A true comfort dish!
1 MEDIUM SIZED DRY POTATO – like Russet
1 CUP FLOUR
PINCH OF SALT
1 EGG YOLK
1 TBS EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL –
plus some extra for greasing the casserole dish
A SPRIG OF BASIL
½ CUP TOMATO SAUCE
2 OZ MOZZARELLA – CUBED
BASIL LEAVES – a few torn
¼ CUP PARMESAN CHEESE – DIVIDED
Wash the potato. Boil it in salted water until cooked through – app 30 minutes. Wait a few minutes until the potato is cool enough to handle and then peel it, mash it with a potato ricer and then allow it to cool some more on a slightly floured board.
Make a well in the center of the potato pile and sprinkle some flour on the outer edge. Put the egg yolk in the well with salt and the olive oil. Mix lightly with your hands incorporating the flour into the potato and egg until you have a soft manageable dough. You may not need all the flour and there is a slight chance you might need a bit more. The mixture should not be sticky when you roll it into a ball.
Roll the ball in a bit of flour flatten it a bit and then slice into 5 or 6 pieces. Roll each piece into long logs that are no thicker that a hot dog using a minimal amount of flour. Cut each log into 1/2”- pieces and using your thumb slide each piece over the tings of a fork to produce ridges. These ridges will capture the sauce.
COOKING THE GNOCCHI:
Cook the Gnocchi in salted boiling water for a few minutes (stirring lightly to keep them moving and not sticking together) until they rise up to the top of the pot. Scoop out with a large, slotted spoon or kitchen spider and place gently in a large frying pan with some of the sauce on the bottom so that the Gnocchi don’t stick. Top with shredded mozzarella, a sprig or two of basil and sauté’ for a few minutes. Place the pan in an oven pre-heated to 350º and bake for about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese and serve.