Potato skins and gnocchi seemed like a logical conclusion. Instead of throwing away the skins (a direction in just about every recipe for gnocchi), I wanted to try to incorporate them in the pasta dish somehow. When fried, potato skins are crispy, dark, and flavorful. They're the opposite of the soft, pillow-like, melt-in-your-mouth fluff fest that are homemade gnocchi. The skins themselves can be a little overpowering, so the game here is to salt them, then chop them up with parsley and Romano cheese. The salty bite of Romano and the earthiness of the parsley compliment the potato skin well. Sprinkle this mixture on top of your gnocchi and lemon and you've got a winner.
For the Dough
2 cups AP flour (King Arthur)
2 cups mashed gold potatoes (buy about a pound of whole potatoes)
For the Sauce
2 cloves thinly sliced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
Flat leaf parsley
3 tablespoons butter
My family's recipe for gnocchi doesn't involve egg. I added one here, and you might, might have to compensate with a little more flour, which is OK.
Boil your potatoes with the skin on - about 15 to 20 minutes until a knife goes through the potato with ease. Strain and rinse with cold water. Peel the skin off the potatoes, and set the skins aside on paper towels. Once your potatoes are peeled, go ahead and put them through a ricer. The only reason I have a ricer is for gnocchi; it's the only way to get them completely smooth and without clumps. Once you have some nice, clump-less mashed potatoes - measure them out to exactly 2 cups and set them on your counter. Now, measure out 2 cups of AP flour and set that in a separate pile from the potatoes. You should have two separate piles on your counter. Make a well and crack 1 egg into the flour pile, whisking with a fork until homogeneous. Now combine the flour and egg slowly until it's, well, clumpy flour. It doesn't have to be a ball. Now combine the clumpy flour mixture with the separate pile of mashed potatoes. Mix together until it's a smooth ball. Gnocchi dough won't be as elastic as egg dough, but it should be somewhat flexible. Like orecchiette, you're going to cut little ropes which should resemble pillows. Roll each pillow across the end of a fork to create ridges. Make sure your fork has flour on it.
Note: Don't give up on pasta dough. If it's too dry, add a splash of water, if it's too wet, add a bit of flour. Pasta dough is something you're going to have to keep messing up until you get it right.
Heavily salt a pot of water and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, go ahead and put a saute pan on medium heat. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil, then add the thinly sliced garlic once the pan is hot. After the garlic is golden, but not brown, go ahead and squeeze a lemon inside the pan being careful not to let any seeds fall into the pan. Stir that around on low heat. Now, start to cook your desired amount of gnocchi in the boiling pot of water - I would say about 3 handfuls. Once the gnocchi floats, it's done. Before you strain the gnocchi, take about 4-6 tablespoons of the starchy pasta water and add it to your lemon and garlic pan. Swirl. Add 3 tablespoons of butter and swirl around some more. Toss with your gnocchi, and top with your potato skin mixture.