Gnocchi: Learn How To Make Different Dishes With It

February 16, 2023

Gnocchi All’Amatriciana, Gnocchi Malloreddus, and Gnocchi alla sorrentina are some dishes that make your mouth water just by reading their Italian names.

They are so delicious that you could not even think about replicating them at home. You are mistaken; making gnocchi is not complicated. You will be amazed at how quick and easy it is to prepare a bowl of warm gnocchi yourself.

What is Gnocchi?

But first things first, before learning how to make gnocchi, find out what gnocchi is. You will be surprised too by this.

Gnocchi is an Italian dish often confused with pasta, but they are potato dumplings. They are dough made with mashed potatoes, flour, eggs, salt, and water. They have the form of wine cork resulting from rolling out the dough and cutting it into small pieces.


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The frequent confusion with pasta is that gnocchi have similar ingredients. They are served and cooked the same way. You can use many sauces with either pasta or gnocchi.

Types of gnocchi

There are different types of gnocchi depending on the place of origin and ingredients used. The most popular are:

  • Gnocchi di Patate (potato gnocchi) is a typical dish in Northern Italy. It is the most renowned type of gnocchi made of potato, eggs, and flour.
  • Gnocchi alla Romana is a typical preparation of Roman cuisine. It contains semolina cooked like polenta in water or milk. Then, it is cooled to make a firm dough cut into rounds.
  • Gnocchi di Zucca (pumpkin gnocchi) is also a traditional dish in the North of Italy. They are a mixture of pumpkin puree and mashed potatoes.
  • Sorcetti or Surgitt verde (spinach gnocchi) comes from central Italy. Wilt spinach and potatoes are the core ingredients of this dish.
  • Ricotta Gnudi (ricotta gnocchi) are from Tuscany. These include ricotta, eggs, flour, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, and nutmeg.
  • Malfatti (ricotta/spinach gnocchi) are also from Tuscany, specifically from Siena. They are ricotta-based gnocchi with spinach.
  • Canederli (bread gnocchi) is a comfort preparation in Trentino-Alto Adige. The dough is made with stale bread, milk, flour, and eggs.
  • Gnocchetti di ricotta (ricotta gnocchi) is a gnocchi made with a different type of ricotta called Seirass. This cheese gives gnocchi a creamier texture and a buttery flavor.
  • Gnocchi Parisienne is a French dish. It is a light dough with pâte à choux (choux paste). This paste is added directly into boiling water and gives gnocchi an airy texture.

Preparing gnocchi at home

Gnocchi is a versatile ingredient since it goes perfectly with any sauce or accompanies any meaty preparation.

The traditional way of serving gnocchi is tossed with butter and sage. Other traditional dishes include gnocchi with thick sauces like pesto, marinara, tomato and basil, and ragù.

This delicious pasta can go with anything you want; they are a perfect blank canvas ready to be used. So, let’s learn how to make gnocchi and then decide how to use them.

Gnocchi from scratch

Making gnocchi is not an arduous process. You only need to have the right ingredients and follow these simple instructions.

  • Use russet or Yukon gold potatoes.
  • Cook potatoes with the skin.
  • Use a potato ricer to mash the potatoes.
  • Wait for the potatoes to be cold before adding the flour.
  • Add egg at room temperature.

Ingredients (4 servings):

  • 1 pound of potatoes with skin.
  • 1 cup of flour.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  • 1 egg at room temperature.

Preparation:

  1. Cook potatoes in enough water until they are tender. Let them cold and peel.
  2. Mash the potatoes with a fork, potato masher, or potato ricer.
  3. On a flat surface, mix the mashed potatoes, flour, salt, and eggs. Use your fingers to form a soft dough.
  4. Add some flour to the surface and make ropes and cut it into 3/4-inch pieces.
  5. To make the distinctive gnocchi shape, slide each piece on a fork and press a little to make the stripes.
  6. Toss flour all over the gnocchi so they do not stick.
  7. Let them rest for 20 minutes.
  8. To cook gnocchi, add enough water and salt to a big pot.
  9. When it boils, add the gnocchi in small batches.
  10. Cook them until they float to the surface.
  11. Serve immediately with your preferred sauce.

Once you have cooked gnocchi, you can try different preparations like the following recipes. Try any of these Italian dishes at home.

Baked four-cheese gnocchi

Ingredients (6 servings):

  • 3 tablespoons of butter.
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic.
  • 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour.
  • 1 cup of chicken broth.
  • 3/4 cup of heavy cream.
  • Salt to taste.
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  • 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella.
  • 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan.
  • 1/3 cup of shredded Asiago.
  • 1/3 cup of shredded provolone.
  • 2 packages of fresh gnocchi or 1 recipe of homemade gnocchi.
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil.

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
  2. In a large pot, add butter and heat at medium temperature. Cook until butter melts
  3. Incorporate garlic and flour and stir.
  4. Pour chicken broth, heavy cream, salt, and pepper.
  5. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Reduce heat and add half of the mozzarella, Parmesan, and the complete quantity of Asiago and provolone.
  7. In a baking tray, add gnocchi and the cheese sauce.
  8. Add the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper all over the gnocchi.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes.
  10. Served with chopped basil at the top.

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Ingredients (4 servings):

  • 2 tablespoons of butter.
  • 1 chopped onion.
  • 2 chopped celery stalks.
  • 1 julienned carrot.
  • 3 minced cloves of garlic.
  • 6 cups of chicken broth.
  • 3 sprigs of thyme.
  • 2 cups of half-and-half (cream and milk).
  • Salt to taste.
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  • 2 cups of cooked and shredded chicken.
  • 1 package of fresh gnocchi.
  • 2 cups of baby spinach.

Preparation:

  1. In a pot, add butter and melt.
  2. Incorporate onion, celery, garlic, and carrots and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour chicken broth and thyme sprigs, and boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Pour half-and-half and continue cooking.
  6. Take out the thyme sprigs and add kosher salt and ground black pepper.
  7. Incorporate shredded chicken and gnocchi. Stir very well.
  8. Cook until gnocchi is tender.
  9. Add baby spinach and cook for 5 more minutes.
  10. Serve hot.
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