In Uruguay and Argentina, where the cuisine is strongly influenced by Italy, there is a curious tradition of unknown origin. It is believed that if you eat gnocchi on the 29th of each month, you’ll have plenty of cash for the next 30 days. Some people even place wallets on their laps or put a couple of bills under their plates to reinforce the unknown powers at work. Nothing is said about February … which has only 28 days except in Leap Years. Both restaurant chefs and housewives invent all kinds of recipes supposed to aid the spell. In our fourth cookbook, ‘Norman’s New World Kitchen’ we have a recipe that hails from South America that dresses hot gnocchi in a Manchego cheese enriched cream sauce. Naturally we titled it, “Gnocchi for the 29th of the Month”. No need to embellish when history herself supplies the tools. South America has many immigrants from Italy. Gnocchi translates from the Italian where it means, ‘little dumplings’. Regional variations add potato, squash, etc to the recipes. From Rome potato gnocchi are very popular. Gnocchi made with squash are the style to expect in Lombardy and Veneto; bread gnocchi and spinach gnocchi are enjoyed in southern Italy.
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