Prep 1 hr 45 mins
Cook 1 hr 15 mins
This recipe is posted on FoodNetwork.com courtesy Mario Batali.
- 3 lbs russet potatoes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 extra large egg
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⁄4 cup fresh basil leaf, lightly packed
- 1⁄2 lb fresh mozzarella cheese, di bufala cut into 1/4-inch cubes
Basic tomato sauce (use 4 cups)
- 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Spanish onion, chopped in 1/4-inch dice
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tablespoon dried)
- 1⁄2 medium carrot, finely shredded
- 2 (28 ounce) canspeeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved
- salt, to taste
- Place the potatoes in a large pot and just cover with cold water. Boil the whole potatoes until they are soft, about 45 minutes. While still warm, peel the potatoes and pass them through a food mill onto a clean pasta board.
- Make a well in the center of the potatoes and sprinkle with the flour. Place the egg and salt in the center of the well and, using a fork, stir the egg into the flour and potatoes. Bring the dough together, kneading gently until a ball is formed, and continue to knead for another 4 minutes, until the dough is dry to the touch. Cut a tennis-ball sized hunk of dough off the main ball and roll it into a dowel about 3/4-inch thick. Cut across the dowel to form pellets about 1 inch long. Flick each pellet down the tines of a fork to form the traditional gnocchi shape. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- In a 14 to 16-inch frying pan, combine the pepper flakes, tomato sauce, and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer 15 minutes, or until the sauce is as thick as good porridge. (At this point the sauce could be refrigerated for up to 2 days).
- When you are ready to serve the gnocchi, bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt.
- Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water and cook until floating aggressively, 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully transfer the gnocchi to the pan with the sauce, using a slotted spoon. Turn the heat to medium and toss gently for about 30 seconds. Tear the basil leaves into a few pieces and add to the sauce along with the mozzarella cubes. Toss together for 30 seconds longer. Pour into a heated bowl and serve immediately.
- BASIC TOMATO SAUCE: In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt and serve. This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.