Gnocchi – the perfect zero waste meal. Served 6 ways…

6 ways to serve gnocchiGnocchi is such a brilliant food for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it’s a great ‘Use it up!’ meal if you have any left over mashed potato.

Second, it’s super quick to make, making gnocchi invaluable when you’re in a hurry and don’t want to resort to convenience food in all its plastic packaging.

Third, it’s cheap to make, which is a bonus for the frugal waste warrior.

And finally, it’s a wonderfully versatile base for a meal – again you can use up all sorts of things from the kitchen that are nearing their Best Before date.

This week I asked our Facebook group how they like to eat gnocchi, here’s what they came up with:

Tomato-based sauce

Ivan suggested tomato sauce and mozzarella with basil leaves

Meg likes tomato and garlic, while Tatiana prefers tomato and basil

Susie said “Fry it with a little oil in a pan, with some herbs if you like, then serve with homemade tomato sauce”


Pesto was a popular choice from Angela, Anna and Meg

Tatiana makes one small addition with her suggestion of pesto and crème fraîche


Sage is a traditional topping. Mel favours butter, sage and Parmesan. She says “I use fresh sage and chop it up and fry it gently in the butter. Only the leaves. Then mix in the gnocchi with lots of Parmesan and black pepper.”

Butternut squash

Pip suggested blue cheese, butternut squash, walnuts and plenty of pepper.


Ania makes a mushroom sauce

Meg said “mushrooms cooked with garlic and a splash of wine/sherry/vermouth.

Zoe adds a couple more ingredients, she enjoys fried mushrooms, onions and basil pesto with feta cheese.


Johnny wrote “The “only” proper way to eat gnocchi [ñokke] is with cheese sauce, an ancient zero waste recipe from Italy.

1. Take all the cheese leftovers (usually the final part near the crust) laying around the fridge, forgotten but still edible. make sure you have a good variety of flavors and textures, from more seasoned to softer ones, and that some blue cheese is in the mix too
2. cut them in pieces, soft cheese you can cut very coarsely, harder cheese should be in small cubes
3. In a large saucepan, prepare a little bechamel base with butter, flour and a spot of milk, then add the cheese, from softer to harder one, keeping stirring. You can add a pinch of nutmeg or pepper if you like, but there’s usually no need to add salt.
4. Put the gnocchi in salted boiling water, when they are ready they will float on the surface, where you can fish them out with a small colander or a perforated cooking spoon and transfer them to the saucepan with the sauce.
5. Serve while still hot, sprinkling them with grated grana or parmesan cheese.
What about you? What’s your favourite way to eat gnocchi?
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Rachelle Strauss

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