AskDefine | Define gnocchi

Dictionary Definition

gnocchi n : (Italian) a small dumpling made of potato or flour or semolina that is boiled or baked and is usually served with a sauce or with grated cheese

User Contributed Dictionary



gnocchi, plural of gnocco, dumpling; literally meaning lump, from a Germanic root for "knot" (as in wood)


  • IPA:
    • GenAm: /ˈɲoː.ki/
    • RP: /ˈɲɒ.ki/
  • SAMPA:
  • Schoolbook Phonetics:
    • GenAm: (nyōʹkē)
    • RP: (nyôʹkē)
  • Last Resort Phonetics:


gnocchi plural (not used in the singular)
  1. Italian pasta-like dumplings made of potato or semolina.




  • /ˈɲɔkki/, /"JOkki/


gnocchi p
  1. plural of gnocco
  2. gnocchi

Extensive Definition

Gnocchi ( in Italian; singular gnocco) is the Italian name for a variety of dumpling. They may be made from potato, semolina, ordinary wheat flour, bread crumbs, or other ingredients. Outside Italy, the most popular form is based on potatoes.
The word gnocco means "lump", and comes from nocchio, a knot in wood. In Roman times, gnocchi were made from a semolina porridge-like dough mixed with eggs, and are still found in similar forms today, particularly in Sardinia. One variety, gnocchi di pane, popular in the Friuli and Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol regions, is made from bread crumbs.
Gnocchi are eaten as entrées (primi piatti) in Italy, as alternatives to minestre ("soups") or pasta.
Gnocchi are widely available dried, frozen, or fresh in vacuum sealed packages in supermarkets and Italian speciality stores. Classic accompaniments of gnocchi include tomato sauces, pesto, and melted butter (sometimes burnt butter) with cheese.

In Latin America

In Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Venezuela, countries where Italian cuisine is especially popular, gnocchi (known as ñoquis in Spanish-speaking countries or nhoque in Brazil) are traditionally eaten on the 29th day of each month, the day before payday, when money was tight and gnocchi were cheap and hearty fare. On these occasions, some people leave a banknote under the plate to attract prosperity. Argentines and Uruguayans still gather each month for "ñoquis del 29" (literally, "gnocchi of the 29th").
In a curious reversal of meaning, in Argentine and Uruguayan slang ñoqui has also become a way to denote a government employee that is listed in the payroll but only shows up to collect his or her paycheck around the 29th of each month.



gnocchi in Czech: Nok
gnocchi in German: Nocken (Gericht)
gnocchi in Spanish: Ñoqui
gnocchi in French: Gnocchi
gnocchi in Korean: 뇨키
gnocchi in Icelandic: Kartöflupasta
gnocchi in Italian: Gnocchi
gnocchi in Hebrew: ניוקי
gnocchi in Dutch: Gnocchi
gnocchi in Japanese: ニョッキ
gnocchi in Norwegian: Gnocchi
gnocchi in Polish: Gnocchi
gnocchi in Portuguese: Nhoque
gnocchi in Chinese: 玉棋
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