The Secrets Behind Seven Of Perth’s Best Gnocchi Dishes

Gnocchi Si Paradiso
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There’s something special about a great gnocchi dish. It rides the line between rustic and refined, homely and cosmopolitan, simple and complex, taking whatever its paired with to exciting new places.

Ultimately, gnocchi has got to be one of Italy’s most delicious and versatile comfort foods. We searched high and low for Perth’s best gnocchi dishes, and chatted to the chefs and owners about what goes into creating the perfect bowl.

Gnocchi With Mushroom-Infused Masala Stock, Mascarpone, Truffle and Parmesan – Post

A staple of the iconic State Buildings, Post is one of Perth’s most renowned Italian eateries, and for good reason. The osteria features authentic Italian fair, accompanied by world class service and wine pairings, but in their kitchen lies their secret weapon. Resident pasta and gnocchi expert 84 year old Nonna Ada Scaffidi, who’s been helping to make and teach the art of handmade gnocchi for the past four years.

As the seasons change, so too does Post’s approach to the dishes sauce and garnishes. “[This season] we’re using the Mushroom Guy’s mushrooms. We make a mushroom masala stock, finished with a little mascarpone, truffle hill truffle, parmesan and parsley,’ says State Buildings Executive Chef and Post Head Chef Kim Brennan.

Putting the secret to making ‘pillowy’ gnocchi up to a blend of potato variety, cooking method and technique, it’s no secret that Post’s passion and attention to detail has paid enormous dividends when it comes to creating innovative and wholesome gnocchi dishes.

1 Cathedral Avenue, Perth

Pan Roasted Gnocchi, Blistered Tomatoes, Local Mushrooms, Brown Butter, Sage, Basil, Pangratto and Pecorino – Besk

A neighbourhood bar, kitchen and bottle shop – Besk really does have it all. The West Leederville eatery has been praised for its carefully selected list of local wines, beers and spirits, as well as a rotating seasonal menu that aims to ‘work modern cooking techniques into classic flavours and dishes.’

Sticking to his format of highlighting ‘three simple ingredients,’ Head Chef Tom Bidois has created a dish that is pure North Italian comfort. A rustic combination of pan roasted gnocchi, blistered vine tomatoes and locally grown mushrooms. Finished with a sprinkling of pangratto and freshly grated pecorino, this dish sure does hit different from the comfort of Besk’s dining room when it’s bucketing with rain and blowing a gale.

“I like classic flavours and with blistering [the tomatoes] it just gives that slight smokiness or char to the dish,” says Bidois. “We also use the Mushroom Guys’ King Oyster mushrooms which are fantastic. Not only do they taste great but visually they are amazing.”

Gnocchi, Besk

264/270 Railway Parade, West Leederville

Parisian Gnocchi, Brown Butter, Sage, Walnut, Aged Balsamic and Pecorino – Si Paradiso

From great vibes to world class eats, the team at Si Paradiso can really do no wrong. The Italo-Australian bar and eatery has become an essential stop when visiting the Highgate neighbourhood, thanks to their phenomenal woodfired pizzas, antipasti, pasta, beers, vino and Campari led cocktails.

With only ‘a small four burner stove’ and no conventional oven, Head Chef Paul Greenham turned to Parisian gnocchi − which doesn’t require potatoes nor rolling − as a means to make the most of the kitchen’s limitations. Greenham counts the collaboration with internationally renowned Chef Paul Bentley as a “big influence” on Si Paradiso’s menu, noting that every dish “has some touch of his in it”.

“I like to do a fair bit of experimenting with new ideas, recipes and concepts in the kitchen, and sometimes we get on to one that works really well,” says Greenham. “The garnish for the gnocchi will always follow the seasons. For me, walnuts, sage and beurre noisette are a great winter combination, and the aged balsamic and pecorino provide plenty of balance and bite.”

Si Paradiso Gnocchi

1/446 Beaufort Street, Highgate

Breakfast Gnocchi – Little H

Who said you couldn’t have gnocchi for breakfast? Little H sure didn’t. The popular northern suburbs cafe has been taking brunch dishes up into the stratosphere since opening back in 2017, but when it comes to their breakfast gnocchi, that approach is something else entirely. The mouth-watering dish consists of crispy ricotta gnocchi, spicy chorizo, mushrooms, spinach, parmesan and crowned with a perfectly cooked poached egg.

A dish that was born out of collaboration between Little H’s four senior chefs and owner Vanessa Cirillo, who says: “Being of Italian heritage, we wanted to introduce a pasta dish with a contemporary brunch twist…

“We adopt a collaborative approach whereby all of our chefs are empowered to share their experiences, ideas and concepts. This is how our breakfast gnocchi was brought to life.”

Breakfast Gnocchi, Little H

34 Marri Road, Duncraig

Gnocchi With Truffle and Porcini Mushrooms – Lupo Lab

Porcini mushrooms and truffle has got to be one of Italy’s greatest flavour combos, and as luck would have it, it’s the season for it! Inspired by the restaurants he grew up in, Lupo Lab owner Mirko Silvestri has been serving up authentic Roman cuisine from breakfast through to dinner for the past three years.

Praising his relationship with Lupo’s kitchen team, Silvestri counts the collaboration between himself, Head Chef Ivan Garegnani and Pasta Chef Christian Scaramuzza as responsible for the creation of one the eatery’s “most popular dishes”.

A stellar combination of soft handmade gnocchi and a creamy truffle and porcini sauce, Lupo Lab’s gnocchi is truly something special: “There’s no secret [to a great gnocchi dish], only experience and passion for what we do,” says Garegnani.

“[Our gnocchi] has the real taste of Italy, porcini and truffle are amongst the most iconic products growing in Italian soil.”

151-153 Scarborough Beach Road, Mount Hawthorn

Woodfired Ricotta Gnocchi in Napoli Sauce, Basil, Oregano and Fior di Latte. Gnochetti With Parmesan Fondue And Splendid Valley Truffle – Threecoins Italian Trattoria

Italian cuisine is at its best when it’s made with the same love and attention that Nonna would give to it, and this is certainly the case over at Threecoins in Mount Lawley. Run by the Trequattrini family, Threecoins has long prided itself on serving true regional Italian flavours with passion for both family and culture.

Aiming to provide the “simple done well,” Head Chef Francesco Trequattrini’s delicately hand-rolled gnocchi features freshly made ricotta from local cheese makers La Delizia Latticini − often delivered to the Trattoria still warm.

With truffle season well and truly upon us, Trequattrini is gracing us with not just one, but two, sensational gnocchi dishes that are sure to take your breath away.

“On the menu we regularly serve our woodfired gnocchi, but when truffle season kicks in it has
become a tradition for us to match it with our gnocchi,” says Trequattrini. “Cheese, truffle, and gnocchi is a staple of our Umbrian roots and we love to propose this dish to guests as a taste of our home.”

Gnocchi Threecoins

2/776 Beaufort Street, Mount Lawley

Gnocchi With Pumpkin, Hazelnut, Ricotta Salata And Brown Sage Butter – Lalla Rookh

Nestled beneath the busy streets of St George’s Terrace lies the perfect escape. A casual bar and eatery specialising in modern Italian cuisine, Lalla Rookh offers indoor and alfresco dining options complimented by an enoteca style wine bar curated by one of Australia’s top sommeliers: Jeremy

Helmed by Head Chef Calum MacKechnie, Lalla Rookh’s kitchen takes ‘great pride’ in what they do by “treating every ingredient with the respect it deserves.” The Italian eatery’s gnocchi is “built on a classic combination” of ingredients and flavours, with the goal of providing a unique culinary experience through complimentary and contrasting elements.

“We really loved [the gnocchi], but wanted people to appreciate everything individually,” says MacKechnie. “That’s why we cooked the gnocchi in brown butter, top it with house smoked ricotta, pipe on smooth pumpkin puree and finish it with roasted hazelnuts for a little texture. Crispy sage works
well for aesthetics but also adds that last little bit of flavour.”

77 St Georges Terrace, Perth

Ricotta Gnocchi With Warrigal Greens, Onion Sabayon and Fricassee Dressing – Hearth

Overlooking Elizabeth Quay from Perth’s prestigious Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Hearth is a stunning waterfront eatery prides itself on providing a uniquely West Australian dining experience, choosing to only utilise local Western Australian produce as well as the “the traditional skill of cooking over fire.”

Serving up a “non-traditional style of gnocchi,” Hearth incorporates grilled native warrigal greens into the dish, which add a subtle “smoky component” and compliments the dishes creamy elements. Balancing pillowy, “melt in the mouth” texture with a “rich and creamy” sauce, the team at Hearth have knocked it out of the park with a refined and decadent gnocchi dish that is perfectly balanced and uniquely West Australian.

“In the creation process, trial and error is everything,” says Sous Chef Brian Cole. “We continuously adapt our existing recipes and adjust components units we find that perfect balance. At Hearth, we focus on highlighting the finest seasonal produce and our personal take on gnocchi is a true celebration of this.”

Gnocchi At Hearth

1 Barrack Street, Perth

Header Image: Si Paradiso

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