There must be as many recipes for gnocchi as there are nonnas in Italy! I tested many and decided that the simplest recipe was my favorite.. It is also the fastest to make. Overworking the dough reduces the lightness of the gnocchi.Carmelizing the gnocchi really brings out the flavor of the potato. I love both Alfredo and Carbonara sauces because they combine a lot of my favorite flavors: parmesan, bacon, butter and black pepper so I named my mongrel Calfredo. —dymnyno
about 4 dozen
Idaho Russet potatoes
all purpose flour, extra for rolling the dough
Put the whole potatoes into a large pot of water and cook for about an hour. Do not poke holes in the potatoes. We want the potatoes to be dry inside, not absorb any water through piercing.
Remove the potatoes from the pot. When cool enough to handle, slip the skin off.
With the back of a fork, mash the potatoes into a large bowl. Or, use a box grater.
Add the flour and with your hands mix the potato and flour together. Work fast and don't keep kneading the mixture too much. Less fussing will produce a light gnocchi.
Dust the work surface with flour to prevent the dough from sticking to it.
With your hands, form the dough into a long (manageable) rope or ropes about 3/4 inch thick.
With a sharp knife cut off 3/4 inch segments of the rope. Using a fork , press the flat side of the tines gently on the segments, one at a time, leaving one side fat and the other side impressed with fork tines. The purpose of the tine impression is to give the gnocchi more surface to absorb flavors.
In a large pot of salted simmering water, put the gnocchi in a few at a time so they don't stick. After a few minutes they will float to the surface...let them cook a minute more and remove to a warm plate. Repeat until all gnocchi are cooked.
When the gnocchi are cooked and drained , put a small bit of butter in a saute pan and lightly carmelize the gnocchi.
In a pan, fry the bacon until fully cooked and very crisp. Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel. Crumble or cut the bacon into very small pieces
In a sauce pan, add the cream and heat to a boil. Remove from flame and very slowly add the beaten egg yolks, continually stirring to prevent them from curdling and until the sauce thickens. Add the black pepper, and more to taste.
Place the gnocchi on a plate. Pour the Calfredo sauce over the gnocchi. Sprinkle the bacon and asiago and parmesan over the gnocchi and sauce.
Serve with more freshly grated asiago and parmesan cheeses and more fresh black pepper.