An Italian dumpling made with semolina or flour and potatoes, cooked and eaten in much the same way as pasta. Gnocchi is usually hand-shaped into shells, ovals or flat discs.
Make it yourself or buy fresh from supermakets or delicatessan counters.
Choose the best
Gnocchi that is light and fresh-looking without a greyish tinge. The gnocchi should be easy to seperate, rather than stick together, and covered in a light dusting of flour or semolina (a coarse wheat flour).
Poach gnocchi in batches in a pan of lightly salted water for 2-4 minutes. Cooked gnocchi will float to the top. Strain and serve immediately with a good pasta sauce.
Store covered in the fridge for up to three days, or freeze uncovered and separated on a tray until solid, then transfer to freezer bags or containers for up to three months.
Delicious served with blue cheese and parmesan, a rich tomato sauce or pesto. Also makes a great accompinament to meaty stews, like mini dumplings.
Once you've mastered boiling your gnocchi, try pan-frying it for extra texture and golden crunch. Pan-fried gnocchi can be made a day in advance, and simply fried and tossed in a herby butter on the day.
Gnocchi works well with creamy sauces, as well as tomato-based ones. Try Diana Henry's gnocchi alla Romana for a traditional potato-less version, a blue cheese gnocchi with only five ingredients, or add spinach and ricotta for a lighter-style gnocchi, also called gnudi.
Try ravioli, pasta or gnudi.