The first time I saw someone make Gnocchi was in the Australian Master Chef competition. That's the time I realized it didn't look too intimidating, but never got around to making it. One of the reasons maybe that it requires egg, and though I use egg in desserts, I hate using egg in my main course, especially in pasta.
I know, totally weird.
I always thought that gnocchi becomes airy and light because of egg, so an eggless version was out of the question. Until recently, I stumbled here. Chef Joey Camapanaro maintains that Gnocchi without egg turns out lighter due to the high starch content in flour.
So I tried his method. It's an easy to follow recipe.
Some of my hits & misses -
1. If you don't have a food mill, or if like me you are bored to use one since they are messy to clean up, mash the potatoes with the tines of a fork until all the lumps are soft and the mixture looks silky and airy.
2. Add only as much flour as to absorb the stickiness. The lesser the flour, the more flavorful the Gnocchi. Add a bit of salt in the dough.
3. I forgot to make ridges in the gnocchi, so the sauce didn't stick much. Making ridges in the gnocchi is recommended.
4. Remove the gnocchi 15 secs after it floats to the surface. I let the first batch swim for a minute or so, and they became hard. The rest of the batches I removed almost immediately, and dumped them in cold water to stop cooking, and they turned out to be soft and beautiful.
You can use these gnocchi with any sauce.
I used the following:
Saute thinly diced onion and garlic on olive oil until brown. Add medium diced tomatoes and saute until soft. Mash a bit with the back of a spoon, add salt, pepper and a half a tsp of sugar. Add black olives and basil.
Toss the boiled gnocchi in the sauce and serve with grated cheese.