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Fresh potato gnocchi

A bowl of fresh gnocchi.

Glow Cuisine / Getty Images

In the culinary arts, the word gnocchi (pronounced "NYO-kee") refers to a type of Italian dumplings made from potatoes and flour. The word "gnocchi" means "dumplings" in Italian.

Gnocchi are easy to make. The potatoes are steamed or boiled, then peeled and passed through a potato ricer or food mill. The cooked potato is then mixed with flour to form a dough.

Finally, the dough is formed into individual dumplings and boiled. When the gnocchi float to the top of the boiling water, they're done. Gnocchi should be light and fluffy, like little pillows, rather then dense and chewy.

Traditionally gnocchi are pressed between the thumb and the tines of a fork to make the characteristic indentations in the dumplings. There are also special gnocchi boards with little ridges on them for pressing the marks into the gnocchi.

Here's a recipe for Gnocchi.

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