I love how the word “gnocchi” brings out the snob in nearly everyone. There are those who willingly stake an entire lineage on its correct texture. The presence of ricotta in a recipe is hotly contested as well. My favorite gnocchi snobs, however, are the pronunciation nazis; the people who actually tilt their head back a bit – very haughty – when you’ve misspoken. That head tilt kills me every time, especially when combined with the actual saying of the word; “ne-o-ki,” not “na-chi.” They’re correct, but it’s patently absurd because they speak it as if imparting some kind of mystical knowledge upon a hapless, fanny-pack wearing rube. Plus, these snobs are typically not fluent in Italian otherwise save for an awkward, Mustachio Pete-ish pronunciation of the word “mozzarella.” Right or not, they’re still assholes. Attitudes like that ruin my appetite.

But enough of such evil. Chicago had its first cool weekend over Labor Day. I was minding my own business after sharing some wine and a snack with Jeff one afternoon when gnocchi floated across my train of thought like the little billowy clouds of potato love that they are. I considered a pumpkin version, but we lacked sage and it wasn’t quite that cool out. We did have potatoes on hand though. And flour. Dissatisfied with previous gnocchi attempts, I stumbled upon this and messed with it a bit. For example, I used one egg instead of a quarter cup because I have zero interest in measuring beaten egg. I also added some grated Parmesan and pepper. In spite of my devil-may-care methods, this recipe yielded ethereal, addictive dumplings. This was a boon because we also made these, which, while delicious, were decidedly not gnocchi. Perhaps if the spinach was pureed and the breadcrumbs were left out, the texture would be worth betting the family farm. I also departed from gnocchi as I knew it by quickly broiling them with some butter and tons of cheese on top. Artery clogging? Yes. Carb coma? Oh yes. Especially served with a side of bruschetta. But it’s fall. We’re going to need the carbs for winter.

Serve with a nice white to celebrate the end of summer.

Gnocchi and bruschetta

A bit blurry, but we were a bit blurry ourselves.