Gnocchi, in Italian cuisine, is a small dumpling. Gnocchi is actually an Italian word that means “lump.”
Potatoes are the most common ingredient when making gnocchi but flour, cheese, squash or polenta are also often used. Gnocchi is served in almost the same manner as pasta, that is, it is served with a sauce. But it is also served a little more simply with some melted butter, sage and parmesan cheese.
The earliest accounts of gnocchi recipes can be found way back in the twelfth century and it was most commonly made in the northern part of Italy. Nowadays, the popularity of gnocchi has crossed the oceans. In fact, Brazil is one country where gnocchi is very popular.
People who love gnocchi swear by freshly made dumplings that have been made by hand. To make gnocchi, potatoes are washed and then boiled. After it is thoroughly cooked, the potatoes are peeled and then pushed through a device called a potato ricer. When making potato-based gnocchi it is important to remember that not to puree the potatoes. Doing so will result in a dough that is gummy and hard to manipulate. When the potatoes have been thoroughly processed, flour and salt are mixed in to make a dough. The resulting dough is rolled out and then cut into small bite sized pieces. The cut dough is rolled with a fork in order to create the ridged pattern that is a trademark of gnocchi. The gnocchi is then dropped into boiling water until floats, which indicates that it is already cooked.