There are two main categories of gnocchi: potato gnocchi (which was invented in Italy), prepared with potatoes and flour, and semolina dumplings, prepared with parsley and milk.
There are many varieties of gnocchi and ingredients such as spinach, herbs, beans or even chocolate can be added to the dough.
3 to 4 large potatoes (1 1/2 lbs.)
3/4 cup flour
2 eggs (optional)
Cook potatoes with peel in boiling, salted water for about 25 minutes, or until tender.
Drain and peel right before they cool.
Place potatoes in a bowl and mash well.
On a floured surface, knead mashed potatoes with flour (add more flour if necessary – the amount depends on the type and size of potato) and eggs, if used, to form a compact and elastic ball (must be slightly sticky).
Using a portion of the dough, form a cylinder with a diameter of 1/2-inch to 1-inch. Cut cylinder into 1-inch long pieces.
To give gnocchi the typical groove, slightly push on each piece with the back of a fork, making it roll (alternatively, special tools can be used).
Place on lightly floured towel until ready to cook.
Continue with the remainder of the dough in the same manner.
In a large pot, boil plenty of salt water (5 quarts of boiling water with 1 tablespoon salt).
Only cook 20 to 24 dumplings at a time. When dumplings start to float, wait 1 to 2 minutes, extract them with a strainer or slotted spoon.
(Keep water boiling until all dumplings are cooked.)
Place on a preheated serving dish and serve immediately.