From Academic Kids

ja:ニョッキ de:Gnocchi Gnocchi is the Italian word for dumpling, literally meaning "lumps." They can be made of potato and semolina (durum wheat) or flour, ricotta cheese (with or without spinach), or semolina. Although the dish is Italian, the word comes from a Germanic word for a knot (as in wood), possibly because of its short, squat shape. Gnocchi are often listed among pasta dishes, although gnocchi has different ingredients and mode of preparation.

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A package of Sardinian gnocchetti, which are smaller.

Gnocchi are easy to make and can be a very satisfying meal. An example recipe:

Cook two potatoes in boiling water, mash them, knead in about one and a quarter cups flour, and roll the dough into several thin (3 cm or so) tubes. Cut the tubes into short lengths. Flatten them with a fork (the grooves will help them collect sauce). Cook them batchwise in boiling water. As soon as the pieces float, they're done and can be removed to a colander. Makes four servings.

Note that gnocchi cook much faster than normal pasta and should not be overcooked. The classic accompaniments of gnocchi are a tomato sauce, burnt butter and sage sauce or melted butter and cheese.

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A plate of cooked gnocchi in a tomato sauce, Modena, Italy.

Most people buy their gnocchi premade, which is cooked just like fresh gnocchi.

In Argentina, where Italian cuisine is especially popular, gnocchi (known as oquis) are traditionally eaten on the 29th of each month. This was the day before payday, when people were at their poorest. oquis made a cheap and hearty meal. On these occasions, some people leave a banknote under the plate to attract prosperity. Now in Argentine communities outside the country, Argentines gather each month for "oquis del 29".

In a curious reversal of meaning, in Argentine slang oqui has also become a way to denote some government employee that is listed in the payroll but only shows up to collect his or her paychek around the 29th of each month.

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