If you think gnocchi is a type of Italian pasta, you are wrong. Gnocchi is Italian, but they are not pasta. Your confusion is perhaps because they are similar to pasta, cooked like pasta, and served with sauces like pasta. It is understandable then that you do not know that they are not pasta.
Gnocchi is an Italian typical preparation made of potatoes, flour, and eggs in the shape of small dumplings. They are delicious and versatile since they pair perfectly with any sauce.
I imagine you have tried this Italian specialty in restaurants many times. So, what about cooking gnocchi at home? It is not as difficult as you may think. I will introduce you to the world of gnocchi.
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The original recipe for gnocchi includes potatoes, flour, and eggs. Add different species, herbs, and vegetables to this simple combination to make your recipe.
Making gnocchi is simple, but it can take several tries to get the perfect-shaped gnocchi, or at least the ones you like.
The problem you can face when making gnocchi is the dough consistency. The quantity of potatoes and flour plays the principal role. They will determine the success of your preparation.
The potatoes should be starchy to keep a light texture in the dough. The amount of flour is determined by the potatoes’ moisture.
- First, cook the potatoes and mash them to make a puree. Add the eggs and the flour in little batches. Knead until you get a firm but elastic dough to mold firm dumplings.
- For making the gnocchi shape, roll the dough into a ball, and cut it into quarters.
- Then, roll out each quarter and form a long snake. Cut the roll into pieces about 2 cm long.
- Once you have all your cut gnocchi, you can leave them that way or give them the iconic stripes. Press the fork tines into each dumpling to make the ridges. Of course, it’s better to have a gnocchi wooden board, but a long fork will do the trick.
- Cook the gnocchi in salted boiling water, and they are ready to serve with your preferred sauce.
Once you master the original recipe, you can include other ingredients in the dough:
- Pumpkin gnocchi: They have pumpkin puree combined with potatoes.
- Spinach and potato gnocchi: They include wilted spinach in the classic dough.
- Ricotta gnocchi: Fresh ricotta is added to the flour.
- Gnocchi al Castelmagno: they are made of potato gnocchi, butter, milk, and Castelmagno cheese.
What sauce goes well with gnocchi?
The answer to this question is whatever sauce you want. They are versatile, so go well with almost anything. To get some ideas, check https://olivieri.ca/gnocchi-recipes/ and discover the countless recipes you can make easily at home.
If you need extra inspiration, try the following combinations:
- Basil pesto gnocchi.
- Gnocchi with creamy Tuscan sauce.
- Pomodoro gnocchi.
- Gnocchi with Parmesan sage sauce.
- Cheesy mushroom gnocchi.
- Gnocchi with Thai peanut sauce.
- Pistachio pesto gnocchi.
- Spinach bolognese gnocchi.
Tips for making restaurant-style gnocchi
Do not feel upset if you do not get perfect gnocchi on your first try. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect.
The following tips will make you master your gnocchi cooking skills:
- Bake potatoes instead of boiling them. It would help to reduce moisture.
- Do not knead the dough too much.
- Add flour slowly.
- Mash the potatoes using a potato ricer.
- Potatoes must be warm when you add the eggs, so they can easily bind together.
- When cutting the gnocchi, try not to place them on top of each other because they might stick to one another.
- Cook them in small batches at a time.
- Gnocchi is perfectly cooked when they float to the surface. At this point, take them out of the water and let them rest for about 20 minutes before adding the sauce.