Whether store-bought or homemade, gnocchi is a beloved staple of Italian cuisine and makes for the perfect meat-free Monday dish.
The origins of gnocchi can be traced back to ancient civilisations, with variations of dumplings made from grains, legumes, and potatoes found across Europe and Asia. The word “gnocchi” itself is believed to be derived from the Italian word “nocchio,” meaning a knot in wood or a gnarl, which may refer to the dumplings’ distinctive shape.
One of the fascinating aspects of gnocchi is the diversity of regional variations found throughout Italy. Different regions have developed their own unique recipes and methods for making gnocchi. For example:
- In Northern Italy, where the climate is cooler, gnocchi are often made with potatoes and served with rich sauces like Gorgonzola or butter and sage.
- In Southern Italy, semolina-based gnocchi, known as “gnocchi alla Romana,” are popular. These are typically baked and cut into rounds.
- In the regions of Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna, pumpkin gnocchi, or “gnocchi di zucca,” are a specialty, highlighting the use of seasonal ingredients.
- In Sardinia, gnocchi are often made from durum wheat semolina and served with tomato-based sauces.
Today we present a dish that combines the beloved potato dumplings with a rich and earthy mushroom sauce. Recipe compliments of Royco.
- 2 x Royco Creamy Mushroom Sauce
- 30ml oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 5 sprigs thyme
- 250g wild mushrooms
- 800g pre-made gnocchi, cooked to instructions
- Parmesan, grated
Prepare the Royco Creamy Mushrooms Sauce according to package instructions and put aside.
Put the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, thyme and wild mushrooms, fry gently for 8 minutes, until cooked.
Remove the thyme stalks. Take about ¼ of the mushrooms out the pan to keep aside for garnish.
Add the prepared sauce and bring to a light simmer.
Add the gnocchi and toss well through the sauce, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to cook for 2 minutes then serve immediately.
Dish the gnocchi into 4 bowls.
Top with the remaining wild mushrooms and a generous sprinkling of parmesan.