Gnocchi, those dainty dumplings made from soft, fluffy cooked potato, are the unsung hero on Italian menus. The humble and completely comforting nuggets act as a blank canvas, waiting to be tossed in glossy pesto, doused in a creamy sauce or simply pan-friend in butter and served with shavings of parmesan – with their little grooves cleverly catching all the flavours. Here’s where to grab your next moreish mouthful of pillowy gnocchi.
Burrata (Woodstock, Cape Town)
At this Italian eatery in the heart of the Old Biscuit Mill, luxurious gnocchi are served in a rich gorgonzola cream and topped with tender broccolini, a welcoming crunch of toasted walnuts, and salty pancetta bits (R105).
Café del Sol Botanico (Bryanston, Johannesburg)
Whether you’re vegetarian or not, the homemade butternut gnocchi dish at this sibling of former Best Italian winner Café del Sol is utterly moreish. Soft potato pillows are served with butter-sage sauce, fresh black truffle, and generous shavings of imported grana padano cheese (R105).
Caraffa (Alphen Park, Pretoria)
For an authentic bite of Italian, order the deluxe four-formaggi gnocchi, which are coated in a silky cheese sauce made up of fontina, mozzarella, gorgonzola and parmesan (R72).
At Simonsig’s fine dining restaurant, guests can order the bold-flavoured braised beef short-rib, which is complemented by soft and velvety parmesan gnocchi dumplings with confit turnips, edamame beans and carrot (R170).
Remo’s Fratelli Villagio (Umhlanga Rocks, Durban)
This authentic Italian trattoria serves a hearty and homemade gnocchi con polpette. Perfect for meat-lovers, the dish comprises juicy polpetti meatballs covered in a rich tomato sauce and topped with melted grana padano cheese (R98).
We know your mama or papa probably makes it best, but please tell us about your next-favourite gnocchi dish in the comments.