What is Gnocchi?

We get this question from customers from Riverside to Berwyn: What is gnocchi? These pillowy little dumplings are different from other pastas we serve at Salerno’s Pizza. Some people are intimidated because they’re not sure how to pronounce “gnocchi,” or they don’t know what gnocchi is made of. Don’t let your questions stop you from trying one of the true delights of Italian cuisine on our menu! We’ll fill you in on what gnocchi is, how to serve gnocchi, and more!

gnocchi with red mozarella sauce

How to Pronounce Gnocchi

It’s easier than it looks! The G is silent, and the “cch” makes a K sound. “NO-key.” It’s just like you lost your keys. Easy! Gnocchi is derived from the Italian word “nocca,” which means “knuckle” and refers to the shape of these little dumplings. 

What is Gnocchi Made Of? 

Forest Park diners know that gnocchi has some properties that are similar to pasta. The color’s the same, and it has that same comforting starchiness. But there’s something more. Gnocchi is made of potatoes! Like most dishes, recipes and ingredients vary across Italy, but what Romeoville diners generally encounter is a dumpling made fresh with semolina flour and mashed potatoes. Other variations can include cornmeal or regular flour. There’s even a popular variety in Italy that skips the potatoes and composes the dumplings of flour and ricotta cheese. These are usually called gnudi. No matter the ingredients, gnocchi is usually about the size of a wine cork cut in half. A fork or special wooden tool is used to press ridges into the dumpling, which are great for catching flavorful sauces. 

How to Serve Gnocchi

Gnocchi is generally served as a first course. Most gnocchi is made fresh right before it’s served. It’s boiled briefly in salted water, just until it’s cooked through and still al dente. It’s then served with sauce. Lighter sauces work better with gnocchi to preserve its light and pillowy texture. It’s great with melted butter and herbs like sage. Pesto is a great way to serve gnocchi, too. Or try it with our vodka sauce. You can even cut down our gnocchi into smaller pieces and serve it in soups. 

Discover Gnocchi at Salerno’s Pizza

Get your gnocchi fix in Naperville and Plainfield by shopping the catering menu at Salerno’s Pizza! Our fresh-made gnocchi can be ordered for 8-10 people or 16-20 people. It can also be easily frozen. Contact us today to learn more about our gnocchi options. 

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