Potato Gnocchi with tomato sauce and basil

Gnocchi are a dish of ancient origins and can be prepared with different types of flour: wheat, corn, rice, semolina, or even with bread and mixed with vegetables. Each variety of gnocchi has a different colour: green when they are made with spinach, yellow when they are made with pumpkin, red with beets. The most popular gnocchi recipe and the most famous all over the world is potato gnocchi. This dish has been prepared since the sixteenth century, when imports of potatoes from the American continent began, all over Europe. Until then, gnocchi were made with bread crumbs, mixed with milk. The sauce for this dish also changes, according to the different regional traditions, but the most common one is tomato sauce, accompanied by a few leaves of fresh basil and a lot of grated Parmesan cheese.

Ingredients (serve 6 people)

1 kg (35.2 oz) of potatoes
300 g (10.6 oz) of flour
800 g (28.2 oz) of peeled tomato cubes
1 egg
1 clove of garlic
extra-virgin olive oil
fresh basil leaves
a pinch of sugar
Parmesan cheese

First of all, prepare the gnocchi. Rinse the potatoes to remove any traces of soil, then boil them until tender, without removing their skin. Once cooked, peel and pass them through a potato masher, before they cool down. Beat the egg. Spread the mashed potatoes over a flat surface and make a well in the middle. Add the flour, the egg and a pinch of salt and knead. When the dough is smooth and soft, form several cylinders with the dough. They must be about 2 centimeters in diameter (0.8 in). Cut them into small segments 2 or 3 cm long (0.8-1.2 in). Take a fork and press each gnocco against its tines with your thumb, so that your gnocchi assume the typical shape. Place them on a towel and sprinkle them with a little flour. Let them rest for a quarter of an hour. Meanwhile, pour some extra-virgin olive oil into a pan and let it season with a clove of garlic. Add the tomato cubes, salt them and let them simmer for a quarter of an hour, crushing them down with a fork from time to time. Cook your gnocchi in boiling salted water for a few minutes, until they float to the top. Once drained, sauté them for a few minutes in the pan, so that the tomato sauce and the gnocchi blend perfectly. Sprinkle with Parmesan