An Italian favourite, gnocchi is a potato-y treat that goes well with just about anything. From a classic Italian sauce to any cut of meat, you name it, gnocchi will nail it. And we sure do love this Mediterranean treat here in Hong Kong, but with places like 208 Duecento Otto, Trattoria Caffe' and Grassroots Pantry whipping it up with style, can you really blame us?
What's your flavour?
As with most staple Italian eats, every local from town to town will say that only they create the finest gnocchi – in fact, there's several areas in northern Italy fighting for credit of the very first recipe. And it's not hard to see why, gnocchi is globally loved, and can be found on menus across the globe.
As it's so simple, you'll find it in loads of different ways. You might see pink gnocchi made with beetroot, black gnocchi mixed with squid ink, or even bright green spinach-infused gnocchi. The beauty of this dish is that its versatility allows it to become completely different – simply swap out a few key ingredients and you've got something new. And this is how the chefs around Hong Kong create such weird and wonderful versions of their own.
Creating a classic
After their shape, the word gnocchi either comes from the Italian nocca, knuckle, or nocchio, a knot in wood. Although it's impossible to know where the very first batch of the small fluffy dumplings that we now know as gnocchi was first created, it's thought that they were eaten by Roman legions during their movement into Italy and other parts of Europe. Empires were literally built on gnocchi, how many dishes have that claim to fame?
Italian treats in Hong Kong
If you're looking for a rustic take on this dish, one of our favourites is the deep, earthy flavours of the gnocchi rustled up by the guys over at 208 Duecento Otto. They pair their dumplings with a creamy gorgonzola sauce, mildly spiced by Italian radicchio and finished with hazelnut.
For something a little more refreshing, head over to Trattoria Caffe', as their lighter version is perfect for lunch, cooked up with zucchini strips and a tangy mint sauce. There's even something out there for vegans, courtesy of Grassroots Pantry – their multi-mushroom delight sees soft gnocchi cooked with shiitake, eryngii and maiitake in a cashew béchamel, with a healthy helping of homemade lemon and thyme pesto.
If you're just as nuts about gnocchi as we are, you can find these restaurants plus many more in your area right now on Deliveroo.