Elevate Store-Bought Gnocchi With Sweet And Savory Caramelized Onions

If you have ever cooked homemade pasta, you know that — while rewarding — doing so can be a time and effort-intensive process. From making and rolling the dough to cutting and shaping the noodles, sometimes you just don't want to go through the fuss. The same goes for making gnocchi, the simple yet delicious cousin to traditional pasta. Luckily, store-bought gnocchi is often available alongside boxed spaghetti and farfalle, and can easily be transformed into a restaurant-quality dish with a little bit of help from some extra ingredients. To truly enhance your store-bought gnocchi, we recommend topping them off with one of our favorite additions: caramelized onions.

Gnocchi has a fairly neutral flavor and a pillowy, doughy texture that will act as the backdrop for many different flavor combinations. As such, caramelized onions can do a lot to make the dish shine. The onions offer a gorgeous, deep brown color, a versatile, sweet and umami taste, and a jammy texture that easily becomes saucy with the addition of pasta water or cheese. All of these traits come together to create quite the layered and luxurious eating experience, and best of all, the onions play along with such a wide variety of other ingredients that you can add them to almost any gnocchi combination imaginable.

How best to incorporate caramelized onions into gnocchi

Foolproof caramelized onions begin with careful onion selection and slicing. While any kind of onion may be caramelized, yellow onions in particular tend to deliver consistent and high-quality results. Cut your onion into thin slices, but not paper-thin, as this will increase the likelihood that they will burn. Finally, cook them slow and low with some oil or butter until they are dark, soft, and fragrant. Remember to be patient — our top tip for caramelizing onions is that there is no way to rush the process; you simply have to watch and wait.

Once the onions are done, there are countless ways to mix and match their flavor to create unique and convenient store-bought gnocchi dishes. If you like things to be on the sweeter side, try stirring them into the gnocchi along with roasted pear and gorgonzola cheese or enhancing their caramel notes with some tangy balsamic vinegar. For a savory twist, serve them up alongside some mushrooms, garlic, and thyme, or create a gooey French-onion-soup-inspired gnocchi by covering the whole thing in gruyere cheese. Regardless of what you add, your gnocchi is sure to be brought to the next level with the aromatic and flavor-packed presence of these easy onions.