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There are a thousand versions of gnocchi: with potatoes, with pumpkin, with chestnut flour, with spinach and I could go on but better stop here … you would be bored. The one I write in the book is Grandma’s, the easiest and fastest recipe you will ever find.

In truth, perhaps they are not even real gnocchi, they look more like cavatelli and have a different consistency from the typical gnocchi with potatoes because they are more tenacious; but in my house these were the gnocchi and it was not Saturday without them at the table; they were seasoned with a rich tomato sauce based on pork ribs.


1 kg of re-milled semolina flour

10 gr of lard (you can replace with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil)

700 ml of boiling water

1 pinch of salt


700 gr of pork ribs

Extra virgin olive oil

4 cans of San Marzano tomatoes


Start by preparing the sauce.

In a saucepan, heat the oil and brown the pork ribs on all sides. When they are golden brown, add the tomato that you have first passed or crushed.

Add salt, cover and bring to a boil over high heat then lower the heat and cook slowly for 2/3 hours, stirring often.

Now let’s prepare the gnocchi: put the flour in a large bowl, add the lard or oil and add the boiling water all at once. With the help of a wooden spoon, mix quickly (use the mixer if you have one). When the dough reaches a temperature that allows you to touch it, turn it over on the pastry board and start kneading it with your hands. When the dough is nice and compact, cover it with a damp cloth and let it rest for 20 minutes. After this time, take a 2 cm thick slice from the dough, cut it in half and roll each half on itself forming 1 cm diameter cords. Cut into 2 cm pieces and hollow them with the help of your thumb. Continue like this until the dough is used up. Cover the gnocchi with a damp cloth to prevent them from drying out and in the meantime bring the water to a boil for cooking the pasta. When the water boils, add salt and lower the gnocchi. When they resume the boil they will begin to rise to the surface, when all are on the surface let it cook for another 5 minutes and drain. Dress them with the pork ribs sauce and serve with plenty of grated pecorino romano or parmesan and obviously the ribs.

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