These delightfully warm and filling little Italian dumplings are so easy to make, such a great way to use leftover mashed stuff, and so versatile and delicious, they may quite possibly be the perfect food.
An added bonus is that my girls have loved rolling them ever since they’ve been small, so I don’t even have to get my hands messy. I get to stand over the stove to keep them simmering. Maybe those cold winter evenings aren’t so bad after all.
250g (1 C) flour
½ t salt
200g (1 C) ricotta or cooked, mashed potato, or spinach, or pumpkin
[ ¼ t saffron or nutmeg or herbs to taste]
Knead until smooth, working in more flour as needed to prevent sticking. It helps to rub your hands with olive oil first, but count on getting your hands messy.
Shape into dumplings. Little hands can roll small balls, pressing an indentation into the center of each to hold the sauce. Alternatively, you can roll it into a long, thin snake and slice bite-sized gnocchi with a knife, and indent with the prongs of a fork.
Simmer in salted, boiling water until they float; drain in a colander.
Toss with tomato sauce, pesto, or whatever grabs your fancy. Try it with butter and steamed wild asparagus, sprinkled with toasted walnuts. Pumpkin gnocchi are delicious with sage-butter.