pounds of starchy potatoes (2 large russets)
egg, lightly beaten
cup ricotta cheese
cup of unbleached all-purpose flour
fine grain sea salt
Bake the two potatoes with skin on, roughly 40-50 minutes. You can also boil the potatoes, but baking isn't as messy. Remove potatoes from oven and let cook so they're easy to handle and time is given to soften the skin. Cut potatoes in half and scoop out potatoes into a mixing bowl. You can either use a ricer for this part or use a fork to break up the potatoes into a fluffy even consistency (in the same bowl). Add a cup of fresh ricotta cheese and add a dash of salt and pepper. sift about 3/4th's cup of flour into the bowl and save the 1/4 cup for adding if needed. make a hole in the middle of mixture, beat egg and add to bowl along with some leaves of fresh thyme. Flour your hands and kneed the mixture into a nice fluffy dough, folding over and over. But do not over fold, you just want to kneed enough so that all the ingredients are incorporated. Fold in and push, fold in and push. Cut the ball in half, lightly flour your hands again and lightly roll it into a cigar width rope of dough. Lightly flour your knife and cut the gnocci into bit size pieces. Then flour just the tip of your finger and lightly push down in the middle of each piece of gnocci. This not only makes your gnocci look like little pillows, it helps your sauce stick to the gnocci pieces. Boil your water, add a little olive oil to water to help your gnocci not stick together. Then flour your hands and drop your pieces in 10-20 at a time. The gnocci will be done when the pieces expand and rise to the top, roughly 4-5 minutes. Now here's where I deviate from most gnocci recipes. Most gnocci is finished at this point and you add your sauce and serve. Which is fine, that's delicious. But I like to add another layer of flavor by frying my gnocci in a pan so that there's a yummy crust on the outside of each piece. Heat a frying pan up, add some olive oil and drop your finished gnocci pieces into the pan. Fry for a 2-3 minutes each side until golden brown. While you're frying add some fresh cracked pepper. After all the pieces are evenly fried on both sides, add a cup of fresh garden peas and 4-5 Tbs of butter. Add some more fresh thyme and zest a lemon over the top. Finish the gnocci with some freshly grated paremesan cheese over the top. Serve and wait for the applause.