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Storebought Gnocchi?

Perilagu Khan Apr 16, 2013 11:16 AM

Call me lazy; call me a coward; but don't call me a gnocchi-maker. Tried to make these once and bollixed 'em up big-time. Never again! But I still love the li'l bastards, and toward that end have contemplated buying premade gnocchi that have been popping up on grocery shelves with increasing frequency.

Anybody tried 'em? Are they worth a crap?

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  1. 1sweetpea Apr 16, 2013 11:29 AM

    Sorry to be negative, but the packaged gnocchi are a world apart from freshly made. They are gluey, heavy, tasteless and totally forgettable blobs of starch. I basically never eat gnocchi because I'm too lazy to make my own and no restaurant in my city serves anything but the packaged crap.

    When I was a teenager my dad took a year off, trying to figure out in which direction he'd go after selling his business. He took on the odd dinner at home and actually made spinach gnocchi a couple of times. The memory of them, plus a baked semolina gnocchi I made once a few years after that, are so wonderful that nothing short of homemade gnocchi can compare.

    1. f
      ferret Apr 16, 2013 11:32 AM

      They may technically be gnocchi, but like a bad matzoh ball having the right ingredients doesn't guarantee a good result.

      Gnocchi is possibly the easiest pasta to make. Add salted flour to riced baked potatoes and just a touch of olive oil, roll into snakes (this is the only tricky part because you want to compress more than roll since the mixture will tend to be crumbly). Cut each snake into individual rounds and add to salted boiling water. Scoop 'em out when they float to the surface.

      1. ttoommyy Apr 16, 2013 11:36 AM

        I too am gnocchi-phobic. And I agree, the store bought gnocchi can't compare to fresh. So, what do I do? Wait until I am at a good Italian restaurant and enjoy them there. Why settle for something inferior just to have it? Do you really HAVE to have them at home?

        3 Replies
        1. re: ttoommyy
          Perilagu Khan Apr 16, 2013 01:04 PM

          Obviously, I don't HAVE to have them at home, but I'd like to. But I'm not about to plump for third-rate gnocchi just to have them.

          1. re: Perilagu Khan
            ttoommyy Apr 16, 2013 01:45 PM

            "Obviously, I don't HAVE to have them at home, but I'd like to."

            I get that, but my point was why not let them remain something special that you only get when dining out? A while back I surrendered to this philosophy with a few food items and it adds another level to eating out at favorite restaurants.

            Or your can go to Italy. :)

            1. re: ttoommyy
              Perilagu Khan Apr 16, 2013 03:13 PM

              Okay, I'll go to Italy. ;)

        2. m
          Maximilien Apr 16, 2013 12:10 PM

          Buy'em and eat'em...

          With store bought gnocchi; I suggest giving them a little bit of a pan-fry before eating them (after boiling them).

          (google for recipes).

          1 Reply
          1. re: Maximilien
            ttoommyy Apr 16, 2013 01:48 PM

            "With store bought gnocchi; I suggest giving them a little bit of a pan-fry before eating them (after boiling them)."

            On the few occasions I have bought gnocchi at the supermarket, I purchased the De Cecco whole wheat variety, boiled them for a couple of minutes then sauteed them in a little olive oil and butter until a bit crispy then tossed with fresh Parmigiano Reggiano. Very tasty, but not really what I think of when I think of gnocchi. They are a dish unto themselves. :)

          2. n
            nemo Apr 16, 2013 12:31 PM

            These may not be to your liking at all, but the French gnocchi are a little more forgiving. Here's a link to, I think, Jacques Pepin's recipe. We made them once. Eh, okay. But not as dense as the potato version. And, if you like that potato texture, won't satisfy you. Weir Cooking in Wine Country has pretty much the exact same recipe.

            Just for your comparison.

            http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/gn...

            1. s
              Sherri Apr 16, 2013 02:03 PM

              Potato gnocchi?
              Roman gnocchi?
              French gnocchi?
              Which of these is making you crazy? They are so different that I don't know what you are trying to make/replicate.

              NB: I bought some shelf-stable gnocchi from Trader Joes years ago that were inedible. They were my first and last gnocchi purchase.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Sherri
                Perilagu Khan Apr 16, 2013 03:10 PM

                The only gnocchi I've ever seen in a store is potato, and that's what I'm interested in.

              2. f
                foodieX2 Apr 16, 2013 02:18 PM

                I haven't bought any mass/commercially packaged gnocchi but both my local speciality market and small italian market carry their own. While no sub for the kind I get out they will do when the craving hits but the wallet doesn't allow a trip to my favorite restaurant. If you have any place near you that makes fresh pasta ask them if they will make you some.

                5 Replies
                1. re: foodieX2
                  Perilagu Khan Apr 16, 2013 03:11 PM

                  Within a 300-mile radius of my house, there is exactly one restaurant that makes gnocchi. Obviously, I don't live in northern Jersey.

                  1. re: Perilagu Khan
                    f
                    foodieX2 Apr 16, 2013 03:22 PM

                    So not markets near you make fresh pasta? My heart breaks for you!

                    1. re: foodieX2
                      Perilagu Khan Apr 17, 2013 07:39 AM

                      Fortunately, that lone restaurant is a mere five miles from my casa! And, yes, they make their own pasta in addition to the gnocchi.

                    2. re: Perilagu Khan
                      ttoommyy Apr 17, 2013 06:33 AM

                      "Within a 300-mile radius of my house, there is exactly one restaurant that makes gnocchi."

                      Now that I know more of the story and have reread this thread, I take back what I said. I think you should attempt to make your own gnocchi. And you have inspired me to try it again too!

                      1. re: ttoommyy
                        Perilagu Khan Apr 17, 2013 07:39 AM

                        Perhaps some day I'll give it another whirl.

                  2. c
                    calmossimo Apr 16, 2013 02:45 PM

                    I've never bought gnocchi at the store myself, but have eaten plenty of non-handmade gnocchi at my workplace dining center. I don't know what kind it is (likely from Sodexo or Food Services of America), but I actually think it's tasty. It tastes nothing like freshly made gnocchi, though. Like others have said, they were entirely different dishes.

                    I have made ricotta gnocchi and found it to be a fairly simple process. I have never tried making any other type of gnocchi.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: calmossimo
                      e
                      escondido123 Apr 17, 2013 12:54 PM

                      Ricotta gnocchi are wonderful and can be made in just ten minutes. Mix one container of ricotta with half a cup grated Parmgiano, 2 eggs, salt and pepper. Add half cut flour and mix. If you can roll into long snake on a floured board you've added enough flour, if not add more one tablespoon at a time. Roll out on floured board to form snakes about the diameter of your thumb, cut into approx. one inch pieces and put in boiling water. Remove when they have floated to the top. Yumm

                      1. re: escondido123
                        Perilagu Khan Apr 17, 2013 01:55 PM

                        Doesn't sound half bad, I must say.

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