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Gnocchi vs Pasta – What’s The Difference?

Norah Clark
Bowl of gnocchi with mozzerella, fresh herbs and tomato sauce.

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, Editor of Boyd Hampers! Norah is a food writer with over a decade of experience in hospitality as a pastry chef, sous chef, and barista; former chef at the Savoy Hotel, Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons and Plaza Hotel.

What’s the difference between pasta and gnocchi? Gnocchi is prepared using eggs, flour, potatoes and, sometimes, cheese. Pasta is traditionally prepared using rice flour, water and wheat. Gnocchi is made into tiny solid dumplings. However, pasta can be rolled into different shapes like lengthy noodles, shells or bowties.

I loved making pasta and gnocchi when I worked in a restaurant’s kitchen! The process of making each dish was so different, but both were so rewarding in their own way. My favorite part about making pasta was the satisfaction of rolling out the dough and seeing it transform into something beautiful. With gnocchi, I loved how each little dumpling was like a piece of art!

Pasta is among those meals that are likely to become addictive. It’s delicious, and you can cook in numerous ways from making your own sauce to pasta dishes and casseroles. There are endless options.

Many people believe that gnocchi is pasta, but they are totally different, although they’re both used in similar ways and are often substituted. If you’re an avid pasta eater and want to try it, you must try Gnocchi!

This guide will look at classic gnocchi and pasta breakdown. We will go through gnocchi first, and then pasta, and finally join in an easy overview to fully understand the differences between them both.

The Difference Between Gnocchi and Pasta

If you’re trying to differentiate between pasta and gnocchi, the most important thing to remember is that they’re made using different ingredients.

What is Gnocchi?

Gnocchi is very similar to pasta, and can even be described as an alternative to pasta. But, it’s not made using traditional pasta ingredients.

These are a small and dense combination that resemble mini dumplings.

They’re a little heavier than regular pasta, however, they are typically used as pasta.

If you’re looking for an gluten-free or healthier pasta alternative, gnocchi is an excellent option.

Gnocchi isn’t a low-carb pasta substitute. It’s rich in carbohydrates, however, it’s got plenty of nutrients.

The main ingredient in gnocchi is potatoes. It is prepared together with wheat flour, eggs and cheese, cornmeal and perhaps breadcrumbs.

There are plenty of recipes available that can be used to create homemade Gnocchi. The gnocchi are tiny and bite-sized

What is Pasta?

Contrary to gnocchi, pasta is made primarily from flour (wheat flour, in particular) which is formed into a dough using eggs and water. It is then cut or shaped according to requirements.

However, the the amount of flour can be off-putting for those who are gluten-intolerant.

Gnocchi can be a suitable alternative in these situations, as it is made with rice-flour.

Pasta usually comes specific shapes or forms. 

Pasta can be prepared in a variety of ways and then served alongside a range of sauces as can Gnocchi.

Pasta isn’t as dense as gnocchi and the taste and texture is different. 

Similar to gnocchi, different flavors and herbs can add to the pasta as it is being made. 

Frequently Asked Questions?

Are gnocchi and dumplings the same?

When you cook gnocchi, it looks like tiny dumplings, but the ingredients in dumplings are much more like pasta. 

Is Gnocchi also an Italian food?

Gnocchi is an Italian food which is not as popular as pasta. 

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