Monday, April 5, 2010

What is Gnocchi?

I first had gnocchi in Clausen, Germany at a tiny restaurant. Franco, the ower, is Italian. I was having a craving for a pasta with gorgonzola cheese. Franco said he'd bring me gnocchi and gorgonzola. I assumed that gnocchi must be a name for some kind of pasta in Italy. When Franco proudly placed the dish in front of me I was perplexed to see what looked like lumps of pasta under the sauce. I tasted it and asked what it was. Franco said  the word gnocchi in Italian means "lump".  Gnocchi is a small dumpling which is most often made with potatoes, although it can also be made from flour, squash or cheese. Italians serve gnocchi  in the same manner as pasta, with sauces, butter or parmesan cheese.

For the Mainers, you can buy gnocchi in Belfast at the supermarket. I asked one of the clerks and they directed me to a top shelf near the pastas.
We start this dish by making a simple roux which consists of
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour

Melt the butter in a sauce pan and stir in your flour.

Blend it well and add 2 cups of milk.
Cook and stir constantly until the sauce thickens.

I used garlic butter, gorgonzola from the deli and fresh parsley in my recipe.
When the sauce thickens I add the gorgonzola and parsley. Stir until cheese is melted through the sauce.

Here is my finished sauce. If you don't like strong cheese, use cheddar or just be creative.  Cooking is a joy and I say "experiment away".

You cook gnocchi like any other pasta but you know it's finished when it floats to the top of the water in your pot.

Drain your gnocchi and stir in your sauce.
MMM....looks good.
Let's see what Mac thinks.

Mac gives the gnocchi two thumbs up!
Tomorrow our kids from England arrive with our adorable grandson.

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