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How to make perfect gnocchi

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If you're looking to add some variety to your pasta repertoire (which currently consists of bolognese and macaroni cheese) then we might have a tasty solution.

We spoke to Angelo Albera, head chef at Cantina Del Ponte, who gave us his set of expert tips on how to make the very best gnocchi.

• Always use a starchy potato, (king Edwards are perfect)

• Wash them thoroughly and place them in a casserole dish, cover with cold water (always start from cold so the cooking will be even, if you use hot water the outside will be cooked and the inside still hard) and bring to boil.

• Simmer gently until cooked (you should not get resistance when you pierce them with a toothpick)

• Peel the potatoes from hot and pass them through a sieve, spread them on a working surface to cool down (don’t refrigerate them as they will absorb all the fridge moisture)

• Mix the potato with flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg and 1 egg per kg of potato (the proportion of flour per potato should be 1/3 of flour of the potato weight)

• Gently mix the dough, as if you do it for too long that will draw the moisture from the potatoes and the amount of flour will need to be increased, making the gnocchi stodgy and heavy.

• Cut small strips of dough and roll it on the work surface sprinkling with flour as to avoid sticking.

• Cut in small pieces and roll them with the thumb against a fork to mark it with stripes (this will help the sauce sticking to the gnocchi)

• Cook the gnocchi in boiling water and stir once. When they float they are ready.

• Good sauces for gnocchi are Bolognese, gorgonzola and cream or simply butter and sage.

(Image: Rex Features)

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