For the Italian Baroque composer, please see Pietro Gnocchi.
Gnocchi is the Italian name for a variety of thick, soft noodles or dumplings. They may be made from semolina, ordinary wheat flour, potato, bread crumbs, or similar ingredients. The smaller forms are called gnocchetti.
Gnocchi are eaten in Italy as entrees (primi piatti), alternatives to soups (minestre), or pasta. They are widely available dried, frozen, or fresh in vacuum sealed packages in supermarkets and Italian specialty stores. Classic accompaniments of gnocchi include tomato sauces, pesto, and melted butter (sometimes fried butter) with cheese.
While they are often available frozen in Italian specialty grocers, they are typically homemade in Italian, Italian-American and Korean-American households.
The word gnocchi means "lumps", and may derive from nocchio, a knot in the wood, or from nocca (knuckle).Lo Zingarelli, 2008. It has been a traditional Italian pasta type of probably Middle Eastern origin since Roman times. It was introduced by the Roman Legions during the enormous expansion of the empire into the countries of the European continent. In the past 2000 years each country developed its own specific type of small dumplings, with the ancient gnocchi as their common ancestor. In Roman times, gnocchi were made from a semolina porridge-like dough mixed with eggs, and are still found in similar forms today, particularly Sardinia's malloreddus (although they do not contain eggs).
The use of potato is a relatively recent innovation, occurring after the introduction of the potato to Europe in the 16th century.
One variety, gnocchi di pane (literally "bread noodles"), is made from bread crumbs and is popular in Friuli and Trentino-Alto Adige/Sudtirol. Another variety from the latter region is spinach gnocchi, called strangolapreti or strozzapreti. This translates to "choke the priest".
The name is also used in France in the dish known as "gnocchis a la parisienne", a hot dish comprising gnocchi formed of choux pastry, and served with Bechamel sauce.
Davidson, Alan. The Oxford Companion to Food, s.v. gnocchi.
Jenkins, Nancy Harmon. Flavors of Tuscany. 1998.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Gnocchi