Though I haven’t quite perfected the pronunciation of the word “gnocchi,” I am proud to say I have perfected the art of eating this delightful Italian dumpling that is part pasta, part potato.
Naturally, I couldn’t wait to try Trader Joe’s new take on gnocchi. This variation contains cauliflower in place of potato, because cauliflower is officially infiltrating everything from pizza crust to rice. Plus, Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi comes straight from the source — Italy, that is. Sold!
I’m already a fan of Trader Joe’s riced cauliflower, which is a healthy alternative to the grain. But could the gnocchi stand up to my lofty expectations of feather-light delights that melt in your mouth, yet defy physics and hold together in the pot and on the plate?
Step by Step
I followed the recommended preparation instructions and sautéed the gnocchi in a non-stick skillet. They look more like pebbles than pasta in the pan.
My stop watch clocked a total of 12 minutes from opening the bag to plating with minimal active effort in between. They went straight from the freezer into the pan. You could also opt to boil or microwave them, but it’s worth spending the extra few minutes to sautée.
For my first bite, I sampled an un-seasoned and un-sauced tidbit. Without other balancing flavors, the cauliflower is very strong. It is the first ingredient on the list after all. (Other ingredients are cassava flour, potato starch, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt.)
If you don’t like cauliflower these probably aren’t for you, as the flavor is quite prominent. For everyone else, this gnocchi has a light texture, pleasing mouthfeel and slight crisp exterior when sautéed. It boasts all the nutritious properties of its star ingredient.
Next, I discovered a bit of seasoning goes a long way. The package suggests topping the gnocchi with your favorite sauce or sprinkling with cheese. I opted for a little of both: lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, grated parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes.
Additionally, I tossed in some sautéed tofu, spinach and grape tomatoes to round out my vegetarian lunch. I didn’t track it, but I’m confident I gobbled up my bowl in less time than it took to finish cooking.
Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi don’t just have a light texture; they are also are a light alternative to pasta, seeing as they are 75 percent cauliflower. In each 140-calorie serving, you have three grams of fat (0.5 grams are saturated), 460 mg of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, six grams of dietary fiber and two grams of protein.
One package contains about 2.5 servings, though I think you could easily stretch to three by adding more veggies and protein to your plate. And even if you end up gobbling up the entire package solo, it’ll only set you back 330 calories.
Pasta lovers, it’s time to head to Trader Joe’s!