The word “gnocchi” (pronounced N’YAW-kee) has an unknown origin, but it’s speculated to come from the Italian word nocca, meaning knuckle. Essentially, gnocchi are a form of dumplings, and, of course, not exclusive to Italy. But their light, airy texture and full potato flavor makes them a unique pasta with a long history in classic European cuisine. Even different regions of Italy have their respective versions, and before potatoes, gnocchi existed but with different ingredients—breadcrumbs, squash, chestnut flour, egg and cheese, just to name a few. Gnocchi, being filling and inexpensive, were the perfect peasant food.
I'm curious and adventurous with food. If there is the slightliest possibility of a food made from one of my favorite ingredients, before I know it I'm heading to stores with the ingredients list. Chestnut is one of my favorites. I decided to make chestnut gnocchi.
To try it on your own, you'll need:
1 1/2 lbs. of frozen chestnut, already shelled
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup or more for working dough
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 of A carrot (optional), finely chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Cup of tomato sauce (I used olive oil, basil and garlic tomato sauce)