If you’re like most Americans, you’ve probably never given gnocchi a great deal of thought, even though you’ve likely eaten it on multiple occasions. From Sunday dinners in big Italian families to special occasions at restaurants to the frozen food aisle in your local grocery store, gnocchi isn’t hard to come by. In this guide, though, you’ll come to discover more about gnocchi than you ever knew before! There are more fun facts about this humble dumpling than you could imagine.
Gnocchi isn’t a type of pasta.
The vast majority of people in the United States believe that gnocchi is a type of pasta. This is mainly due to the fact that it is often served similarly to pasta and it is generally found next to pasta in supermarket aisles. Traditional gnocchi, however, is made from potatoes, which makes it a dumpling, not a pasta. To be made properly, pasta must have a wheat flour base.
Gnocchi isn’t always made the same way.
There isn’t a single gnocchi recipe that is considered “correct.” Instead, variations of this dumpling exist not only throughout different regions of Italy, but in different Italian households. One family might, for instance, insist that gnocchi needs to be made using mashed potatoes, while another might only use boiled potatoes. There are even some gnocchi recipes that call for semolina flour in lieu of potatoes, achieving an end result that is more similar to pasta.
Excellent gnocchi can be premade.
If you don’t have the wherewithal to learn to make gnocchi on your own, there are plenty of pre-packaged varieties today’s shoppers can choose from. It is, however, important to remember that not all brands of gnocchi are created equally. It is always best to buy your gnocchi as freshly made as possible. If, for instance, you have an Italian delicatessen in your neighborhood, they are likely to have exceptional gnocchi you can purchase for at-home use.
Gnocchi works well in one-dish meals.
Because gnocchi cooks directly in whatever liquid is being used for a particular recipe, it is ideal for one-pot and one-pan meals. It is, for example, the perfect addition to numerous soups, including certain variations of minestrone and Zuppa Toscana. It can also function in a pasta-like role when paired with tomato sauce, seasoned chicken, spinach, and mushrooms.
If you’re craving authentic gnocchi in the Boston area, you can’t beat Nico restaurant in the North End. We serve delicious Italian fare made from recipes that have been used in real Italian kitchens for generations. We look forward to serving you and your loved ones for special occasions and everyday celebrations for years to come! Make a reservation today and see for yourself!