You will need
two pounds of potatoes (the big “floury” ones)
3 cups of flour
Boil the potatoes (do not peel!) in salted water until they are just done. Drain them while they are hot.
Wearing your rubber gloves, slide off the skins with a little knife.
Mash them or put them through a “ricer” to make them nicely with fluffiness.
On your very clean table, put them in a little mountain
Add the flour and two good pinches of salt
Mix this all together lightly and then make a “hole” in the little mountain and into this break your egg.
Knead this together but not too much.
Make it into a flattened “round” and divide into four pieces.
Take the first piece and roll it out into a very long sausage about as thick as your finger. Cut this into little pieces about one inch of length.
Roll each of these over the tines of a fork – or use a gnocchiroller, to make the little ridges and hollows where the sauce will cling.
Slide these, a few at a time, into boiling salted water. They are done when they float to the top. Lift them out with your kitchen spoon that has the little holes in it, drain them well, and put them into a warmed bowl.
Then over these you can pour your ragu -- a layer of the little potato dumplings and a layer of sauce, repeating as often as you want – and you will have the best thing to eat on a cold January night.