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Gnocchi: Hard to Say but Easy to Eat!

Many countries have their own kind of dumpling and Italy invented one too, but it has a funny name. The way Americans say it is with the combined sounds of “no” + “key”. The word is thought to come from the word nocchio as in “Pinocchio” which means “knot in wood but” also gnocco which means “lump.” Indeed, they do resemble little lumps or knots.

These little dumplings are made from potato and semolina (wheat flour). It’s a versatile ingredient that can be used in all kinds of recipes, including game day dishes.

Make Your Own

Sure, you can buy ready-made gnocchi, but what about making your own fresh batch from scratch? Making your own can be a challenge and it can also get mighty messy.

You’ll need:

  • 4 russet potatoes
  • 2 ½ cups of Italian-style flour
  • 1 cup of ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Stockpot
  • Cutter

Directions:

  • 1
    Boil potatoes for 20 minutes.
  • 2
    Peel and grate potatoes.
  • 3
    Make a mound with all the potato while forming a pit in the center.
  • 4
    Add flour and ricotta cheese to the center.
  • 5
    Add salt and the egg on top of the potato mound.
  • 6
    Whisk the egg in the center first, and then the rest of the ingredients to combine. You will now have dumpling dough.
  • 7
    Knead the dough.
  • 8
    Make a rectangular shape as if you are making a loaf of bread.
  • 9
    Slice the dough, then slice the slices into uniform-shaped pieces.
  • 10
    Dust dumpling pieces with flour.
  • 11
    Bring a pot of water to boil
  • 12
    Add dumplings to boiling water and remove dumplings when they float on the surface.

Crispy Cheese Appetizer

Crispy Cheese in the plate

Photo credit by: thefoodinmybeard.com

Appetizers are an important part of a game day spread. Here’s an option served with ketchup!

What you’ll need:

  • Dough ingredients (as previously listed)
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of butter.
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Stockpot
  • Water
  • Frypan

What you’ll need for the sauce:

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • ¼ cup of Sriracha
  • 1 cup of ketchup
  • Dash of milk or cream
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Saucepan
  • Whisk

Directions:

  • 1
    Prepare homemade dough as instructed above but add ½ a cup of shredded sharp cheese to the middle when making the dough.
  • 2
    Cook by boiling the dumplings, but only for a few minutes to keep the dumplings in tack. Allow the cooked dumplings to cool until dry. Heat the olive oil and butter in a skillet and pan fry the dumplings until crispy. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and serve with bottled or ketchup recipe.

Directions for sauce:

  • 1
    Heat oil in the saucepan. Cook garlic in oil. Remove from heat.
  • 2
    Combine garlic with cream or milk.
  • 3
    Add ketchup or Sriracha.
  • 4
    Top with fresh ground pepper.

Stacked Fried Appetizer

Stacked Fried Appetizer in the plate

Photo credit by: kitchenlush.com

A fun way to serve fried gnocchi is making finger foods skewered with toothpicks! These appetizers are great snacks for game day. You can build your own custom appetizers using your preferred ingredients, or follow the suggested recipe below.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Fresh rosemary
  • 1 pound or less of gnocchi
  • 4 ounces of prosciutto cut into slices
  • 2 ounces of soft pecorino cheese
  • 20 green olives
  • Toothpicks
  • Frying pan
  • Serving platter

Directions:

  • 1
    Heat olive oil over medium heat.
  • 2
    Add rosemary leaves and begin adding gnocchi and salt it as it fries.
  • 3
    Cook for 10-15 minutes until golden and crisp. Remove from heat.
  • 4
    Assemble appetizers with olive, prosciutto, cheese, and olive.
  • 5
    Arrange on a platter and serve!

Bacon-Wrapped Bombs

Bacon-Wrapped Bombs

Photo credit by: pinterest.com

Another toothpick appetizer option. Bacon makes these a real crowd-pleaser.

What you’ll need:

  • 24 pieces of gnocchi
  • 24 pieces of sharp cheddar cheese, cut small
  • 12 strips of uncooked bacon, halved
  • ¾ cup of light brown sugar
  • Baking sheet or pan
  • Cooking spray
  • Toothpicks
  • Serving platter

Directions:

  • 1
    Preheat oven to 400˚F.
  • 2
    Cook gnocchi per package directions and dry.
  • 3
    Wrap a piece of bacon around each piece of gnocchi along with a piece of cheese.
  • 4
    Evenly coat the outside of each piece with brown sugar.
  • 5
    Insert toothpicks if the bacon is not staying wrapped.
  • 6
    Spray baking sheet or pan. Arrange pieces onto the baking sheet. Place in oven for 15-18 minutes until bacon is crispy. Remove and let cool for a bit as the sugar will be hot.
  • 7
    Add toothpicks for serving, if you have not already. Arrange on a serving platter.

Quick Garlic Toss

Quick Garlic Toss

Photo credit by: helpfulhomemade.com

On a tight budget for party prep? Here’s a fast and easy one.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 pound of gnocchi
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan or Italian grated blend
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped chives or parsley
  • Saucepan

Directions:

  • 1
    Heat the butter over medium heat and season it with salt and pepper.
  • 2
    Once the butter is melted, reduce heat and add garlic.
  • 3
    Stir while it cooks, until garlic is golden and crispy.
  • 4
    Reduce heat again and add gnocchi, tossing it with the garlic.
  • 5
    Add grated cheese and chives or parsley and stir for one more minute.
  • 6
    Remove from heat and serve.

Loaded Baked Potato-Style

baked potato

Photo credit by; dulanotes.com

As it’s made from potato, you can treat these little dumplings like mini baked potatoes and dress them with your favorite baked potato toppings.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 pound of gnocchi
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 clove of chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of flour (does not have to be Italian)
  • 1 cup of milk
  • ½ cup of sour cream
  • 1 package of cheddar cheese
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 3 pieces of cooked bacon, chopped.
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Whisk
  • Saucepan
  • Baking dish
  • Baking or cooking spray

Directions:

  • 1
    Preheat to 350˚F.
  • 2
    Spray baking dish.
  • 3
    Cook bacon and set aside.
  • 4
    Cook gnocchi per package directions and then make a layer of it on the bottom of the baking dish.
  • 5
    Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter. Cook garlic for one minute.
  • 6
    Whisk in flour and then whisk in milk until thick.
  • 7
    Whisk in half of the shredded cheese and mix well.
  • 8
    Remove from heat and mix with sour cream and add salt and pepper.
  • 9
    Pour sauce mixture over the layer already in the dish.
  • 10
    Top casserole with the other half of the cheese, bacon crumbles and green onion.
  • 11
    Bake for 25 minutes.
  • 12
    Serve after 5 minutes with a dollop of sour cream.

Three-Cheese Broccoli Casserole

Three-Cheese Broccoli Casserole

Photo credit by: phillsbury.com

Here’s another casserole to tote along to a tailgate gathering. Bring on the comfort food!

What you’ll need:

  • 2 lbs gnocchi
  • 2 cups broccoli florets (or substitute one cup for cauliflower)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2½ cups milk
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cracked pepper
  • ¾ cup grated gruyere cheese
  • 1½ cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1½ cup parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2-3 tablespoons Italian breadcrumbs
  • Steaming set up
  • Stockpot
  • Water
  • Saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Baking dish
  • Cooking spray

If your favorite cheese is not listed, go ahead and add a grated portion of it as well.


Directions:

Add to Your Grocery List

Having potato as the main ingredient gives these Italian dumplings its versatile quality. This ingredient makes for a great appetizer and comfort food casserole potential. Make room for gnocchi in your game day spread. It fits right in.

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