What is Gnocchi?

While it is not as popular as some other kinds of pasta, gnocchi still deserves some recognition. It is a great alternative to regular pasta, especially if you want to switch up what you are eating a little bit. 

What is Gnocchi

Gnocchi is incredibly versatile as well, and more often than not, it works in practically all the same ways that regular pasta does. It is incredibly similar to pasta, but there is so much more to gnocchi and we are going to talk about it today. 

If you want to broaden your horizons and try something a bit different, read on to find out everything you need to know about gnocchi! 

What Is Gnocchi?

Gnocchi, pronounced like ‘n(y)oh-kee’ is a type of pasta that resembles and tastes like fat, chewy dumplings. Like regular pasta, gnocchi is made out of plain wheat flour and egg, but what really sets it apart from other pasta is the added ingredient of mashed potatoes. 

It’s not uncommon for gnocchi to be made with other ingredients either, and you can find many different types of gnocchi. Some other types can be made using cheese, vegetables, and herbs.

Regardless of what type of gnocchi you come across, they all come in a mini dumpling form. 

Gnocchi is especially popular in dishes that use thick sauces and this is because they hold the sauce incredibly well, adding more taste to your overall dish. The word ‘gnocchi’ in Italian translates to ‘lumps’, which is very fitting, but doesn’t sound so appetizing! 

The gnocchi shape is quite a traditional Italian pasta shape, but the inclusion of potatoes is what really sets them apart and makes them unique. 

A Brief History Of Gnocchi

Gnocchi actually originates from Northern Italy, where potatoes grow in abundance. The use of potatoes in Italian cuisine is actually quite a “new” development because they were not introduced into Europe until the 16th century. 

Before potatoes were readily available in Italy, they made a rudimentary version of gnocchi that was made out of ingredients such as zucca (squash) and breadcrumbs. These ingredients were common among peasants and poorer classes of people. 

Gnocchi became popular in the weather classes sometime in Verona in the year 1531. It was served as part of the ‘Carnevale’ celebration, during the ‘Venerdì Gnocolar’, which translates to ‘Gnocchi Friday’ in English. 

Is Gnocchi Vegetarian? 

If you are on a vegetarian diet, then you will be happy to know that gnocchi is indeed vegetarian-friendly! More often than not they will contain animal products such as contain animal products, such as eggs or cheese, but no meat is used to make classic gnocchi. 

In some cases, you will even be able to find vegan gnocchi. When searching for vegan-friendly gnocchi in a store, you will be able to tell it’s vegan because vegan products usually have a badge or mark on the label that tells you it’s vegan. 

If you want to make gnocchi at home, then you have even more control over what ingredients go into it to make it. When it comes to making vegan gnocchi, you have to make sure that you are not making it using eggs and cheese, and other related ingredients. 

Luckily, there are plenty of vegan alternatives to these ingredients, so you should have no issues finding them for yourself. 

How To Make Gnocchi

What is Gnocchi

Making gnocchi can be quite challenging if you have never made it or any other kind of pasta before, but this does not mean that you can’t be successful on your first try either. If you would like to make gnocchi for yourself, follow these steps and see how you do! 

Step 1: Choosing The Potatoes

You can really use any kind of potatoes when it comes to gnocchi and if you have a bit more experience in the kitchen, feel free to experiment!

One general rule of thumb, regardless of your experience is to use older, more starchy potatoes. This is because you really want to avoid using vegetables that are moist. 

Step 2: Preparing The Potatoes

Once you have chosen the best potatoes for the job, you then need to boil them. After you have boiled them, use a potato ricer to mash them while they are still hot. You won’t need to peel them either because the skin should remain inside the potato ricer. 

Step 3: Bring In The Flour

Before you start this step, it is important to know that you only need enough flour to bring the dough together. The ideal consistency for the flour is firm but sticky. Mix the flour with the potatoes until that consistency is achieved. 

Step 4: Don’t Overwork The Dough

Once you have achieved the desired consistency, stop working the dough. If you keep going, you will overwork it and your gnocchi will be too heavy and dense. 

Step 5: Cook Your Gnocchi

You can then cook your gnocchi in the same way you would if it was coming out of a packet. 

Gnocchi Or Pasta – Which One Is Healthier?

In terms of nutritional value, both gnocchi and pasta are quite similar. They are both made up of mainly carbohydrates and a little bit of protein and they are also quite similar in calories too. 

Neither dish is considered to really be healthy, but when they are enjoyed on a balanced diet, you can enjoy them from time to time without having to worry about your health. As much as we all love gnocchi and pasta, there are many more nutritional options out there. 

But as long as you have a balanced diet, you can still enjoy both! 


Gnocchi is a type of pasta, but what really sets it apart and keeps it unique is the fact that one of the main ingredients found it in is potatoes. 

It is very versatile and holds flavor really well, which is one of the main reasons why so many people enjoy it. Making your own gnocchi isn’t too hard either, so try it for yourself!

Mark Williams
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