Gnocchi is one of those hug-like dishes that will always leave you feeling equal parts stuffed and satisfied. Made from either wheat flour, semolina or potato, a plate of these tasty balls of goodness can be found on menus throughout Italy and beyond.
Gnocchi is often considered by Italians as an alternative to pasta (something to do with the leavening process) and they’re about as close as we Italians will come to a dumpling of our own.
Here’s where to get Sydney’s best gnocchi.
Woodland Kitchen & Bar
Usually known for its wood fired steaks and grilled ciabatta, Woodland Kitchen & Bar also does a mean potato gnocchi. The generous serve of dumplings (made in-house from pink eye potatoes) are sautéed with Swiss browns, peas, kale, plenty of good quality pecorino and, of course, a rather unhealthy load of butter.
This swanky new Potts Point eatery from Josephine Perry is doing gnocchi with a Parisienne twist—crisp-fried and served with pumpkin, sage and gruyere. It’s outrageously decadent and just buttery enough to feel rich without being too heavy.
The team from A Tavola are no strangers to bloody good pasta but it seems that Euguenio Miaile and his crew have outdone themselves this time with the lightest, fluffiest gnocchi this side of Italy. The dish comes drenched in a rich turkey ragu (sounds weird, but it’s awesome) and finished with pine nuts and sage.
Buffalo Dining Club
As you might imagine, this mozzarella bar takes its cheese ultra seriously, which is why the fresh buffalo ricotta gnocchi—served with a simple Napolitana sauce—is one of the best in town. It comes with a little bowl of homemade chilli sauce, which should be used sparingly because these guys really don’t mess around with their peppers.
So many dishes, so little tummy space. That’s the usual gripe of customers at any one of Fratelli’s fabulous eateries. It’s a hard choice between zucchini flowers stuffed with four cheeses and everyone’s favourite lamb ragu, but when the gnocchi is chalked out in careful capitals on the massive blackboard there’s really no competition. Served with chorizo, Spanish onions and just enough goat’s cheese to make it pungent without being off putting, these soft little pillows are about as “speciale” as they come.
Osteria Balla Manfredi
Famed for its regional dishes and pasta magnificence, the soft potato gnocchi mixed with pearly spanner crabmeat, broccolini, chili and garlic will stay on your breath right through the ensuing show but stay in your heart forever.
Italian Street Kitchen
It isn’t in Leichhardt or Haberfield that you’ll find some of the city’s best southern Italian fare. No, no. It’s a skip over the bridge in Neutral Bay that restaurateur Mauro Marucci (of Baccomatto Osteria fame) is serving up an oven-baked semolina gnocchi doused in béchamel and Napolitana sauce, crispy on the top and pillowy through and through.
An oldie but a goodie, Il Baretto does a signature potato gnocchi with your choice of gorgonzola, arabiata, bolognese or pesto sauce. Just note that the gorgonzola is basically a calorific fondue of deliciousness.
The potato gnocchi with Napolitana sauce and fresh ricotta at this Balmain mainstay is just light enough to please the lunchtime crowd. Served hot or cold, this one can be gobbled on one of the milk crates lining the front of the store or taken away to savour later.
And now for dessert. This list of Sydney's best waffles is the only thing you'll need.