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A Gnocchi Affair

Italian food is more than just pasta and pizza. Italian cuisine is so much more than these familiar staples. If you take the time to actually explore what Italian cuisine has to offer you’ll discover a lot of dishes that are so delicious it will shoot up your list of most favorite foods.

A perfect example of an Italian dish that deserves a little more attention is gnocchi. This dish is something that is not as popular as pasta or pizza, it’s not even easily recognizable but it is one dish that can easily become a crowd favorite if only pushed to a more mainstream market – yes, the pizza and pasta crowd.

Gnocchi are Italian dumplings that are traditionally made from potatoes, flour and eggs. The potatoes are “riced” and then mixed with flour and eggs to make a dough. The dough is then cut into small balls (actually, more like ovals) and one side is pressed with the tines of a fork to create a ridged pattern. Gnocchi is poached first before different ingredients are mixed in to create different gnocchi-based dishes. Gnocchi can really be treated just like pasta in the way sauces compliment it. And just like pasta, it is usually served as a starter.

Gnocchi is deceptively easy to make but there are certain things you need to watch out for when making gnocchi. First, the potatoes are boiled with the skin on to prevent it from absorbing too much liquid. When checking for the doneness of the potato – which involves pricking the potato with a fork – make sure to do it as few times as possible precisely so that the fork pricks are kept to a minimum and thus prevent water logging.

Second, be conscious about the amount of flour that you mix in with the other ingredients. Too much flour will make the gnocchi tough and chewy but putting too little flour will make the gnocchi disintegrate when you put it into your poaching liquid.

Gnocchi Recipes

Gnocchi with Sage-Butter Sauce

The most basic way of serving gnocchi freshly fried in butter and with sage added to it. This is the gnocchi at its purest and fortunately, one of the easiest methods to prepare gnocchi.

Spinach-Ricotta Gnocchi

Another basic gnocchi dish involves the addition of cheese into the gnocchi components. Ricotta is the usual favorite for this kind of variation into gnocchi. Here’s a little known fact about making pasta or spinach. If a dish calls for green colored pasta, finely chopped spinach is added and kneaded into the dough.

Aussie Beef & Peppers with Gnocchi

Gnocchi is not just served with a sauce, it can also be thrown in with other ingredients when cooking hearty dishes. A perfect example is this Aussie Beef and Peppers with Gnocchi, where the gnocchi acts as an additional ingredient to compliment the beef.

Gnocchi with Cherry Tomato Sauce

Gnocchi is generally treated like pasta and nothing screams pasta dish better than cooking gnocchi with tomato sauce.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

A nice gnocchi variation that you can do is to substitute regular potatoes with sweet potatoes when making your gnocchi dough. Sweet potato gnocchi offers a very different flavor profile for gnocchi that will intrigue long –time gnocchi fans.

 

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