5 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups dry mashed potato flakes (do not cook, measure straight out of the box)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
2 1/2 to 3 cups boiling water (careful when mixing by hand, stir with spoon first to cool off dough)
Thoroughly mix together the first four ingredients (dry ingredients) in a large bowl. Push dry mixture to the sides of the bowl making a well in the centre. Add the egg and vegetable oil into the centre of the well and beat together with a fork. Begin adding water gradually, mixing and kneading as you go. You are aiming for a moist batter that is not too sticky--I find that 2 1/2 cups of water is just right. If you find it sticky keep kneading the dough and it will work itself out. Dough should be moist though.
Break off large pieces and roll into a long rope. Cut into small pieces. You can just leave the pieces as they, embellish them by pressing a fork on the top to create grooves or you can roll them using a fork or your middle finger so that they curl. The curling method is used when making Cavatelli another Italian pasta which I will be showcasing on another post. When curling the pieces your action must be quick and the correct pressure so as to not squish the pasta, this comes with practice. I like to curl gnocchi because it gives tomato sauce another place to collect. Lie pasta on a cookie sheet so they don't stick together. I didn't do this in my photo and I had to be careful that the gnocchi didn't stick together.
Boil a large pot of water, add salt if desired (I don't do this as I don't like too much salt in my diet). Add the gnocchi being careful that they don't stick together when dropping them in. Gnocchi cook very quickly, as soon as they rise to the top of the water, as in my photo, they are done. Remove with a slotted spoon or strain all together when all have risen to the top of the pot.
Add your favourite sauce and enjoy!
Serves 6 people. If you don't want to cook all the gnocchi at once, they can be frozen to use for another meal.
Adapted from: A Charity Cookbook (Junior Achievement) Home Town Cookin'! Contributed recipe from: Tony Valeri.