These sweet gnocchi, one of Bastianich's favorite childhood treats, can also be made with whole, ripe, pitted Italian prune-plums.
- 3 large russet potatoes
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. salt
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 cups flour
- 2 large ripe plums, pitted
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 Tbsp. butter
- 2 cups coarse dry bread crumbs
- 3 tsp. ground cinnamon
Place potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook potatoes, partially covered, until tender, about 35 minutes. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle (but not too long: The hotter potatoes are when peeled and riced, the lighter gnocchi will be). Peel potatoes, then press through a potato ricer onto a clean surface. Spread in a thin layer to cool completely.
Gather potatoes into a mound, form a well, add egg, salt, and nutmeg, and beat together. Knead dough, gradually adding about 1 1⁄2 cups flour, until smooth and slightly sticky. Roll out dough on a floured surface to 1⁄4'' thick. Using a 4'' round cookie cutter or a glass, cut out 30 circles. Gather scraps together to roll out again, if necessary.
To fill gnocchi, cut plums into 30 3⁄4'' pieces. Place a dough circle in palm of your hand, place a piece of plum in center, then sprinkle with 1⁄2 tsp. sugar. Gather dough up and around plum and press to seal, pinching dough together if it tears. Shape into a smooth, even ball, then place on a lightly floured tray. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bread crumbs and toast, stirring constantly, until deep golden brown, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and add cinnamon and remaining sugar.
Cook gnocchi in small batches (so that they don't touch) in a large pot of boiling water over high heat. Stir gently to prevent sticking. Cook until dough is tender and slightly translucent, about 20 minutes.
Lift gnocchi from boiling water with a slotted spoon, drain well, then roll each in the bread crumbs to coat well. Arrange on a serving platter and sprinkle with any remaining bread crumbs. Serve warm.