What is Gnocchi?
Gnocchi is an Italian potato dumpling used interchangeably with pasta in many recipes. Homemade gnocchi is essentially made using mashed potato, flour and egg which are brought together to form a dough and then rolled into separate dumplings. Pronounced “nyawk-kee”, the potato gnocchi is named from the Italian word “nocchio” which means a knot in wood, the naming of the potato dumpling is in reference to its similar appearance to a knot.
What do you eat with Gnocchi?
Potato gnocchi pairs well with many traditional Italian pasta sauces, with the most iconic being; sage and brown butter, butternut squash, pomodoro, ragu, pesto and creamy parmesan sauce. Any sauce can be an accompaniment to gnocchi but the best option is a sauce which is rich, bold and thick enough to luxuriously coat each individual gnocchi.
Is gnocchi a pasta or potato?
Gnocchi is considered by most as both a pasta and potato but technically would not fall into the pasta category. Instead potato gnocchi is a dumpling which is kneaded lightly to create air pockets, when the gnocchi is then cooked the dumplings fill with steam and are propelled to the surface of the water.
The version of gnocchi made with ricotta cheese would be closer to a traditional pasta technique and many Italians will refer to gnocchi as pasta. In Italian pasta translates to mean “kneaded” or “dough” which is still a true description for potato gnocchi.
How to pre-cook gnocchi?
The gnocchi should be blanched or frozen as soon as it is rolled to maintain the light and fluffy texture. If you are not yet ready to serve then pre-cooking is the best method to prepare your gnocchi. Simply bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil and cook the gnocchi for 2 minutes, then use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked gnocchi to a bowl of iced water. Chill the gnocchi for 2 minutes and line a baking tray with a kitchen cloth. Strain the potato gnocchi and place onto the baking tray, cover with kitchen cloth then cover in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the gnocchi for up to 3 days ready to be finished by reheating in a warm, rich sauce.
How to freeze gnocchi?
Freeze gnocchi straight after rolling by placing on a baking tray which is lightly dusted with flour. Arrange the gnocchi in a single layer and place the baking tray in the freezer for 1 hour until set. Once the gnocchi are frozen use a spatula to release them from the baking tray, then transfer to an airtight bag such as a zip lock. Freeze the homemade gnocchi for up to 8 weeks then cook straight from the freezer in a few minutes.
How to cook frozen gnocchi?
Cook frozen potato gnocchi in the same method that is used for cooking fresh gnocchi. Place a large saucepan on the heat and fill with salted water. Once the water is boiling, add a packet of frozen gnocchi and bring back to a boil, remove the gnocchi when they float to the surface. Then serve the cooked gnocchi tossed in your favorite sauce.