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Trader Giotto’s (Trader Joe’s) Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina

Trader Joe's Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina

Gnocchi – a tasty dish, if not the most picturesque one.

Today we follow up mochi with gnocchi.

Our good friend, mysteriously ethnic Trader Giotto has show up again, and he has brought us Trader Joe’s Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina. As a well-meaning carb avoider, gnocchi is a relatively unknown dish to me, let alone gnocchi that has some rather daunting appellations appended to it. In layman’s terms, Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina, or Gnocchi in the style of Sorrento, is a baked potato gnocchi (or in this case, a semolina, durham wheat and potato gnocchi) served with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.

Gnocchi, with it’s silent “g”, non-standard pronunciation, and strong resemblance to grubs has always seemed to me a strange and forbidding pasta dish – nothing like that friendly old goof spaghetti and his wacky cousins (fettuccine, linguine – even that lumbering yokel zitti). I was doubly hesitant to give this gnocchi a chance because of it’s residency in the frozen food section. I’m willing to give even the most outlandish fusilli a chance, but as soon as your pasta needs to be frozen I start to get wary. This wariness was not much alleviated when I poured out the contents of the bag – the gnocchi were rock solid and the marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese came out as big frozen discs, almost as if slices of frozen salami had been tossed in with the pasta. It was therefor a complete shock and surprise when this stuff came out of the microwave hot, steaming and perfectly delicious.

The marinara and cheese sauce is pretty good – the tomato taste is rich, strong hints of basil are present throughout, and the cheese is present but not overwhelming. It’s a nice sauce and it serves the gnocchi well, but the star of the show is really the gnocchi itself.

A common problem with gnocchi, or any type of doughy lump, is that it’s easy to make them too dense, either by compressing the gnocchi too much, or simply getting the recipe wrong. Trader Joe’s Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina get the formula exactly right – the gnocchi are pillowy and pleasantly yielding without giving up body or heft. You can enjoy the hell out of these straight out of the bag, like I did, or dress it up with your own concoction of condiments and accoutrements. In fact, you should feel free to dress it up, as the bag of pasta and cheese somehow only clocks in at 510 calories for the entire one pound bag. That seems practically impossible, but is evidently true.

In any case this is a simple, cheap and easy to cook dish that could stand in for your kid’s Spaghetti O’s as easily as it could compliment your next bit of fine Italian cooking.

 


The Breakdown

Would I Recommend It: Absolutely, there really aren’t any downsides to this dish.

Would I Buy It Again: Even someone as afraid of carbs as myself might pick this up again.

Final Synopsis: Excellent gnocchi that are as good as they are easy to make.

Trader Joe's Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina - Nutrition Facts

Trader Joe’s Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina – Nutrition Facts

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6 Comments on “Trader Giotto’s (Trader Joe’s) Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina”

  1. Cheryl Zaccone says:

    I know y’all are not doing gluten – and I believe gnocchi is potato and no flour – someone at work had this the other day and said is the best she had.

    I can’t do tomato or cheese so I’ll have to pass but it sure sounds like a great frozen meal.

    • There are a variety of ways to make gnocchi, including flour varieties. In the ingredients for this gnocchi Trader Joe’s list both semolina and durham wheat along with potato.

  2. esssp says:

    i like this gnocchi, but only if i at least add some fresh basil and lots of grated parmesan to it. i’ve added sliced italian sausage as well – makes for a fairly good meal.

  3. esssp says:

    i like this gnocchi but only if i at least add fresh basil and lots of parmesan. i’ve added sliced italian sausage as well, and it makes for a pretty good meal when i don’t feel like cooking.

  4. abuidhe says:

    Looks like larvae in the photo!


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