By, Jessica Knutzon
The sound of mopeds driving by as I sit at my red-checkered table with a carafe of wine and a delicious plate of food made from scratch. Italia! The country that quite easily boasts one of the most beloved cuisines in the world. Growing up, my great-grandmother’s Italian recipes were passed down to me and to this day, the rich aroma of garlic and herbs can instantly make me feel at home.
While spaghetti and meatballs or lasagna may be the pinnacle of Italian food for many, there are a variety of dishes that come from the Mediterranean country. Growing up, my mother would prepare gnocchi from scratch. I remember thinking I was so discreet taking pieces of gnocchi as they came out of the boiling water and before my mother had a chance to add the vodka sauce.
Although gnocchi is commonly called a pasta, it is a potato dumpling. Traditionally it is made with boiled or baked potatoes and has only a few ingredients, generally egg yolks and flour, to turn the potatoes into dumplings and served with a sauce. It is a peasant dish since it is made from inexpensive ingredients but is able to satisfy hunger. And it is delicious.
As Italian immigrants began to settle in other countries, different cultures created new gnocchi recipes and traditions. For example, in Argentina on the 29th day of each month, it is a known tradition to eat gnocchi with money placed under the plate. This is meant to be good luck and bring good fortune. This tradition is celebrated a little more loosely and several restaurants in Buenos Aires will serve gnocchi as a special.
If you ever have a chance to taste homemade gnocchi, take the opportunity and savor every bite. It is a special, filling and unique dish that is bound to satisfy your taste buds! If you are particularly curious and cannot find a great Italian restaurant in your neighborhood, below is a list of a variety of recipes. Perhaps it will become a new tradition in your home. Buon appetito!
- Making Homemade Gnocchi: A Step-by-Step Guide
- Potato Gnocchi with Pesto
- Simple Potato Gnocchi
- Gnocchi with Butter Thyme Sauce