What Is An Italian Dumpling Called?

Italian cuisine is famous all over the world, and pasta and pizza are perhaps the most well-known Italian dishes. But there’s another popular Italian food that’s just as delicious and versatile: dumplings! Often served with hearty stews, rich tomato sauces, or even as a side dish, Italian dumplings come in many varieties and styles, each with its unique taste and texture.

If you’ve ever wondered what these little balls of goodness are called, you’re not alone. Italian dumplings are known by different names in different regions of the country and can be made with wheat flour, semolina, polenta, or potatoes. Some are boiled, while others are fried or baked. In this article, we’ll explore the many types of Italian dumplings, their names, and how to make them.

Key Takeaway
An Italian dumpling is called a “gnocchi”. These pasta-like dumplings are made from potatoes, flour, and egg and are commonly served in a variety of sauces such as tomato sauce, pesto, or brown butter and sage. Gnocchi are a staple in Italian cuisine and are often enjoyed as a hearty main or side dish.

The Origin and History of Italian Dumplings

Italian cuisine is a diverse and rich fusion of regional traditions and cultural influences. Dumplings, or gnocchi, as they are called in Italy, are a delicious and popular Italian dish. Gnocchi, in Italian, means “dumplings.” These small lumps of dough made with potatoes, semolina flour, or wheat flour have been a part of Italian cuisine for centuries.

The history of gnocchi can be traced back to ancient Roman times, where a dish similar to modern-day gnocchi was made using semolina flour and water. The dish evolved over centuries as different ingredients were introduced into the recipe, such as potatoes in the 16th century. Today, gnocchi is a beloved Italian dish that can be served with various sauces, such as tomato, pesto, or creamy cheese sauce. It is a staple dish that reflects the history and traditions of Italian cuisine.

Types of Italian Dumplings and their Varieties

Italian cuisine is known for its deliciously fun and flavourful dumplings. There are several different types of Italian dumplings, all with their distinct shape and ingredients. One of the most popular types is the gnocchi, a doughy dumpling made with potatoes, flour, and eggs. It is then boiled and served with a variety of sauces and toppings, including tomato sauce and cheese.

Another popular Italian dumpling is the ravioli, made from a stuffed pasta. The stuffing can vary, but commonly it includes cheese, spinach, or meat fillings. Raviolis can be served with a variety of sauces, including tomato sauce, pesto, or creamy sauces. Other types of Italian dumplings include tortellini, cappelletti, and agnolotti. Each of these dumplings has a unique shape and filling and is served in different ways, making Italian cuisine rich in diverse dumpling options.

The Popular Italian Dumpling Dishes and Recipes

The popular Italian dumpling dishes are a delight to the taste buds. They are a staple in the Italian food culture and can be found on menus in Italian restaurants worldwide. The most popular Italian dumpling dishes are gnocchi, which is made from potatoes, flour, and eggs. This soft and chewy dumpling can be served with tomato sauce, pesto, or creamy sauce. Another popular dish is ricotta gnocchi, which is made from a mix of ricotta cheese, eggs, and flour. This dish is lighter and creamier than the traditional gnocchi and is often served with tomato sauce or a combination of grated cheese and unsalted butter.

Other Italian dumpling recipes include the elusive Sardinian dish, malloreddus. This dumpling is made from semolina flour, water, and saffron and is cooked in a tomato or meat sauce. Another is the Tuscan dish, pici, which is a type of hand-rolled pasta with a thick and chewy texture. Pici is often paired with a ragu or a tomato and garlic sauce. Italian dumplings are versatile and have many variations, making them a classic and comforting choice for any meal.

Regional Differences in Italian Dumpling Traditions

When it comes to Italian dumplings, there are numerous regional differences in the way they are made and served. For instance, in Northern Italy, a type of dumpling called canederli is popular. These dumplings are made using stale bread and mixed with cured meats, herbs, and cheese. They are typically served in soup and are considered a hearty meal.

In Central Italy, gnocchi is a popular type of dumpling that is made using potatoes, flour, and eggs. They are typically served with tomato sauce, sausage, or pesto. In Southern Italy, a type of dumpling called strascinati is popular. These are made using flour and water and are similar to cavatelli. They are typically served with a tomato or meat sauce. Overall, Italian dumpling traditions differ greatly depending on where you are in the country, and each region has its specialty.

Serving Suggestions for Italian Dumplings

Serving suggestions for Italian dumplings are quite varied, ranging from simple sauces to more complex dishes. Some popular ways to serve Italian dumplings include adding a tomato sauce, pesto sauce, or meat sauce. Additionally, they can be served with cheese, such as Parmesan, or with a butter and sage sauce. One of the most popular accompaniments for Italian dumplings is a tomato-based sauce, which has the advantage of being easy to make and wonderfully delicious.

If you’re looking for something a little more complex, you can try making a ragu with minced meat, tomato, and onion, or you can add some cream and mushrooms to create a rich and indulgent meal. Alternatively, you can bake the dumplings in a casserole dish with a tomato, meat or vegetable sauce, and some mozzarella cheese. Finally, you can even serve Italian dumplings alongside your favorite soup or stew. Overall, the right serving suggestion will depend on your personal preference, so feel free to experiment with different ideas until you find the perfect combination that suits you.

The Nutritional Value of Italian Dumplings

Italian dumplings are a delectable dish that can be eaten either as a side dish or a main course. They are made by blending flour, eggs, and cheese to make a dough, which is then cut into small pieces and boiled until cooked. The nutritional value of Italian dumplings depends on the ingredients used in their preparation.

In general, Italian dumplings are a good source of carbohydrates, which are essential for providing energy to the body. They are also rich in protein, depending on the type of cheese used. Parmesan cheese, for example, is a good source of protein, which is essential for muscle health and growth. Italian dumplings can provide some necessary vitamins and minerals if made with spinach or other greens. Overall, Italian dumplings are a filling dish that can provide a good amount of energy and nutrition to individuals of all ages.

Tips for Making Perfect Italian Dumplings at Home

Making Italian dumplings at home can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it can also be challenging. Here are some tips to help you make perfect Italian dumplings at home.

1. Don’t Overwork the Dough: When making Italian dumplings, it’s important not to overwork the dough. Overworking the dough can make it tough and dense, which is not what you want in a dumpling. Work the dough just enough so that it comes together, and then stop.

2. Use the Right Flour: The type of flour you use can make a big difference in the texture and flavor of your Italian dumplings. For the best results, use a finely ground durum wheat flour, also known as semolina flour. This flour is high in protein and creates a chewy texture that is perfect for dumplings. If you can’t find semolina flour, you can use a combination of all-purpose flour and semolina flour, or all-purpose flour and cornmeal. Just make sure to adjust the amounts of flour accordingly.


There are many types of Italian dumplings, but the most well-known is likely gnocchi. Gnocchi is made from potatoes and flour, and it can be served with a variety of sauces or toppings. It’s a delicious and comforting dish that’s perfect for a chilly evening.

Whether you’re a fan of gnocchi or prefer another type of Italian dumpling, it’s clear that these little pillows of goodness hold a special place in Italian cuisine. From traditional family recipes to restaurant creations, there’s no shortage of options for those looking to indulge in the comfort and flavor of Italian dumplings.

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