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By Maria Liberati - Gnocchi, pronounced “nyo-kee”, is not always the first Italian food that comes to mind, but it is surely one that cannot be forgotten. The word “gnocco” translates to “lump”, which is a fitting name for these mini pillows of rich potato flavor. Wheat flour gnocchi were brought over to Italy and other countries by the Roman legions. When potatoes were imported from America, potato gnocchi were born. They were eaten by low-income families that couldn’t afford huge meals centered on a meat entrée. Instead they created an entrée that was delicious and still filled them up without costing too much. The carbohydrates involved with this recipe kept Italian tummies full until the next meal, and the rich taste and variety of ways to prepare it kept them satisfied as well.

Today gnocchi can be found as an entrée or as an alternative to soup or pasta. We know gnocchi as a thick soft noodle of dumpling that is made from wheat flour, breadcrumbs, semolina, corn flour, or potatoes; eggs; flour; and salt. Often onions or other vegetables are added to the recipe as well.

Sauces for gnocchi range from tomato sauce to pesto to melted butter sage and cheese, or just plain olive oil.

Gnocchi can be tricky to make, especially for the amateur Italian chef. Simply put, the potatoes are boiled, drained, peeled, and mashed. They are then mixed together with eggs, flour, and salt to form dough. From there, the dough must be sculpted into individual pieces that are no more than an inch thick each. They are then boiled and seasoned.

The key to making gnocchi is to make them light and delicate rather than rubbery, which can often happen if you cook them for too long.

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2 pounds of potatoes

1 cup of flour

1 egg





Gnocchi with ricotta being prepared.


19 June 2008, 07:04:50


originally posted to Flickr as gnocchi di ricotta


Paoletta S.