Potato Gnocchi with Cherry Tomato Sauce
Gnocchi is a generic Italian word that roughly translates as dumplings in English. It includes a variety of different recipes and ingredients, often typical of one specific region.
The concept of gnocchi exists since the time of the Romans; a recipe still in use in our days – “gnocchi alla romana” – is testimony thereof. It was made with semolina flour however, as potatoes became available on the European continent only after they were imported from the American continent in the 1500s.
Today we are preparing potato gnocchi: they are much easier to make than what it looks like at first sight. They are an utterly delicious comfort food.
Potato gnocchi are a typical dish in Rome, and they are traditionally served on Thursdays. The reason: they are very filling and nutritious, and people need to prepare for Fridays, when Roman Catholics (used to) only eat fish and vegetables. Fridays are called “giorni di magro”, literally translated as “lean days”.
Thus, we have once more a perfect example of the Italian peasant food: simple, economic and nutritious. The good thing is that Gnocchi are vegetarian and possibly vegan (if you omit the egg in the dough and if you don’t sprinkle them with parmigiano cheese). Also, this is a great dish for persons suffering from celiac disease, potatoes being gluten free. Moreover, potatoes are a good source of vitamin C and B, potassium and antioxidants.
But the most striking characteristic is that potatoes contain resistant starch – a kind of starch that is not broken down and absorbed until it reaches the large intestine, where it feeds the beneficial gut bacteria. In this process it is transformed in butyrate, a component linked to colon cancer prevention. Resistant starch also helps keeping blood sugar under control. Potatoes are high in carbs, but not as much as rice or pasta.
Today we pair the gnocchi with a cherry tomatoes sauce made from scratch, that will add more nutritional value to the dish.
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For 4 Servings
1 cup Carnaroli rice
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 tablespoons of EV Olive Oil
½ glass of white table wine
1 pint chicken stock preprepared (or vegetable stock)
1 cup rinsed blueberries
1 cup roasted chestnuts or more, chopped in big pieces
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons gorgonzola cheese (optional)