I really have no idea how to pronounce the name of this pasta about from knowing that it is called "Knockee" phonetically sort of, but what I do know is that it is amazingly tasty. My husband and I travelled to Italy a few years ago and had the most amazing Ghocci pasta there. I had never had it before and it was just like heaven on a plate so I looked into making some of my own when I got home. By making it on my own, I mean buying a ready made pack from the supermarket and heating it up, but hey, at least the thought was there to make a proper Italian dish from scratch.
So, what exactly is ghocci? Well, according to an article I read, "ghocci are various thick, soft pastas that may be made from semolina, ordinary wheat flour, flour and egg, flour, egg, and cheese, potato, breadcrumbs, or similar ingredients." I have heard them described as dumplings by some as they are small, round and thick, but they are not doughy, they have a thick pasta taste. They are thick and chewy which I love as I love that thick pasta taste but they are not heavy or tough, they can be lovely and light and a perfect dish in my opinion.
De Cecco is a very familiar brand of pasta and I can always find it in my local supermarket which is great. It comes in a familiar blue packaging with yellow trim and a picture of an Italian lady in a field collecting wheat on the top of the packaging. I believe they make good products and as they have been around since 1886 it's definitely a brand that have stood the test of time. According to their website, " Since 1886 we have liked our pasta to be bronze drawn and slowly dried because we like it to fall into the plate full of taste, rough and always "al dente". Even though our taste has not changed, as we feel the same love for tradition, we have continued to improve our production technologies.
Usually ghocci is served as a starter in Italy but I make mine as a main course and what I love about it and this brand is the simplicity. This ghocci is extremely easy to make and I think therein lies the simplicity in flavour and taste. In order to make this pasta all you need to do is add them to a pot of well salted boiling water. As soon as they float to the top, (a couple of minutes top) and then they are done. I usually just grate some cheese over the top and let it melt a bit before I eat it, heaven in a bowl! While the ghocci I make is nowhere near as good at the fresh, authentic pasta we had in Italy, I feel this is a really good brand and very tasty
I have bought De Cecco gnocchi di patate (italian potato dumplings) many times as I love italian food, and gnocchi can be cooked in minutes so is a great snack to have in a hurry.
Gnocchi di patate are like a very chunky version of pasta but are made from potatoes as well as flour. These De Cecco gnocchi di patate are solid, chunky oval pieces around 20mm x 15mm x 8mm in size. Like pasta, they haven't got masses of flavour on their own but go very well with a sauce or just some butter and garlic (yum). They have got quite a firm texture and are very filling.
The usual way of cooking is to boil them and they take around 3 minutes so are perfect if you're in a rush. We often dry-fry them in a frying pan instead which is really yummy - they are rather like mini roast potatoes when cooked in this way and again take 5 minutes or less to cook (if you add oil, they don't seem to brown so avoid adding oil).
De Cecco is a quality brand so you know you're buying good food. A 500g pack is quite big so will serve 3-4 as an accompaniment. If you don't eat the whole pack in one sitting, just pop the uncooked ones in the fridge and they will keep for a couple of days.
I brought these Gnocchi pasta shells the other week because Tesco had the De Cecco range of pasta on special offer 2 packs for £2.00 and that's quite a good saving because the usual price is £1.49 a pack.
Gnocchi are shaped like shells and are wicked with a chunky sauce because the shell will collect it and you get a delish mix of pasta and sauce.
De Cecco is one of the nicest brands of pasta I've eaten lately. Before it has been cooked the pasta looks proper nice and loads fresher than the cheaper pasta shapes I usually buy. It takes about 10 mins in boiling water to cook so that it's still got a bit of bite but you can cook it for longer for a softer pasta.
This is durum wheat semolina pasta and it tastes brill quality, I had mine the other night with a plain tomato and herb sauce and it come out wicked. The chunks of tomato had got stuck inside the pasta shells and it was a majorly filling meal that tasted dead fresh and like I'd spent longer getting it ready than the 10 mins that the pasta took to cook!
I had these plain as well with a bit of cheese grated over and they was nice but the shape of the pasta isn't that good for eating them on their own because the actual pasta is thin even though the shells are quite big. I just wasn't mad keen on the feel of them in my mouth when I ate a bowl of the shells with no sauce.
I'll deffo buy De Cecco pasta again because it's loads better quality than the supermarket brands I usually buy. I'm not sure if I'll buy the Gnocchi shapes again because even though they're nice with a chunky sauce I really need a shape that is more versatile like that because I eat pasta quite a lot in all different ways.
Recommended.... De Cecco pasta is delish but if you try it I recommend the Fusilli instead of these shells!