Photography: DAVID M. RUSSELL
Martha Stewart's Cooking School
- 2 1/4 pounds russet potatoes (about 3 large)
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Coarse salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading and dusting
- Basil pesto
- Basil leaves, for garnish
- Put about two inches of water in a large pot fitted with a steamer basket and place pot over high heat. Add potatoes, cover, and steam until fork tender, about 45 minutes. Drain well, then peel: Holding each potato with a thick, dry kitchen towel (they will be too hot to hold directly), remove the skin with a paring knife. Immediately pass the potatoes through a ricer. Spread out on a baking sheet and let cool completely.
- Turn out potatoes onto a work surface, then mix egg with one tablespoon salt and pour over the potatoes and add flour in 1/2 cup increments, up to 1 1/2 cups. Start to work the mixture with your hands and bring it together to form a dough; then gently knead 4 to 5 minutes, adding more flour (up to 1/2 cup total) as necessary to keep the dough from sticking, until dough is smooth and elastic. (To check, pinch off a piece and roll into a rope; it should not break apart).
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with a dry clean kitchen towel (or parchment paper) and sprinkle liberally with flour. Use a bench scraper to divide dough into four to six pieces. Begin gently rolling each piece under the palms of your hands into a rope, then continue rolling until it is ½ inch in diameter. Use the bench scraper to cut ropes crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Roll a cut side of each dumpling against the tines of a fork with your thumb (each piece will have ridges on one side and an indentation on the other). Set gnocchi in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. If not cooking immediately, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 2 hours.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add a generous amount of salt. Working in small batches, add gnocchi and cook until they float to the top, about 2 minutes. Remove gnocchi with a slotted spoon and gently shake off excess water before placing in a large pasta bowl. (If not serving immediately, plunge gnocchi into an ice-water bath to stop the cooking. Once completely cool, drain thoroughly, toss with a little extra-virgin olive oil, and refrigerate in a covered container for up to 3 hours. Reheat slowly on the stove, with the serving sauce or melted butter. Freezing gnocchi is not recommended.) Toss with pesto while boiling remaining gnocchi.
- Once the last batch has been boiled, drained, and tossed with pesto, divide gnocchi among bowls and serve at once, garnished with basil.
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