According to the dictionary (and Wiki) gnocchi (N'YO-kee) are a small dumpling made from flour, bread, or potato. What an uninspiring definition of such a heavenly creation. Today I made potato gnocchi for my daughter's birthday--tender, feathery little puffs gently simmered in water and then briefly sauted in butter and olive oil with mushrooms and herbs.
Many cookbooks (and Italian grandmothers) will tell you to start with russet potatoes, boil them in their jackets, allow to cool slightly, peel, dice, rice, mash..............I'm exhausted just thinking about it. Maybe Italian grandma can always get it right, but I've found that a potato isn't always a potato. Some are more or less starchy. And when are they properly "done"? A bit too firm, or cooked too long?.....well, you get the idea.