Cooking the Hicks Way

All of my cooking skills have been inherited from my mother, and she can barely boil an egg. Although she is very good at peeling grapes.

She once tried to make my father supper. She found a can of spaghetti and read the directions which clearly said ‘place contents in boiling water’, so she did just that. She placed the can in boiling water. The directions never suggested she needed to open the can first.

Some time later, as she sat on the sofa in the drawing room quietly reading, there was a loud explosion from the kitchen as the can in boiling water exploded open.

My mother rushed into the kitchen only to find the entire contents had burst out and the spaghetti had shot up and stuck to the ceiling of kitchen. “Well at least we know it’s ready,” she said.

Nathan Turner has patiently tried to teach me how to make gnocchi. He made it look so simple that I think I am ready to tackle this recipe alone in the kitchen without his instruction. I just need to remember what sage looks like and how to turn on the oven.




  • · 1 kg russet potatoes
  • · 350 grams flour
  • · 1 Tbsp salt
  • · 8-10 sage leaves
  • · Grass-fed butter


1. Put the unpeeled potatoes in a large pot. Fill the pot with enough cold water to cover the potatoes by at least 2 inches and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, partially cover the pot, and simmer the potatoes until they are completely tender and easily pierced with a knife, 30 to 35 minutes.

2. Drain the potatoes, let them cool just enough that you can handle them, and then peel them. Cut them in half crosswise and pass them through a ricer into a large bowl. Let cool until almost at room temperature, at least 20 minutes.

3. Lightly flour a work surface. In a small bowl, mix the flour with the salt. Add potatoes to the flour mixture. Mix with your hands until the flour is moistened and the dough starts to clump together; the dough will still be a bit crumbly at this point. Gather the dough together and press it against the bottom of the bowl until you have a uniform mass. Transfer it to the floured surface and wash your hands.

4. Knead gently until the flour is fully incorporated and the dough is soft, smooth, and a little sticky, 30 seconds to 1 minute. (Don’t over mix it, or the gnocchi will be tough; the dough should feel very delicate.) Cover two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment and sprinkle lightly with flour.

5. Re-flour the surface. Tear off a piece of dough about the size of an orange and put a towel back on the rest of the dough so it doesn’t dry out.

6. With the palms of both hands, roll the dough piece on the floured surface into a rope about 3/4 inch in diameter.

7. With a knife, cut the rope crosswise every 3/4 inch to make roughly 3/4-inch-square gnocchi. Roll each individual piece down a gnocchi board or use the back of a fork and roll the gnocchi down the tines to create a ribbed texture. Arrange the gnocchi in a single layer on the parchment-covered baking sheets, making sure they don’t touch. Repeat until you run out of dough, re-flouring the work surface as needed. When all the gnocchi have been cut and spread out on the baking sheets, sprinkle them with a little more flour.

8. If you’re going to use the gnocchi within 2 to 3 hours, they can sit out on the counter. Otherwise first freeze them on the baking sheets, once frozen you can put them in a zip lock bag

9. In a large pot boil the gnocchi in salted water, they will rise to the top when done. Cook in batches, don’t overcrowd or they will stick. Remove the floating gnocchi with a slotted spoon and keep adding more until all are cooked.

10. In a large skillet melt a cube of good butter and 8-10 sage leaves on medium heat until the butter begins to brown.

11. Add the cooked gnocchi to the skillet, toss in the butter, add parmesan cheese and serve






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