What do you think?
Credit: REDA&CO/Getty Images

The other day, I pulled together a collection of our 60 favorite fall pastas for you lovely readers. As I debated which dishes to include, I found myself questioining: Wait, is gnocchi pasta?

I always considered it a pasta because A.) it looks like pasta and is served similarely B.) it’s usually listed near pasta dishes on menus. But if something walks like a duck and talks like a duck, is it actually a duck? Turns out, the answer is no.

Pasta is typically made from wheat flour mixed with water and eggs. Since a gnocco (a single lump of gnocchi) is made primarily from potatoes, it’s technically a dumpling.

I turned to Katie Barreira, our test kitchen director, for further explanation.

“I would also put gnocchi in the dumpling camp from a culinary definition standpoint, but it is treated as a pasta—from how it’s cooked, to how it’s sauced, and where it lands on a menu,” Barreira says.

Moral of the story: No matter what it technically is or what you choose to mentally classify it as, gnocchi makes for a delicious, comforting, and wholly satisfying dish. Be sure to check out some of our favorite gnocchi recipes to enjoy it at home.