Many years ago, in the 6th century, Saint Pantaleon was invited to dinner by peasants. It is said that San Pantaleón, having eaten a plate of gnocchi (which was the food that was made at the end of the month for economic reasons) with the peasants, thanked them and wished them a good harvest, a prediction that came true. Since then, all 29 are used to eating gnocchi to be lucky the following month. This custom in Argentina, with the arrival of immigrants, took hold. So if you are in Argentina on a 29th day, you do not have to be surprised, wherever you go, from a simple restaurant to the exclusive restaurant, no matter the month, you will find these dumplings, or gnocchi, in many versions.
A tradition that they say was brought from Italy. It is said that San Pantaleón, after having eaten the gnocchi with the peasants, thanked them for their good harvest and as this wish came true, since then we eat the same dish every 29th of the month to remember the success. Another story tells that the immigrants ate gnocchi every June 29 to commemorate San Pedro and San Pablo, a habit that immigrants continued in Argentina.
Nowadays, if you find yourself in Argentina, maybe on the 29th, you don’t have to be surprised, wherever you go from the trattoria to the gastronomy, from the prestigious restaurant to the humble houses, gnocchi are eaten in all their versions. Here we leave you a recipe for cassava gnocchi that is very original and exquisite. Although there are also other versions of gnocchi such as potato, ricotta, spinach, sweet potato, cañllabaza, etc.
Maneca gnocchi recipe
Cassava or yucca is a plant that grows in the northeastern region of Argentina, as well as in Paraguay and Brazil. What you eat is its starch-rich roots. We can compare it to potato, cook in almost all the same recipes. But for the local populations who exploit it for centuries, it is more than important, because it almost becomes their bread.
Actually, cassava, in many Latin American countries, is still present on every table every day. Boiled, fried, accompanied by meat sauces is the quintessential contour and often as a unique dish.
Today’s recipe for gnocchi is cassava. A very popular dish, especially on the 29th of each month, when they are eaten by sliding a bill under the plate to wish households good luck to take effect next month.
Ingredients to make the cassava gnocchi:
• 1 kg. of cassava
• 1 egg
• 200 gr. flour (better if we use cassava starch)
• 1 teaspoon salt
Preparation of the cassava gnocchi:
Proceed as with potato gnocchi . To peel the manecaas an incision is made along the root removing the skin with the help of a knife with a round tip, as if you were peeling a candy, you will see that it will disappear easily. Boil the roots for 25 minutes in water and salt. Drain and puree, removing the filament that is inside the root. Add an egg, flour and salt. Knead, form the strips that are then cut into gnocchi. Pass along a fork to give the typical shape of the gnocchi. Boil in salty water, when they float, it means that they are cooked.
Season with meat sauce: sprinkle the onion and a piece of garlic cut well in oil, then add a cup of tomato paste. At the end of cooking add salt, pepper and chopped parsley.
Eat with the addition of Parmesan Reggiano. In Argentina, a cheese is produced that resembles the famous Italian Parmesan cheese that is ideal to accompany these gnocchi. You will notice that the flavor of the cassava is more intense and slightly sweeter than the potato.
And there’s more: anyone with a problem with gluten intolerance can use cassava starch as a great alternative to fresh pasta. Avoiding cheese is also suitable for those who cannot eat dairy as it has butter in the batter.
We just have to wish: Bon Appetit! And good luck.
Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.