A couple of weeks ago, I discovered that making perfect gnocci is actually incredibly easy. After a few failed attempts I turned to doctor google and found this recipe on Not Quite Nigella. It turned out so beautifully that I made gnocci every weekend for three consecutive weeks (it's ok, it's bulking season) and it was a consistent success.
I use two medium sized floury potatoes for two standard servings (four potatoes if you want leftovers for lunch). Boiled them in their skins until very soft inside - I like to help things along by microwaving them for a few minutes beforehand. I like to boil my potatoes in their skins every time I make mash to minimise water absorption. Then plunge them in cold water and peel the skins off. Mash the potatoes as well as smoothly as you can- if you have a potato ricer then pat yourself on the back. I like to add salt and finely ground white pepper to taste.
Let the mash cool to room temperature. Be patient. Find a cat to stroke.
Then fold plain flour in patiently until the mixture comes together, and take the dough on to a floured surface to knead. Add more flour as you knead the dough until it is no longer sticky and feels firm. If it feels like it will fall apart in boiling water- it probably will. That was my mistake in the past- not being patient with my kneading.
Roll the dough into long logs then chop them up and shape them into whatever you fancy. Drop them in boiling water as soon as you're done shaping them (I have tried letting the 'set' in the fridge, because it was recommended in some recipes, but the gnocci didn't turn out as nice)- wait for a couple of minutes for them to float to the surface- et voila! Perfect al dente pillows of gnocci goodness.
notes: Canon 60D with Canon 50mm 1.8 prime.