WHAT IS GNOCCHI?
Gnocchi means “knot” or “knuckle” in Italian. This cut has been popular since before the birth of Christ. It was first brought to Italy by Roman soldiers returning from the Middle East. Regional Italian fresh gnocchi recipes began to crop up. The shells were stuffed with whatever ingredients local farmers had leftover from other food prep. These dried semolina shells are designed to look like gnocchi dumpling on one side. But flip them over and they are an open, hollow bowls waiting to catch some sauce. Really, they look more like alien sea shells from a Neal Asher sci fi novel.
WHERE IS GNOCCHI MADE?
Traditionally this cut is considered northern Italian, but in reality you can find it all over the peninsula. However the potato dumpling version didn’t exist until the Spanish brought tubers back from the South American colonies in the 17th century. The pasta cut should not be confused with macaroni, even though in Venice gnocchi is given this nickname.
IS MAC’S SUPPER CLUB TURNING GNOCCHI INTO FAST FOOD?
The restaurant chain McDonalds is known by many names. Mickey d’s, the Golden Arches, McDicks or even Macca’s, wherever you go in the world, a cheap hamburger isn’t far from you. A few years ago they held a dinner in an attempt to show that their “junk food” reputation was undeserved. “Good food served fast” was how it was promoted. Guests were treated to fine dining recipes using McDonald’s ingredients. Kung Pao chicken made from chicken McNuggets with a parsley garnish was served. Other options included gnocchi (not the pasta version) made from their famous french fries or some slow cooked beef (merci a la Big Mac). To read more about this unlikely fast food trend click here!
WHAT SAUCES GO WELL WITH GNOCCHI?
So if you look online there is a lot of confusion between the potato dumpling and the pasta version. For the latter, it’s shape makes it the ideal precarious teacup for cradling sauces. Simple butter or olive oil with some various spices also works well, though grate some Parmesan Reggiano over it before serving. Or go with a classic tomato sauce, but not too thick. Furthermore this short cut also works well in soups if you’re looking for some texture contrast. If you’d like to see one of our recipes using gnocchi shells check out Amatriciana sauce recipe!