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Dining

He did it all for the gnocchi

Jim Begley tracks down spectacular local dishes highlighting the forgotten pasta

While most people are pandering for pappardelle or angling for agnolotti, we’ve been on the prowl for Las Vegas Valley spots with a knack for gnocchi. These thick, soft dumplings have surprising versatility, as we’ve discovered. Check out four brilliant gnocchi options from all over town.

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      Potato gnocchi with white truffle cream at N9NE Steakhouse

      A number of original dishes at this pre-club fixture remain unchanged, including its memorable side of gnocchi. These browned rectangles are awash in a white truffle sauce, striking a balance of hearty sustenance and subtle flavor. Even if you’re not facing a gauntlet of Red Bull vodkas late into the night, this dish is a solid base for wherever the evening takes you. $12. Palms, 933-9900.

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      Gnocchi with speck, peas, Parmesan cream sauce at Parma

      A seasonally changing menu ensures new experiences with each visit to this well-known Italian hot spot, but rest assured, there will always be gnocchi. Chef Marc Sgrizzi recently served his light morsels in a pink basil sauce with sweet peas, while a combo with speck and peas in a Parmesan cream sauce also has been an option. Flavorful but not overwhelming, his dishes are the epitome of balance. $18. 7591 W. Washington Ave #100, 233-6272.

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      Gnocchi with pesto cream sauce at Buon Gusto Ristorante

      With Big Apple memorabilia adorning the walls, a sense of Bronx pride exudes from this tiny-yet-comfortable Henderson spot, so it’s unsurprising Buon Gusto’s gnocchi are among the Valley’s best. Offered with your choice of tomato or pesto cream sauce, the dish is rich but not heavy. I suggest the pesto, an addictive and creamy concoction melding nuttiness and cheesiness with hints of garlic. $16. 2642 W. Horizon Ridge Parkway #A2, 407-6600.

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      Semolina gnocchi with bacon, peas and black truffle crema at Due Forni

      Most gnocchi are potato-based and prepared on a stove top. Due Forni famously has only two ovens in the kitchen, so instead of using potatoes, its gnocchi are semolina-based—a miniature, lighter version of the typically dense pasta, loosely shaped like footballs. Presented in a black truffle crema rife with Nueske’s bacon and peas and finished with ample shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano, the dish is packed with smoky flavors. $12. 3555 S. Town Center Drive #105, 586-6500.

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      Jim Begley

      Jim Begley is an avid food lover who began writing about his Las Vegas dining adventures to defray his obscene ...

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