gnocchi (this is a plural: the singular is gnocco) are a kind of Italian dumpling (not pasta). They are made like this:

  1. flour is mixed with mashed boiled potatoes
  2. about a thimbleful is pinched off
  3. said thimbleful is shaped using a fork
  4. the gnocco is set on a floured board (without flour it will stick and self-destroy)
  5. 2-3-4 are repeated until every surface in your kitchen is covered with orderly rows of gnocchi
  6. notice the conspicuous absence of eggs and fat.

gnocchi are cooked by dropping a handful of them in boiling water; as soon as they float, fish them out with a slotted spoon (or maybe a spider), and drop them (carefully because they are fragile) in a turreen.

Canonically, gnocchi are served with:
  1. tomato sauce
  2. melted butter and Parmigiano
  3. sage fried in butter until crisp and Parmigiano

If you serve gnocchi with pesto don't tell me, because I will track you down and have you fried, or maybe roasted, by angry Italian grandmothers.

Pronunciation: the gn group sounds like ñ in Spanish. Think you are Mexican, and say "Ñok ko". There you have it, I knew you could do it.

This is the short compact version; if you want the complete story, do read sneff's wonderful (and professional) writeup.