My neighbor in Provence, Marie, taught me to make gnocchi. Those are her hands deftly rolling the dough. She and her sister-in-law used to give my students lessons when I had my culinary vacation program in Provence. You can read about Marie and me in my book, A Pig in Provence.
To make good gnocchi you need to use dry potatoes. Look for russets whose skins have begun to shrivel, indicating a loss of moisture. Adding too much flour will result in heavy gnocchi. For the fluffiest, lightest gnocchi, use a vegetable mill.
2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Boil the potatoes until tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Alternatively, bake them at 350 degrees until tender and flaky.
While they are still hot, peel and pass them through a vegetable mill or grate them on the large hole of a hand-held grater into a bowl. Add the egg and ¾ of the flour, mixing well. Knead on a floured board until the dough is soft and sticky. Add more flour until just barely not sticky.Take 1 cup of the dough at a time, and with the palms of your hands roll it into a cylinder a foot long. Cut it in half and roll each of the 2 pieces into a 12-inch long cylinder. Cut into 1/2-inch long pieces. Coat thoroughly with flour. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook 2 dozen or so gnocchi at a time – don’t crowd them until they float to the surface, which takes only moments. Remove them with a slotted spoon and keep warm in an oven. Serve with the Rosemary and Walnut Cream Sauce.