Talia's Potato Gnocchi
One of the sweetest and most compelling scenes in Godfather III is when Andy Garcia and Sofia Coppola are alone in a spacious restaurant kitchen making gnocchi together. It is leisurely, nuanced and deliciously sensual.
TALIA'S POTATO GNOCCHI
- 2 pounds russet potatoes
- 1 large egg yolk
- Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- Italia's Tomato-Mozzarella Sauce, Lamb Bolognese or Italia's Pesto hot
- Chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano, in one piece
- 8 to 10 basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons or torn into small pieces.
Boil the whole, unpeeled potatoes in plenty of water until they are just tender, about 15 to 30 minutes depending on size. When done, drain them thoroughly and set them on absorbent toweling to cool. When cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes and press them through a potato ricer or food mill into a clean bowl. Do not use a food processor.
Add the egg yolk, 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, the butter and mix thoroughly.
Begin to add the flour, ¼ cup at a time, until the potatoes will not absorb any more of it. Form into a ball, set on a clean work surface, cover with a tea towel and let rest for 5 or 10 minutes.
The dough should be smooth, somewhat soft and slightly sticky. Cut it into 4 equal pieces.
With your work surface covered with a sprinkling of flour and with your hands dusted with flour, roll the gnocchi into long cords about 3/4-inch in diameter; cut the cords into 3/4-inch pieces.
Next, take a fork with long, rounded, slim prongs. In one hand, hold the fork sideways, with the prongs parallel to the cutting surface and the concave side facing towards you. With the other hand, place a dumpling on the inside curve of the fork just below the points of the prongs and press it against the prongs with the tip of your index finger pointing directly at and perpendicular to the fork. While pressing the dumpling with your finger, flip it away from the prong tips, and toward the handle of the fork. Don’t drag it, flip it. As it rolls to the base of the prongs, let it drop to the counter. The dumpling will be somewhat crescent-shaped, with ridges on one side formed by the prongs, and a deep depression on the other formed by your fingertip.
Have the sauce hot and near the stove.
When done shaping the gnocchi, drop them, about 2 dozen at a time, into 5 quarts of boiling salted water. In a short time, they will float to the surface. Let them cook just 15 seconds more, then use a slotted spoon to transfer to a warmed bowl or platter.
Continue until all gnocchi have been cooked. Add about a cup of sauce, toss gently to coat all the gnocchi and then spoon more sauce on top.
Grate cheese over everything, scatter the basil on top and enjoy right away.
To drink: Pair with Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Pinot Grigio
Italia Coppola, who dedicated her book, Mammarella: Mama Coppola's Pasta Cookbook, to her mother Anna Pennino, to her husband Carmine and to her three children, August, Francis and Talia, who have inherited both the Neapolitan spirit and its cooking.