, lightly whipped
About 500 g flour
2 Tbs parmigiano reggiano
Boil the potatoes in their skins until just tender; be careful not to overcook.
Peel the skins off of the potatoes and mash them in a ricer, food mill or a cheese grater
On a wooden cutting board, make a well with about 400 g of the flour.
Add the potatoes, egg, parmigiano (and more flour as necessary), and mix gently, pushing the dough together until it is well combined and not sticky – don’t knead just massage it
Working with small pieces, roll out dough with your hands making a snake. Then using a quick up and down motion, cut the gnocchi to the desire size. Put the gnocchi onto a tray, avoiding that they touch each other.
Drop the gnocchi in batches into boiling salted water. No stirring just wait until each float to the surface at which point they are cooked.