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Steam or boil the potatoes until tender all the way through but not falling apart. It's important that the potatoes not be overcooked. As soon as the potatoes are tender enough to mash by hand, remove to cooling rack and when they can be handled, but while they're still hot, peel them and mash in a large bowl.

Add a healthy pinch of salt and all the flour to the potatoes, working in the flour with a wooden spoon. Knead the dough gently for about 5 minutes on a lightly floured work surface. Taste the dough and knead in more salt if you wish, but be careful not to overwork the dough. It should be soft and supple.

Divide the dough into 5 or 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a snake about 3/4 inch in diameter and 8 to 10 inches long. Cut each snake into regular pieces about 3/4 inch long. Continue until all the dough has been rolled and cut. If you wish, roll each gnocco (yes, that's the singular of gnocchi) over the large holes of a cheese grater or along the tines of a fork to impress the soft dough with a pattern.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil and drop in the gnocchi. (Do this in two batches if it's easier) Boil the gnocchi until they rise to the top, then remove them with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a serving bowl.

Cover immediately with sauce and serve hot.