Gnocchi, the ugly duck of pastas, and why you should love it!
Gnocchi may not be the prettiest pasta out there, but it’s definitely one of the tastiest! This traditional Italian dish made from potato is usually considered as a cousin of pasta, since its recipe differs quite a bit from traditional pasta. Easy to cook, great with sauces and never disappointing: discover everything there is to know about gnocchi, and why you should love it!
Where does gnocchi comes from?
While the origins of gnocchi are unclear, it is thought to have originated in the Middle Ages. Gnocchi is an Italian dish that has been around for centuries. It was likely created as a way to use up leftover potatoes. Potatoes were not widely consumed in Europe until the 16th century, so gnocchi may have been one of the first dishes to use them as a main ingredient.
The dough is made from boiled potatoes, flour, and eggs. It is then rolled into small balls and boiled.
Gnocchi is often considered a comfort food, as it is hearty and filling. And if you have tried it once, we think you can pretty much agree! Many people think of gnocchi as being similar to pasta, but there are some key differences.
Gnocchi vs regular pasta: what’s the difference?
Gnocchi is made from potatoes, flour, and eggs, while pasta is made from wheat flour and water. Gnocchi is denser and chewier than pasta, and has a slightly different nutritional profile. It also contains more calories and carbohydrates than pasta, but less protein. Both gnocchi and pasta are low in fat and sodium.
The ingredients and texture are different, but so is the shape: while pasta comes in a variety of shapes, gnocchi is always known as a small oval ball. Usually, a fork is used to create stripes in the balls, which gives it even more texture.
While gnocchi and pasta both have their place in a healthy diet, gnocchi may be the better choice if you’re looking for something more filling and satisfying. Gnocchi is also a good option for those who are on a gluten-free diet, as it is made without wheat flour. If you’re looking for a lighter pasta dish, however, pasta is the way to go. Whichever you choose, enjoy!
The traditional gnocchi recipe
Really, gnocchi is the easiest pasta to make! The traditional dough of gnocchi is made from 3 ingredients only:
Start peeling and cutting your potatoes in half to boil them quicker. Once they are boiled, take them out of the water and smash them into a nice purée. Add flour and eggs to the mix, until obtaining a nice chewy texture. Usually, you might want to use your hands at the end to feel the texture better!
On a floured countertop, roll your gnocchi dough into a long thin “snake” shape. Cut the dough every 1,5 inches. Squeeze those small bites into your hands to obtain an oval shape. You can also roll them with a fork to give them those nice traditional stripes.
Boil in salted water until the gnocchis float on the surface: it usually just takes a few minutes! And voilà! You have delicious homemade gnocchis to eat with whatever sauce you want.
How to jazz it up a bit…
While the traditional gnocchi recipe is fairly simple, there are many ways to jazz up this dish.
First, you can choose to cook sweet potatoes gnocchi for a sweeter and tastier meal.
You can add different herbs and spices to the dough, or top the gnocchi with cheese or bacon. There are endless possibilities when it comes to recipes for gnocchi, so get creative and experiment until you find your perfect version!
What are some common ways to enjoy gnocchi?
There are many ways to enjoy gnocchi, but some of the most popular include pairing it with a tomato sauce, pesto, or cream sauce. Gnocchi can also be baked or fried, and served as a side dish or main course. No matter how you enjoy it, gnocchi is a delicious and versatile pasta option.
Why you should give this ugly duckling of a pasta a chance!
If you haven’t had gnocchi before, or if you’re not a fan of the traditional pasta options, then you should definitely give this unique pasta dish a try. Plus, it’s delicious! So if you’re looking for something new and different, give gnocchi a chance. You won’t be disappointed.