Think of Italian food and pasta almost always comes to mind first. But there is another staple that has been part of the Italian diet for centuries: gnocchi. Their name in the native tongue - lump - describes their shape, but not their taste. Made from potatoes one might think that taste would be bland and boring, filling, but flat. Oh, how wrong that thought would be...
Gnocchi are not by themselves a complete dish. Though they make a great snack with just a little salt and pepper! The Italians often eat them as an alternative to soup. So, it's best to judge them in the context of a complete recipe. Here are a few that will allow you to do that with ease.
Gnocchi can make an appetizer, a side dish or a main course, depending how you prepared them, what you add and the portions. Gnocchi are as versatile as pasta an just as delicious.
Try gnocchi with a flavorful spinach and cheese sauce. This is a simple recipe, yet filling, and delicious. Right, making this dish is simplicity itself. Try the tomato gnocchi to take a step up from those spinach ones.
Finally, if you feel adventurous, you can make your own gnocchi, which are after all just dumplings made from potato and not dissimilar to quenelles. Gnocchi are a delicious starter with tomato sauce, cheese sauce, pesto, or just butter and cheese. They would also make a mouthwatering main course if gnocchi were not so much work to prepare in large quantities.
Whew! That was a lot of work, but the results will be well worth while. Enjoy!