Pronounced “nno-chi” Gnocchi is generally a potato based dumpling-style pasta that when cooked correctly, is light, plump and just barely chewy. You can often find them in 16-18 oz packages in most specialty grocery stores. Like any fresh pasta they cook very quickly in boiling water – about 2-3 minutes. With fresh pasta including gnocchi, an easy way to tell when it is done is when the pasta floats to the top. As it does so, you can scoop it up with a slotted spoon or skimmer ( a wire or mesh sieve-like utensil used for fishing things out of pots, fryers, etc…) and set aside until all is cooked and ready to be placed in sauce.
A classic way to serve gnocchi is in browned butter. Though it is usually called brown butter sauce, all it really is is just butter melted until it is brown and often seasoned with fresh herbs. Sage is the one most commonly used, which I have never actually had. I always try to do something I haven’t seen before. My favorite way is to toss with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
The other day I bought some smoked cheddar made from goats milk at “Life Source” a health food store here in Salem, Or. The cheese person raved about it so I thought I would give it a shot. Goat cheese is a great alternative to cow’s milk cheese especially if you are allergic to cow’s milk. It also adds a distinct tangy flavor to foods. I’ll add the recipe in my next post. Whether you try my recipe or one of your own, I highly reccomend giving it a shot. You will likely have a new favorite pasta on your list.
Enjoy and happy cooking! Rachel :)