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It is essential to peel and mash the potatoes while they are very hot because you want them to be light and floury, not gluey," Francesco points out. He prefers Idaho potatoes for these lovely cloudlike gnocchi because they have a very dry texture. To retain the starch he does not peel them before boiling them.
These richly flavored yet delicate gnocchi are typical of dishes from the region around Venice. The recipe that follows is one that Dario Plozer, one of Francesco's sous chefs, learned from his mother in Udine. "A dish like this is a frustration for me," Francesco says. "It's really too delicate to make in a restaurant and should be prepared at home."