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1. For the sake of sanity (which I highly prize, and I find to be in short supply), I suggest that you make the potatoes in advance. Whenever you’re using the oven for something else already, wash, pierce and bake the 4 potatoes (or equivalent) in their skins at about 400 degrees for about an hour, until they’re soft when you squeeze them. Let them cool slightly, then peel them (I actually use a vegetable peeler, but handle this however you like), melt the butter into them, and then beat the living daylights out of them (use a food processor or a hand-held or stand mixer; just do it until they’re finely beaten). Many recipes for gnocchi call for boiling the potatoes. I think that is just silly. They absorb too much moisture, and then you have a heck of a time combating the extra moisture in the final product. If you bake them in a dry, hot oven, you will have them just where you want them. After you have beaten the potatoes and butter, cover them in a bowl and chill them in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. You want them chilly.
2. Whisk together the flour and xanthan gum until well combined. Once the potatoes are chilled, add the flour and xanthan gum mixture a bit at a time to the potatoes and knead it in, squeezing the dough as you go. It should hold together.
3. Now it’s time to roll the dough into the ropes that will form the basis for the little darlings themselves. The traditional way to go is to roll the dough into very long ropes on a floured surface. If you find that’s possible, more power to you. Me, I roll lumps of dough into about 3-6 inch ropes, or as long as I can manage them. Give each lump of dough a good squeeze in between your palms, and then roll the dough either between your palms or on a floured flat surface. The most important thing is that the dough holds together solidly. After you have rolled a few, let them sit for a few minutes. It will allow the flour mixture to absorb the moisture of the potatoes.
4. While the dough is sitting, boil a large pot of water. In the meantime, cut the ropes into 1? pieces with a sharp knife, then mark each with the tines of a fork to make ridges (it allows the gnocchi to hold onto sauce better). One by one (and in batches of about 20), once the water is boiling, gently drop each little nugget into the boiling water and allow to cook for about 3 minutes, until they float to the top (and it’s very, very exciting when they do float to the top). Fish out the gnocchi with a slotted spoon and set them aside. Repeat with the remaining dough. Serve with tomato sauce (or whatever else you like).
This recipe can be easily doubled.
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