Ingredient Spotlight: Gnocchi
Gnocchi, pronounced "NYOK-ee," are thick, soft dough dumplings that can be made from semolina, ordinary wheat flour, or potato flour. Gnocchi are often referred to as "little pillows" because of the fluffiness in their texture and the simplicity in the way the pasta is rolled and left almost unfinished. The pasta can be paired with a variety of sauces including pesto, tomato or even a simple sauce of olive oil and parmesan cheese.
Across Italy gnocchi can be found in hundreds of varieties that reflect the flavors and ingredients of the country's many regions. For example, traditional Tuscan gnocchi is made from ricotta and spinach, whereas the Campanian variety is made from a simple wheat flour. Some regions serve gnocchi on certain nights of the week or days of the month to bring good luck and plenty of cash for the days ahead.
When prepared well, gnocchi are light and rich - and almost addictive! They are not meant to be as hard as hockey pucks nor mushy and pasty like mashed potatoes. They should not require extra chewing and should create a happy marriage with any sauce you choose to pair them. Gnocchi should literally melt in your mouth! When making gnocchi at home, you can even add a little curve to the shape so as to allow the pasta to capture even more of your favorite sauce.
As with many Italian pastas, gnocchi can be prepared as a standalone dish or as a side to a main entree such as chicken, portabellas, or fish. At PeachDish, we've created a gnocchi dish that is robust enough for any weeknight dinner or special celebration. Our chef has combined gnocchi with chicken, kale, green garlic and lemon to create a bright, savory meal.