When talking about Italian food, delicious pasta such as ravioli or fettuccini always come to mind, as well as its famous lasagnas, pizzas, and ice creams, which have made Italian cuisine one of the most famous and one of the people’s favorites.
Although Italian food is characterized by its traditional dishes and meals made from wheat – the typical pizza for example – there are many recipes that are more regional and less international than those mentioned above: an example of this is gnocchi.
If you are looking to innovate with some food at home and are looking for an Italian flavor for your delight, this post is perfect for you. Today we bring you a delicious gnocchi recipe that you can make from scratch and I am sure they will be excellent. In addition, you will learn about the most famous dishes made with gnocchi in Italian and French cuisine.
Keep reading and discover this tasty and amazing recipe!
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What Are the Gnocchi?
Gnocchi is a type of pasta made mainly with potato, and flour and sometimes it includes ricotta cheese.
Although the most famous gnocchi is those made from potato, in Italy, the term gnocchi is used to refer to a wide variety of pasta. For example, gnocchi alla Romana is a type of pasta made with semolina and even corn flour of the cornstarch type. Other ingredients that can substitute semolina flour can be corn flour, chestnut flour, pumpkin pulp, spinach, and more.
As I said before, gnocchi is typical of Italian and Nice cuisine. But there are dishes with similar preparation in other European and American cuisines such as Austrian, French, German, Hungarian, Argentinean, Paraguayan, and Uruguayan.
One Ingredient, Many Ways to Serve It
In both France and Italy, there are different versions of the preparation and accompaniment of this delicious pasta.
In the regions of Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trentino-Alto Adige, a very common preparation is gnocchi di pane. This gnocchi is made with breadcrumbs and is a regional variety, as the original gnocchi are still potato gnocchi.
In Nice, France; potato gnocchi is also a specialty, where it is known as gnocchi de tantifla, which translates to potato gnocchi from Occitan. It is also common to find in this area gnocchi made of flour, potato, egg, and chard called gnocchi vert or green gnocchi in French.
Across the pond, in Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay, the most common gnocchi is potato gnocchi, and those made from cornstarch and polenta are also very popular. Other even more complex recipes are gnocchis with pumpkin puree or gnocchis with prawns.
Creamy Broccoli and Parmesan Gnocchi
This recipe is perfect to make at home for a family dinner on a cozy Sunday. The creaminess of the sauce and the tanginess of the Parmesan cheese pair perfectly with the soft and chewy texture of the gnocchi and the slightly crisp broccoli. Although it’s a great dish to serve as a main course for dinner, it also goes perfectly as a side dish to complement a larger beef- or fish-based meal.
Choosing the right ingredients is crucial when making gnocchi, as it can greatly affect the texture and taste of the finished dish. Here are some tips for selecting the best ingredients for making gnocchi:
- Potatoes: Choose starchy potatoes like Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, as they will yield a fluffier and smoother texture. Avoid waxy potatoes like red or new potatoes, as they will result in a denser and more gummy texture.
- Flour: Use all-purpose flour for making gnocchi, as it has the right amount of gluten to hold the dough together without making it tough or chewy.
- Eggs: Use large eggs and make sure they are at room temperature before using them. This will ensure that the eggs mix well with the potato and flour and help bind the dough.
Besides, it is ideal to use freshly grated Parmesan cheese. It will add that rich and nutty flavor to the gnocchi all cooks and diners expect. Avoid pre-shredded off-the-shelf packed cheese, since it may contain additives that can affect the texture and taste of the finished dish.
By choosing the right ingredients, you can ensure that your gnocchi turns out soft, fluffy, and full of flavor.
For the gnocchi
- 2 peeled and chopped potatoes.
- 2 cups of all-purpose white flour.
- 1 egg.
- 1 tsp. of salt.
- 1/4 tsp. of pepper.
- 1 pinch of nutmeg.
For the broccoli and Parmesan cream
- 1 ½ cups of broccoli florets.
- 2 tbsp. of olive oil.
- Salt and pepper.
- 1 ½ cups of cream.
- 1½ cups of grated Parmesan cheese.
For making and cooking the gnocchi
- In a large pot, boil the potatoes until tender. Drain and let them cool slightly. Mash them and mix them with the white flour. Beat the egg with the salt, pepper and nutmeg, then pour it into the potato-flour mixture until a soft dough forms.
- Take small portions of the dough and form long snake-like rolls, and chop them into half-inch pieces. Boil them in water for 4 minutes.
For making the broccoli cream with Parmesan cheese
- Cook the broccoli florets in plenty of salted water until al dente. Strain and run under cold water.
- In a large low saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, when it is smoking add the broccoli and sauté with salt and pepper.
- As soon as it browns slightly, reduce the heat to low, add the cream, let it heat and add the cheese, stirring constantly. Turn off the heat.
- Serve the boiled gnocchi on a plate and pour the cream on top. Add more shredded Parmesan or your favorite cheese on top and enjoy it!