Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Baked Creamy Tomato Gnocchi

With winter making an early appearance this year, I was craving something rich, creamy and soothing. I suddenly remembered a dish served in one of our local restaurants, which consists of gnocchi in a pink sauce, topped with mozzarella and then baked until the cheese is melted and bubbly.  This dish would be particularly great served to guests in individual serving dishes, but works well family style as well.

Because I was in a hurry, I used store-bought sugo rosa sauce for this, but I give here my usual recipe for pink sauce (which can also easily be used as regular tomato sauce by removing the cream). You can choose to use ready sauce if you want to save time.

Baked Creamy Tomato Gnocchi

Ingredients (for 3-4 portions): 

- 1/2 onion, finely diced. 
- 1-2 tsp of olive oil 
- 1 large can of crushed tomatoes (NOT tomato paste/tomato sauce/peeled tomatoes) 
- Seasoning: salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, chilli powder
- Herbs (optional): basil, oregano, parsley, fine chopped
- about 1/2 cup of light or heavy cream (or to taste) 
[You can replace all of the above with some prepared pink pasta sauce]

- 500 grams/1 lbs gnocchi - frozen or dry (you can use GF gnocchi for this).

- 1-2 handfuls of shredded mozzarella cheese


1. Set a pot of water boiling for the gnocchi. Preheat oven to 425 F/220 C, or prepare the broiler.
2. In a separate pot or deep pan, heat the olive oil and sautee the onion until soft and golden. Add the the crushed tomatoes. Season to taste with the spices. When the tomatoes are warmed through, add the herbs (if you are using them), and then stir in the cream. Use as much or as little cream as you like to get the right color of sauce to your liking). Remove from heat. 

3. Add the gnocchi to the boiling water. Cook according to instructions until they are ready (usually the gnocchi will float). Drain. Put the gnocchi back in the pot. Slowly begin adding some of the pink sauce to the gnocchi. Add  just enough to make sure that they are fully coated + a bit extra (but you don't want the dish to be very liquid). If you have sauce left over, just store it in the fridge in a sealed container and use within a few days. 

4. Spread the saucy gnocchi into an oven safe dish (ideally, one that is broiler-safe would be best, but you can make due without it). Sprinkle shredded mozzarella (as much or as little as you want) over the top of the dish. If you are using a broiler safe dish, place the dish under the broiler for a few minutes, until the cheese is golden and bubbly. If you do not have a broiler or an appropriate dish, bake the dish in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly (it won't get as lovely a golden-brown shade without a broiler). 

1 comment:

  1. That looks amazing. I made your lentil, spinach, sweet potato curry last night for the 4th time. We've also had winter suddenly appear and I think this may be one of the next OH&H recipes on my list.