One of my favourite standbys whether homemade, freshly bought or store cupboard variety is something that it appears so many do not know anything about. I refer to the other type of pasta – that of Gnocchi, an Italian type of dumpling, originally know as gnocchi di pane literally meaning bread lumps. These days it can be made of Potato (Gnocchi Piedmontaise), Semolina (Gnocchi Romaine) or Flour (Gnocchi Parisienne)
The Italians have numerous varieties and vary across all the regions adding local ingredients customising them to their own dishes.
You can of course seek a recipe to make then yourself but the Potato ones are more readily available in the supermarkets. Fresh – in the refrigerated areas, where the Pasta is. Dry – for long term storage, with the dried Pasta usually on the upper shelves. So what applications are there?
Well you can blanch them and apply any of the usual Pasta Sauces from a simple melted Butter with Crushed Garlic or/ and Fresh Sage to Bolognaise and anything in between. How about some melted Blue Cheese or Brie. I also add them to a Stew or Casserole towards the end of cooking to add interest and bulk. Be sure to Blanch first in boiling water and careful not to overcook. They can be a very useful alternative to conventional Potato and with a sauce added can accompany grilled foods. So do take a look at the Supermarket and have an adventure with them.
500g Gnocchi – Blanched in boiling water and drained
Sliced Chorizo (spicey if preferred) – pan fried till sizzling
1 Crushed Clove of Garlic – softened in a pan add Fresh Spinach Leaves and wilt them
Add a can of Chopped Tomatoes and Season
Mix altogether and place into an oven proof dish.
Top with sliced Mozzarella ( or other Cheese)
Bake in a hot oven till bubbling and golden
Serve with Rocket and Baby Tomato Salad dressed with olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar