There are two version of this recipe .Please read them both and decide which one you would prefer to try. I love them both and switch consistently between one and the other according to how my mood strikes me.
Put peeled, quartered potatoes in a large pot with cold water covering the potatoes by 2 -3 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and continue cooking over a low boil for approximately 20 minutes, until the potatoes are easily pierced and broken apart with a fork. Drain well; return to pot on low heat for 1 minute to dry the potatoes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Meanwhile, in a bowl combine flour, salt, nutmeg and cheese. Mix well to combine.
When potatoes are cool enough to handle, press through a potato ricer into a large bowl. Add the flour mixture to the potatoes, pressing and kneading gently to combine. Turn onto a very lightly floured board; knead to be sure all ingredients are well combined, 1 -2 minutes. Shape into a log, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
Cut the chilled log into 4 – 5 pieces. On a very lightly floured surface, roll and press each piece into a thin, long rope, about ½ to ¾ inch thick. Pinch off about ½ inch pieces (they should be between ½ and 1 teaspoon of dough). Hold a fork at about a 45-degree angle with it’s back facing towards you and tines of the fork touching the board. With your thumb, (or the middle three fingers of your hand) perpendicular to the fork, gently press each “pillow” of dough down the back of the tines. As you press, the dough will begin to curl around your thumb or fingers. Help it along, as you remove it from the fork. There will be a pattern of raised stripes across the gnocchi. Place the gnocchi on a very lightly floured baking sheet or platter. Do not let them touch. Cover with plastic wrap and a dam p towel and refrigerate until ready to use (within the same day). This dough makes approximately 100 gnocchi. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add gnocchi. They will fall to the bottom of the pot. As they cook, they will rise to the surface. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove with a mesh strainer or slotted spoon.
Serve immediately with sauce of your choice.
This gnocchi in this recipe will easily overcook and break, test a few pieces first before you proceed. Most of them will cook in boiling water in less then 3 minutes. If you use more flour it might take a little longer.
I have designed the preceding version of the gnocchi recipe to present you with gnocchi that are as light as air. However there is a trade off : light gnocchi are fragile gnocchi. This is the reason why in making the above gnocchi recipe I strongly suggest that you do not toss the gnocchi into the sauce before you serve them. Rather, I suggest you pour the sauce on top. This recipe is, by no means the ultimate way of making gnocchi , and from time to time I feel like making gnocchi with a little chewier consistency, so that I can toss them into the sauce and serve them family style and re-heat them the next day. If you prefer a chewier consistency and a more resilient texture to your gnocchi, please , add 1 egg and up to ¾ cup of flour to the Version 1 recipe when you mix the potatoes the flour and the cheese. Then proceed according to the instructions as listed in the Version 1 recipe.
Cook only the amount of fresh gnocchi that you will be eating immediately (that day). Any remaining gnocchi can be frozen. Put the excess fresh gnocchi on a baking sheet, leaving a bit of space between each piece. Freeze. Once they are frozen you can place in a plastic freezer bag in individual or multiple portions. When ready to cook, just drop in boiling water and cook as directed above.
1 ¼ pounds baking Potatoes, peeled and quartered (about 2 large)
¾ cup Flour, plus ¼ cup for dusting work surface
½ teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
¾ cups Parmesan Cheese