The traditional sweet gnocchi from Friuli Venezia Giulia
If I were to associate the Plum Gnocchi traditional recipe with a city in Friuli Venezia Giulia, it would be Gorizia.
Gorizia, located in the eastern part of the region on the border with Slovenia, more than all the capitals of Friuli Venezia Giulia, encompasses Italian traditions, Habsburg aesthetics, and Slovenian influences. Exactly like the Plum Gnocchi recipe.
I also associate Gorizia with this traditional recipe because it is precisely there that, as a teenager, I ate plenty of gnocchi, during the Gusti di Frontiera food and wine event.
Today Plum Gnocchi have become a delicious recipe that I cook both as a first course and a dessert, just like Cjarsons.
Plum Gnocchi are a traditional recipe from Friuli Venezia Giulia. The gnocchi’s pasta, made with potatoes, flour, and eggs, wraps half a plum filled with breadcrumbs, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon.
They are served with melted butter and a sprinkling of filling’s grain.
The history of the Plum Gnocchi traditional recipe
The traditional recipe of Plum Gnocchi is written in the cookbooks of all the families in the area that goes from Gorizia to Trieste, but their origin is Bohemian.
This type of gnocchi arrived in Friuli Venezia Giulia with the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the beginning of the 20th century, in the form of Marillenknödel, sweet gnocchi filled with apricots. Once here, apricots were soon replaced by plums, which are more present in our orchards.
The first written sign of the Plum Dumplings traditional recipe dates back to 1927 in the book La Cucina Triestina by Maria Stelvio.
When do we eat Plum Gnocchi
We eat Plum gnocchi between the end of August and mid-October when the smallest and sweetest plums ripen. In fact, you can make them as long as you find the plums at the market.
Are Plum Gnocchi a first course or a dessert?
Many traditional recipes from Friuli Venezia Giulia can leave you with this dilemma. Plum Gnocchi can be used both as a first course and as a dessert.
Keep in mind that Plum Gnocchi are a fairly substantial dish so calibrate the quantities based on when you decide to serve them.
If you eat them as a first course, consider 2/3 pieces each. You can replace the traditional condiment based on melted butter and chopped breadcrumbs, cinnamon, and sugar with a more salty one with melted butter, sage leaves, and diced speck, previously browned.
If, on the other hand, you cook them as a dessert, 1/2 pieces each may be enough. In this case, stick to the traditional dressing, rich in sugar and cinnamon.
Plum Gnocchi ingredients
With these doses, you will be able to prepare 16 gnocchi.
Ingredients for the gnocchi
- 350/380 gr. of white potatoes
- 1 egg
- 250 grams of flour + a couple of tablespoons
- 60 gr of melted butter
Ingredients for the filling
- 8 plums
- 3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
- 35 grams of granulated sugar
- 20 gr of butter
- ground cinnamon to taste
Ingredients for the dressing
- Bread crumbs
- Brown sugar
- Melted butter
Plum Gnocchi Method
As a first thing, boil the potatoes in their skins for about 30 minutes. Once ready, peel them immediately and mash them. Let them cool.
When the potatoes are cold you can make the pasta for the plum gnocchi. Mix the mashed potatoes with the egg, the melted butter, and 3 pinches of salt and flour. Start with the 250 grams indicated by the recipe, and add the extra spoons only if you feel the dough is too wet.
Meanwhile, cut the plums in half and remove the stone. In a pan, melt the butter and toast the breadcrumbs with the sugar and cinnamon until you get thin granola.
Shape the dough into balls and flatten them until you get disks. In the center place half a plum and fill the pit’s groove with the granola. Wrap the disc of dough around the plum until it is sealed.
Cook the Gnocchi in boiling salted water. The gnocchi are ready when they rise to the surface, in about 5/8 minutes depending on the size.
Serve the Plum Gnocchi piping hot and season them with melted butter, a sprinkle of grains, and cinnamon to taste.
How to preserve plum gnocchi
If you do not want to eat Plum Gnocchi immediately, you can freeze them raw and store them in the freezer for 2/3 months.
To cook them, dip them still frozen in boiling water. Cooking times will be extended by a few minutes.
Two more things you don’t know about Plum Gnocchi
- Plum gnocchi are also typical of the Val Canale, the valley in the northeast corner of Friuli Venezia Giulia that goes from Pontebba to Coccau. In this area, they are called Gnocchi with Brundui.
- In Trieste, it is said that a boy becomes a man only when he can eat more Plum Gnocchi than his father.