Stop cooking your store-bought gnocchi – fry or fry them instead

stop cooking your store bought gnocchi fry or fry them

Though I’ve added a handful of new products to my pantry over the years – tomato achaar from Brooklyn Delhi, lemon and saffron jam from BRINS, oat milk baking chocolate from Raaka – the basics stay the same: there’s a bin for noodles, a container for seaweed, a container for coconut milk and chickpea cans, a container for spices, a container for chocolate and a container for beans and legumes. The containers stay the same!

But in 2021, against all odds, I looked for a little space (and disrupted my careful organization) for store-bought gnocchi, a product I hadn’t consumed in decades. For years I believed – wrongly! – that gnocchi bought in the store are no longer worthwhile compared to fresh gnocchi. Instead, I’d save this fluffy, melt-in-the-mouth gnocchi experience for dine out or unstructured Saturdays when I had time to boil potatoes and turn them into rice before hand shaping the batter into dozens of tiny dumplings. (FWIW, ricotta gnocchi is a lot easier to use.)

That all changed when I found out about the genius recipe developer Ali Slagle that I made a wrong comparison. Instead of judging store-bought dumplings versus homemade ones, I should consider them a completely different ingredient – and cook them accordingly.

If you cook store-bought gnocchi like fresh, they tend to get soggy and rubbery. But, as Ali taught me, if you cook them in the oven or on the stovetop with a little oil to help them brown, they’ll get crispy on the outside and stay chewy and soft in the middle, much like pan-fried Korean rice cakes or yaki mochi.

In this recipe for crispy pan-pan gnocchi, the gnocchi turn golden brown in the hot oven, and a few pints of cherry tomatoes that are roasted next to it burst in the high heat into an easy-care sauce that prevents the dish from becoming too dry. Gnocchi that can be kept unrefrigerated, as found vacuumed in the pasta aisle, work just as well as the boxes in the cooling area for fresh pasta. The texture varies slightly depending on the brand and type of gnocchi used, but it’s easy to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

No matter which gnocchi you use in the store, they’re not feather-light or pillow-soft like the best potato gnocchi should be – but that’s exactly what it is in the end.

Recipe for pan pan gnocchi

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Amanda Litchford

Making delicious meals and researching products has inspired me as a stay at home mom to start this website in helping out others who don’t have the time or expertise in the kitchen.

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