Gnocchi: A South American pasta tradition

Pasta and our Gnocchi tradition

In our family everybody loves pasta, especially Gnocchi! Pasta! Gnocchi! You might ask, doesn’t sound very South American. In fact because of Italian migrants in South America pasta is a big part of peoples diet.

In Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, eating gnocchi is a popular tradition on the 29th of every month. This tradition we have been following all our lives but we don’t know why.  We do know for certain that Gnocchi was a recipe brought to South America by Italian migrants during the great Italian emigration of 1876-1926. It was one of the largest modern emigrations any country has seen. An estimated 8.9 million Italians settled in countries like Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay as well as Venezuela and Peru. Hence the great influence of Italian cuisine in South America.


Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Pasta
Cuisine: Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay
Serves: 4
  • 1 kg of white potatoes ( you could use red ones)
  • 1 egg ( if you double the recipe use extra yolks)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of plain flour(a bit more for surface)
  • SAUCE.
  • 1 can of crushed tomato(800 grm)
  • 2 brown onions
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 4-5 sprigs of flat Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste,
  • Pepper , salt, oregano to taste
  • Cubes of red meat
  1. Peel potatoes and cut into 3cm cubes boil the on salty water.
  2. Drain and transfer to a bowl and
  3. Mash until smooth, finish with a fork to remove any lumps.
  4. Set aside to cool.
  5. Add the egg, oil, sprinkle pepper and salt to taste to pure .
  6. Gather dough into a ball.
  7. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until smooth
  8. Divide dough into portions and roll each into a log about 2.5 cm thick cut into 3cm pieces .
  9. To shape the gnocchi roll a piece of dough down the inside of the tines of a fork using your thumb which will create an indentation on the other side.
  10. Bring a large wide saucepan of water to the boil.
  11. Cook gnocchi in 2-3 batches, until they rise to the surface about 3 min
  12. Drain and mix with tomato sauce, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese
  13. To make sauce
  14. Fry the onion, garlic, parsley then add the meat until brown.
  15. Add the tomato and tomato paste
  16. Add 1 can of boiling water ( use the empty can)
  17. Salt and herbs and simmer for 30 min


Hope you enjoy it as much as we do, comment below and why not start a new family tradition.

2 thoughts on “Gnocchi: A South American pasta tradition

    • August 7, 2017 at 11:01 am

      Thanks for dropping by Satish. Home made Gnocchi is the best kind, worth having a go at making it if you like pasta


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