Foodstuff: Gnocchi – Delverde Brand™

Gnocchi Delverde Brand 1

When I came across this pre-made, packaged Potato Gnocchi from Delverde I wasn’t aware that such products existed and I was rather surprised to eventually learn that they are actually quite common (albeit not in my part of the world). I am not a huge gnocchi fan, indeed I have probably made the potato variety no more than a dozen times, but this product intrigued me and I had to check it out…

Gnocchi Delverde Brand 2

Delverde is an Italian company and, as you can see, the package is labeled in both Italian and English. The company appears to produce quite a variety of Italian foodstuffs but, as far as I can recall, this is the only one I have come across thus far.

Another surprising feature of this particular product – to me at least – is that it is not sold in the freezer or cooler cabinet of the supermarket but is rather packaged and shelved for the dry-goods section. In this regard, it is rather like a dry pasta and the package simply directs you to store the unopened bag in a cool, dry place.

Gnocchi Delverde Brand 3

Here are a couple of the individual gnocchi (gnocchi, gnocchi?). They appear very much as the home-made article but the surface is dry almost to the point of being hardened. When pressed, however, there is a definite soft springiness at the center. I actually tasted one raw from the package and the experience, while not especially rewarding, was about what one would expect… The texture was fairly dry, albeit more chewy than crumbly, while the taste was faintly reminiscent of raw potato and very bland.

Gnocchi Delverde Brand 4

The cooking instructions on the package are terse and rudimentary to say the least. It is fairly obvious that the manufacturers want you to cook the gnocchi for 2 minutes in a large pot of what one assumes is water and I took a leap of faith in reading this to mean that one should boil the product much as one would dry pasta.

Gnocchi Delverde Brand 5

For my first test, I cooked the gnocchi strictly as directed. Here, you can see the pot after the recommended two minutes. I removed it from the heat to stop the bubbling and most of the steaming and, though it is still not easy to see, one individual dumpling is floating while the rest remain on the bottom. Normally, one cooks gnocchi until they float but I wanted to test the manufacturer’s recommendation and I removed one portion of them for the first dish right away…

Gnocchi Delverde Brand 6

I wanted to prepare the first batch of cooked gnocchi in a fairly simple way so as to best be able to judge the quality and I quickly sautéed them in butter with a little garlic; shredded sage and black pepper. I them served them right from the pan with a little Asiago cheese shredded on top. On the whole, the result was very nice (and this is a great recipe for gnocchi in general) but I found the gnocchi themselves to be slightly doughy, if not quite gluey, and somewhat short of the proper ‘al dente’ quality. I should point out, in all fairness, however, that my wife did not share my opinion and thought they turned out just fine…

Gnocchi Delverde Brand 7

I allowed the remaining gnocchi to all boil until they floated and then let them sit for another minute or so before fishing them out. At this stage, I found the texture to be better. As a test in an actual dish, I did something a bit more elaborate this time and I made what I suppose could be called an ‘Al Fredo-Caprese’ style Gnocchi. I put the dumplings into a simple cream sauce with chopped tomato and fresh basil and then topped it all with mozzarella, plus just a little Parmesan, and then baked it all until the cheese was melted and just beginning to brown.

Gnocchi Delverde Brand 8

Here you can see my creation dished out for service. As I mentioned, I don’t tend to get overly excited about gnocchi in general but my wife and I both thought this dish very enjoyable.

The Verdict

I have only had gnocchi in restaurants a few times and, even though those occasions were all a long time ago I think I can say that these commercially packaged ones are probably not quite as good. That being said though, I must be honest and say that, despite my best efforts at home, I haven’t managed to make anything better myself. If you really like gnocchi, even occasionally, and don’t really feel like going to the considerable effort of making them yourself, these are a pretty good choice…

5 thoughts on “Foodstuff: Gnocchi – Delverde Brand™”

  1. Delverde were the first gnocchi I ever tried. They are okay but more chewy than good homemade gnocchi can be. The trick is to use as little flour as possible to make them light and tender rather than rubbery.

      1. That’s a whole different ball game though. Have you ever tried gnocchi all’acqua (dough made in a similar way as eclairs)? It is much easier and quicker than potato gnocchi and quite similar in texture.

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