These are Italian-style mini dumplings and are much lighter than traditional British suet dumplings. They are made with potato and are usually oval-shaped and about 2-3 cm long. Gnocchi are served in a similar way to pasta - with a sauce and often with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper. They are ideal for a speedy supper because they only take a few minutes to cook. Fresh and vacuum packed gnocchi are available. Fresh gnocchi has a lighter texture than vacuum packed, but they taste very similar.
Rather confusingly there is also a type of pasta called gnocchi - these are shell-shaped pasta that are a similar shape to potato gnocchi.
Uses: Serve a few gnocchi for a quick and easy starter or serve as a main course for a filling meal. Cheese or tomato-based sauces go particularly well with gnocchi. For a really easy meal stir some ready-made pesto through some gnocchi and top with cheese and pepper to serve. They can also be added to soups. stews and casseroles.
To store: Keep fresh gnocchi in the fridge for up to 1 month, once opened use within 48 hours. Vacuum packed gnocchi can be stored in a dark, dry cupboard for up to 3 months. Once opened store in the fridge and used within 3 days.
To cook: Potato gnocchi are cooked in the same way as pasta - in boiling salted water for a few minutes or until they come to the surface of the water and then drained.