"The word gnocchi means "lumps", and may derive from nocchio, a knot in the wood, or from nocca (knuckle)."

This is exactly what every one of my previous attempts at gnocchi has come out like:  A lump of wood.  I’ve tried a bunch of recipes.  I bought a potato ricer just for making gnocchi.  And every single time, I got dense, chewy, tasteless lumps.  I’d had good gnocchi – the best ever was from a little restaurant way off the beaten track in Niagara Falls – but somehow I kept failing at it.

So I gave up.

Then I saw a post from Vanilla Garlic about their lemon gnocchi.  It had two interesting features – lemon, which I can never resist, and a distinct lack of potatoes.  It made me wonder – maybe the potatoes had been my problem all along?  Maybe leaving them out was the answer!

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It was certainly easy enough to assemble – put all the ingredients on a cutting board, and knead them all together. Then roll it out into a log (I had flashbacks of PlayDough snakes), and cut it into 1/2 inch logs.  Mine came out a bit bigger then that, but close enough.

Lemon Gnocchi

Then toss them into a pot of boiling water until they float. Leave them alone for another two minutes.  I couldn’t resist trying one as soon as it was cool enough to eat – and it was perfect.  They would have been good with just olive oil and a bit of cheese, but I found a lemon-artichoke pesto, which worked great. 

Lemon Gnocchi

I’m still not sure if it was the lack of potatoes that made the difference, or maybe I’ve just gotten better since my last attempt, but these were really good.  Great texture, just enough lemon to be interesting, but not enough to be overpowering.  Definitely going in my dinner rotation!

( see the recipe )

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