Preparation time: 50 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
• 6 large potatoes (about 800 g)
• 1 egg yolk
• salt, pepper and nutmeg
• about 250ml flour, sifted twice (see tip)
• semolina, for rolling
• 200g bacon bits
• 300ml of your favourite tomato pasta sauce
1. Place the whole potatoes in salted water and boil until soft (about 20 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes).
2. Make the sauce Fry the bacon until crisp, mix in the sauce and heat through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Drain the potatoes, cool until you can handle them, then peel. (Gloves will help, the potatoes should preferably still be slightly hot.)
4. Mash the potatoes finely with a potato ricer or work it through a sieve for the best results.
5. Mix the egg yolk, salt, pepper and nutmeg with the mash, along with enough flour to form a manageable ‘dough’. Knead to a smooth consistency.
6. Divide the dough into four, roll each piece into a long, even sausage about 1.5 cm thick and cut into bite-size gnocchi. Roll each gnocchi in the semolina until it’s evenly coated, then cook half the gnocchi at a time in salted water until they float to the top (then you know they are done). Scoop out with a slotted spoon straight into the hot mushroom sauce. Repeat with the rest of the gnocchi. Mix the sauce through and garnish with fresh basil and, if you feel decadent, a little grated Parmesan and freshly ground black pepper.
Tip: Sifting flour introduces a lot of air into it, ensuring a pleasant, light texture in the end result. If you sift it twice, it’s even better!