Gnocchi is a unique Italian dish that consists of pillowy dumplings made primarily from potatoes. Originating in Northern Italy, gnocchi is derived from the Italian word “wordnocca” which means knuckle. Due to the colder climate in Northern Italy, potatoes are the main component in a majority of dishes including gnocchi, polenta, and risotto.
Long before potatoes, the gnocchi was still a dish but breadcrumbs or squash were commonly used. Today gnocchi is typically prepared with flour and mashed potatoes but many chefs put their own unique spin on the dish. While you may be eager to add some tomato sauce to this cuisine, gnocchi works best with lighter sauces such as a butter sauce, olive oil and some garnishes like sage and pine nuts.
Below are several gnocchi variations:
- Roman Gnocchi: dough is molded flat, used with a tomato-based sauce, semolina flour is typically used, boiled & cooked into a mush
- Potato Gnocchi: cream puff dough is used, gnocchi is boiled and done when it floats to the top, light and airy, pan-fried in butter, herbs & light seasoning used
- Ricotta Gnocchi: ricotta is mixed with flour and egg, boiled and done when gnocchi floats to the top, used with tomato sauces, topped with black olives
Techniques Used to Cook Gnocchi
To make the potato gnocchi (most common), make sure you remove the gnocchi as soon as it floats to the top of the pot of boiling water if not, you’ll end up with a plate of mush. Pay attention to the moisture of the other ingredients to determine how much flour is needed.
Rule of thumb: use less flour for lighter gnocchi
If you continually knead your dough, you’ll need to use more flour which can cause heavy gnocchi. Prior to making an entire batch of gnocchi, drop a few into boiling water and pull them out once they rise. If gnocchi falls apart, add more flour.
The only type of gnocchi you can leave in the refrigerator is Semolina gnocchi but any other type should only remain in the fridge for a few hours.
Come to Bricco for the Best Gnocchi in Boston
Looking for the best gnocchi in Boston? Join us for dinner at Bricco and indulge in our Gnocchetti Sorrentina which comes with baked bufala mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil.