Serves 6

1kg bak­ing po­ta­toes 250–350g ‘00’ flour 2 large eggs

½ tea­spoon ground nut­meg

1 tea­spoon salt plenty of grated Parme­san, to serve

for the sauce

110g salted but­ter 4 ta­ble­spoons olive oil 15 sprigs of sage

• Heat the oven to 220°C/gas Mark 7. Prick the po­ta­toes sev­eral times with a fork and bake for 1½ hours or un­til ten­der. (Al­ter­na­tively, mi­crowave the po­ta­toes on full power for 5–7 min­utes, un­til soft.) Set on one side un­til just cool enough to han­dle.

• Pour 250g of the flour on to a clean work sur­face and make a well in the cen­tre. Halve the po­ta­toes, scoop out the flesh and pass it through a sieve or ricer on to the heap of flour. Use your hands to cre­ate a lit­tle hol­low in the po­tato. Crack the eggs into the hol­low, add the nut­meg and salt, then mix ev­ery­thing to­gether with your hands to give a smooth, soft dough. If it is too wet, add the rest of the flour lit­tle by lit­tle un­til you have a soft dough that will eas­ily hold its shape. Just bring the dough to­gether; if you over­work it, the gnoc­chi will be tough.

• Di­vide the dough into 8–10 equal chunks. Use the palms of your hands to roll them into balls, and then into long ropes roughly 2.5cm thick. Cut them into 3cm lengths. It is im­por­tant that the gnoc­chi are all evenly sized, if not shaped, so they cook evenly.

• Line a bak­ing tray with a sheet of bak­ing parch­ment, dust it lightly with flour and lay out the gnoc­chi on it. Press down on each one with the back of a fork to cre­ate lit­tle in­den­ta­tions, then turn them over and re­peat the process on the other side.

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