Butterolive oil and/or grated parmesan for serving
Preheat the oven to 425 F/ 220 C/ gas mark 7. Place the potatoes and the beetroot (unpeeled) on a baking tray and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, cut in half (to let the steam out) and leave to cool completely.
Peel the potatoes and mash with a potato masher. Set aside in a large bowl.
Peel the beetroot, chop into small pieces and using a paper towel wipe away any moisture. Puree, add to the potatoes, season and combine thoroughly (use the potato masher or spoon).
Gradually add the flour to the potato/beetroot mixture stirring thoroughly (use both sides of a large spoon to do this). When you've added the last spoonful of the flour DON'T mix it in completely. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface.
Fill a large pot with salted water, add the bay leaves, cover and bring to boil.
In the meantime divide the dough into 2 parts and roll each part into a long sausage shape, about 2 cm in diameter (the inside of the dough can be sticky but because you haven't mixed all the flour in completely and you've dusted the work surface it won't stick to your hands as you are rolling it out). Cut each long shape into approx. 2 cm long pieces (straight or at an angle) and place on a lightly floured surface.
When the water starts boiling place the dumplings one by one carefully but quickly in the pot, pausing half way through to stir gently with a wooden spoon (don't overcrowd the pot, make them in 2 batches instead of 1). Cook over a medium heat and when all the dumplings have come up to the top (this will take approximately 4-5 minutes) lift them out gently with a slotted spoon, carefully shaking off excess water, and place on a large plate.
Add a knob of butter, drizzle of oil and/or sprinkle of parmesan and serve immediately.
The time needed to cool the vegetables is included in preparation time.