Leaden Red Gnocchi
I have tried making red gnocchi from Bugialli on Pasta. The gnocchi have a base of chicken stock, olive oil, and tomato paste. This is added to potato and flour. I have made the gnocchi twice, and they have been heavy and leaden. I have made other types of gnocchi, and they are always light, fluffy, so I'm not sure what went wrong with the red gnocchi. Both times I made the gnocchi, I tried not to overwork the dough and ended up using less four than the recipe called for. Has anyone else tried making Bugialli's red gnocchi? If so, how did they turn out? I like the flavor and would like to figure out how to lighten them.
Heavy and leaden gnocchi is usually the result of not enough water in your recipe. I would omit the olive oil completely too. You can coat the gnocchi with oil if you feel the need, but don't incorporate oil into the dough. OIL often times will impede even water absorption in any recipe. Commercial pasta makers will sometimes use beet juice to color their pastas. I'm not a proponent of that, but it is an option you can explore in lieu of tomato paste.
I made Bugialli Red Gnocchi years ago and like you, found them very heavy. I reworked the recipe by decreasing the flour to about 1 1/2 cup and increasing the potato to 2 pounds. The amount of flour is just an approximation. Too much flour makes for heavy gnocchi, therefore, use just enough so that the dough does not feel sticky. I use russets and bake them because I found that they are dryer and fluffier if baked. I mix the riced potatoes with the reduced tomato mixture, then incorporate the flour. I usually test the gnocchi by taking a small piece and cooking it in boiling water to make sure it does not fall apart. Add a little more flour if needed. Hope the above works for you.
This above recipe is wonderful, but the gnocchi themselves are not red. The secret is to BAKE the potatoes, rather than boil, so that they do not absorb any water.
Bugialli's recipe seems very strange... water and should never be added to gnocchi, as the water would make them gummy and glutenous, and the oil would impede on the absorption of water when cooking.