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Authentic Gnocchi in a Savory Mushroom Sauce

One thing is for certain no matter how you make your gnocchi there are as many different ways in Italy to do it as there are regions in the country and each varies from the next from everything that goes into them to the cooking process with many being boiled and some even being done in the oven. In some areas they are made with spinach in the mix while in other areas they are served up with truffle oil on them giving them a very rich taste.

It is one of Italy’s true ancient dishes dating back to the Roman era and most likely originating in the Middle Eastern region although it is not totally certain. A more modern adaptation of the dish is the use of potato in the mix this is not as old and didn’t become a variation until the potato was introduced into Europe. The French also have their own variation of this called “gnocchi à la parisienne” which is a hot meal made of gnocchi formed with pastry dough and served with a Béchamel sauce.

In this dish I serve it with a rich and hardy meat and mushroom sauce with the addition of garlic and onions just because I think all these ingredients go so well together. It is then formed into a rich creamy sauce that the gnocchi gets covered in. In Italy this is normally served in place of the soup curse but it could easily be served in larger portions as the main meal itself with the simple accompaniment of a nice light garden salad with a nice vinaigrette dressing. Although general rule is red wine with beef I actually like this dish with a glass of nice Italian white wine, personal preference I say. Continue reading

Gnocchi Bake with Salmon and Mozzarella

Full-flavored and creamy, this gnocchi bake features salmon, spinach, 2 kinds of cheese, and gnocchi, for an incredible taste and plenty of interesting textures. First you need to make the gnocchi and you can make that with potato. Either make some mashed potato or use leftover mashed potato if you have it. The quickest way to make them is to peel, chop and boil the potatoes and then use a masher or a potato ricer. You can then mix and shape your gnocchi and boil them.

On top of the gnocchi goes a mixture of salmon and spinach, and for the best result use fresh salmon and spinach. Then you can add cream, mozzarella, olive slices (these are for saltiness but omit them if you are not keen) and a little parmesan cheese. Then it is time to bake the dish in the oven to crisp up the cheese topping and reheat the gnocchi and lower layers. Serve it piping hot, and the dinner table will be silent as your family are savoring every mouthful and really enjoying this lovely dish.

Not only is this an impressive recipe but it is pure Italian comfort food too, offering a complete meal in one – you have the starch, the fish, some veggies and the creamy sauce. If you want to serve a side dish too, consider a simple tossed green salad, or perhaps some asparagus if you prefer something hot. Feel free to make tweaks, like using well-drained thawed salmon, cod instead of salmon, or adding tomato concentrate to the cream to add another flavor, or else just make the recipe as it is written. Either way it will be delicious. Continue reading

Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi

These fluffy little pillows of deliciousness are so simple to make, and economical too. There are various types of gnocchi you can make, but this one is made with ricotta cheese for a lovely creamy tang. You will need to make it from scratch then knead the dough, break it into little pieces, and that is your gnocchi. You can then cook it in boiling water and add some parmesan and/or garlic butter just before serving. Although a smaller portion makes a nice appetizer, a larger one is ideal for your main dish, perhaps served with a green salad alongside.

You can buy gnocchi readymade from the store, and perhaps you have already seen it in there, but making your own is so easy so you might as well give it a try, and you will also end up with something fresh-tasting and authentic which you can take pride in. Flour, egg, oil and ricotta are combined to make your gnocchi and, if you want a traditional look, you can press a fork down on each one to make a nice ridged design on them.

Put the gnocchi in a pot of boiling water, then wait until they rise up to the top. Give them an extra minute to ensure they are cooked properly, and then you can drain the gnocchi and serve it, preferably on warmed plates, and maybe with some salad or vegetables on the side. Making gnocchi is an art but a very simple one, so if you are not quite ready to start making your own fresh pasta, begin with gnocchi instead, and you will discover how delightfully easy cooking authentic Italian food from scratch can be. Continue reading

Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

This rich, warming soup boasts so much flavor, and the texture is nice too, with plenty of gnocchi and chicken in there to add interest, as well as an overall creamy finish. You will find potato gnocchi in the pasta aisle, the frozen food aisle, or in the Italian foods area of your grocery store, and you can choose from fresh or frozen, although we recommend the fresh kind for the best result. Use fresh basil and spinach too, because those add a nicer flavor than the frozen kind.

This soup is perfect for any season or occasion, but it is perhaps best during the cooler months when you want something to warm you up from the inside out. The soft, slightly chewy gnocchi, tender chicken and leafy spinach add such a nice texture, while the cream, broth and butter add a luxurious creaminess to the dish. Everything balances out really well and this is a top quality soup.

Making this is very straightforward. You need to sauté the vegetables and garlic, add the flour, broth and cream, and then the chicken, gnocchi and spinach. This soup is then ladled into serving bowls and you can scatter some shredded parmesan or romano cheese on top of each portion to finish it off perfectly. Although this could be served in small bowls as an appetizer, it is quite rich and hearty, which means it is better as an entrée, so serve it with crusty bread for lunch, or enjoy it as a comforting supper. Continue reading

Saffron Mussels with Gnocchi

Mussels are the star of this authentic Italian dish, along with homemade gnocchi of course. The seafood and gnocchi combine with tomatoes, parsley, garlic and saffron, to add a subtle but typically Italian flavor. If you prefer to use clams or baby squid, either of those would work nicely in the dish as a sub for the mussels. You could even use some of each if you want an especially impressive dish, or you like plenty of variety with your seafood.

Mussels or clams need to be scoured with a knife to get any barnacles off, and the shells should be closed. Any open shells can be tapped and if the animal is alive the shell will close. If it stays open discard it in case it is dead. Mussels might have beards. If yours do, pull them off. The shellfish should be kept in a cloth-covered bowl until you are ready to cook them. Baby squid will not require any preparation. The gnocchi are made with flour, potatoes and egg, and they make a nice alternative to rice, pasta or potatoes.

The sauce is made with tomatoes, mussels and some aromatic flavorings, and these 2 components go together beautifully to make the complete dish. If you are thinking of serving a side dish with this, you cannot go wrong with a simple salad. Alternatively choose an appetizer or dessert (or both!) instead, to round out the meal. You might wonder why so many Italian recipes are made from scratch when you can buy readymade tomato sauce and frozen gnocchi, but make and taste this, and the wonderful fresh flavors will be proof enough of why making the effort is well worth it. This is a stunning dish. Continue reading

Gnocchi Romana with Napoli Sauce

Gnocchi is a fantastic choice if you want to make something authentically Italian, but rather than being made of squash, ricotta or potato, these are made with semolina for a lovely flavor and texture. You can make this dish a day in advance if you want, and bake it when your dinner guests arrive, to really simplify the evening. Gnocchi varies across Italy, and can be made with flour, ricotta and spinach, or flour and egg, breadcrumbs and potatoes, or something else.

A Closer Look at the Dish

Usually served as an appetizer, gnocchi are usually homemade in Italy, although they can also be purchased fresh from specialty stores. Dried, frozen and refrigerated types are also available in the supermarket but if you want to enjoy gnocchi fully, make your own from scratch and you will be amazed at the incredible flavor. Melted butter with sage can be drizzled on top of your gnocchi, or you could make a cheese, tomato or pesto sauce instead. The following recipe features a Napoli sauce, or Neapolitan sauce, which is tomato-based.

Despite the fact both the gnocchi and the sauce are made from scratch, you do not need a whole lot of ingredients to prepare this dish. The gnocchi is semolina, eggs, milk and flavorings, while the sauce is a simple combination of tomatoes, basil, garlic and olive oil. As simple as these flavors are, the finished dish is really exquisite and each mouthful conjures the authentic taste of Italian cuisine at its finest. Continue reading

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi I'm Christine, and I am happy you are visiting. Food is a large part of our family's lives, and we love to try new dishes, especially Italian food which offers so much freshness and flavor, whether you are making a classic Italian dish like lasagna or pizza, or experimenting with new appetizers, entrées or desserts from Italy.

Even if you are brand new to this cuisine, you will be able to find all kinds of tempting recipes here. I have been collecting classic Italian recipes, all conveniently in one place, along with unusual recipes from Italy plus some dishes inspired by Italian cuisine.

When the weather is cold, a baked pasta dish or juicy pork or veal recipe might be ideal. During the summer months, an Italian salad might be your dish of choice. We have vegetarian recipes, Italian soups, and even tips on how to work with Italian ingredients for the best results, whether you are making lasagna, gnocchi or an Italian casserole


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