NOTE: You will need plenty of work surface so clear out a counter.
Peel potatoes and cut out all the dark spots and eyes. Cut them in half and add them to the pot of cold water with salt, pepper, and a bay leaf. Cook potatoes until fork-tender but not overdone to where it’s falling apart.
Drain off all the water and transfer potatoes into a bowl. Mash each potato with a fork until it looks like small coarse crumbs. (Don’t over-mash it.)
When potatoes are cooled enough to be handled, place them in a mount on your work surface.
Add flour, salt, and pepper over the top. Make a well in the potato/flour mount and crack the egg in the middle.
Use a pastry scraper (or even a metal spatula) to work flour, potatoes, and egg together, until incorporated enough to knead.
Knead the dough, adding a little more flour if the dough is too tacky, until smooth. Don’t add too much flour, the dough should be moist but not sticky.
Split the dough into several, workable pieces and roll each into about 1/2 inch – thick, long rope-like logs. Cut each into about 3/4 – inch pieces.
You can use a fork to roll each piece of gnocchi with a design or leave it in a shape of little pillows as they are cut. (If you choose to roll the gnocchi, don’t push too hard, they are very soft and delicate.)
Cook gnocchi right away or freeze it.
Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Drop desired amount of gnocchi in it, a few at a time so they don’t stick. Once they float to the top, cook for about 1 more minute and take them out with a slotted spoon.
Mix gnocchi with sauce of choice or saute.
Saute: after boiling gnocchi, you can saute it in butter if you wish. To saute cooked gnocchi, preheat the pan over medium-high heat and melt butter in it. You can add aromatics like garlic and fresh herbs. Toss in gnocchi and saute until you see some browning.
Line large cutting boards with parchment paper and spread a little bit of flour all over the bottom. Spread out uncooked gnocchi in one even layer (don’t crowd them) and freeze for about an hour or two. (Set a time so you don’t forget.)
Once completely frozen, portion them into a freezer friendly, zip-lock bag.
Cooking Frozen Gnocchi: don’t thaw gnocchi before cooking, add them to the boiling water frozen. Cook the same way as fresh.