The classic Italian recipe for potato gnocchi can be easily adapted and made kosher for Pesach, and makes a very tasty first course. It can be accompanied by a simple tomato sauce (saute 5 chopped cloves of garlic and a small bunch of basil in olive oil; when the garlic starts to change color, add 2 cans of peeled and crushed tomatoes - about 800 gr. - and cook until the sauce becomes somewhat thick; season with salt and black pepper).
2 kg. potatoes (preferably those with pale brown skin)
1 cup matza meal
1/2 cup ground almonds
Place unpeeled potatoes on a bed of coarse salt in a pan; bake in a hot oven (180-200 degrees Centigrade) until soft (check with a toothpick). Remove from the pan and the moment they can be handled, halve them and mash them with a masher (a kind of gigantic garlic masher). In the absence of the right device, peel potatoes quickly and while still hot, mash well with a fork or whatever - anything but a food processor.
Combine the mashed potatoes with the eggs, matza meal, ground almonds and 1-2 teaspoons salt (depending on taste). You should get a dough that is easy to handle, but somewhat damp; if necessary, add a little more matza meal. Divide the dough into 8 or 10 parts and roll each, on a work surface floured with matza meal, into a kind of "sausage" about 1.5 cm. in diameter. Cut the sausage into short sections of about 1 cm. each. Pat down each one gently and you have wonderful gnocchi.
Bring a large pot of a lot of lightly salted water to a boil. Transfer the gnocchi carefully, one by one, into the water. After a few minutes they will float on the surface of the water, and this means they are ready. Cook for another minute and then carefully remove them from the pot and transfer to a bowl with a little olive oil. Mix gently, season or add sauce to taste.
On other occasions the gnocchi can be seasoned with sage butter (butter in which you fry a few sage leaves and a little black pepper). They can even replace the traditional chicken soup kneidlach.
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