Everything You Need to Know About Gnocchi
Choosing a type of pasta to use in a dish can be a difficult decision because there are so many choices. Gnocchi pasta provides a hearty, dense texture and is versatile in many types of recipes. This article will give you the low-down on everything important you should know about making, cooking with, or just devouring gnocchi at your next meal.
Gnocchi, A Dumpling Shaped Pasta
Traditionally known as “potato dumplings”, traditional gnocchi is a blend of potato, flour, and egg. The shape is very similar to that of small dumplings. Sauce lovers are in luck, as gnocchi is typically shaped with a small indentation meant to hold more sauce with each bite. Classically, gnocchi is served as a first course or appetizer. However, many recipes, such as this one with meat sauce, constitute gnocchi as a main dish pasta. Because of the smaller dumpling shape, gnocchi is also an excellent pasta to add to soup.
Stems from Italy
Gnocchi, like most pasta, comes from Italian origins. For example, “nocchio” often refers to a knot in the wood. Moreover, “nocca” means knuckle. Both of these terms accurately describe the shape of this pasta dish. Traditionally, the creation of gnocchi is thought to have started in the 16th or 17th century, after the Spanish brought potatoes to Italy. Despite the Roman origin of this potato-based pasta, consumption has spread throughout the world with many cultures incorporating their own twist on the dish to reflect local tastes.
How to Make It
The secret to great gnocchi is to pick a potato with a high starch, low water content. Russet potatoes, commonly found in any grocery stores, work well for traditional gnocchi. The potatoes need to be boiled, peeled, and mashed. Depending on what recipe you use, you will add either semolina or traditional wheat flour, along with the egg. The dough can then be rolled out and cut into small log-shaped dumplings. The key is to add enough flour to make sure it doesn’t fall apart during the cooking process.