Getting to Know Gnocchi

Cooking How-To,How-To,In Season,Spring
April 27, 2011

Bring this beloved Italian tradition tableside for dinner tonight.

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Mark Boughton
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Ask a grocer where the gnocchi is, pronounced (nyo-kee), and you will most likely receive a confused look as your answer. I have come to know this face well since developing a slight obsession with the authentic, but little known, Italian dish.

Gnocchi is a centuries old meal of small dumplings. Its texture is characteristically soft and doughy and the dish is often prepared in the same manner as pasta. In fact, once cooked, gnocchi is deliciously filling when covered with just about any traditional pasta topping. The most common recipe contains potatoes and flour, but there are others made simply from water and either flour or left over bread.

Making gnocchi from scratch is the best way to do it, as the rich texture is sure to be retained. But the second best option is buying a frozen bag from your grocery. Just stay away from the vacuum packed variety as those often come out soggy once cooked.

It’s about time this potato based staple starts getting the praise it deserves. Try our Fresh Peas with Lettuce and Gnocchi and I promise you will become an addict too.

By Emily Arno

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Fresh Peas with Lettuce and Gnocchi

The cooked lettuce adds a touch of sweetness to the starchy peas, and a little reduced heavy cream makes an appealing sauce.