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Don’t miss this delicious recipe for Baked Gnocchi with a rich tomato sauce, dollops of creamy ricotta and plenty of fresh spinach. Perfect for any occasion from a quick and easy weeknight meal to a memorable main course for company!
This may look like a plain old pan of marinara and cheesy goodness, but it’s so much more.
Cloves of fresh, sliced garlic are simmered in olive oil infusing tons of terrific flavor, and creating the base for the sauce. Crushed red pepper flakes and a bottle of passata (crushed tomatoes) round out the beginning of this amazingly easy meal. Spinach, gnocchi, ricotta, Parmesan and a little mozzarella complete the 3-cheese extravaganza! Baked in about 15 minutes, dinner is on the table and ready to be enjoyed by all.
We love potato gnocchi and can’t get enough of these pillowy little dumplings.
Gnocchi is a great addition to soups and stews and even meaty casseroles, or anywhere you might use potatoes. They’re even great sautéed with fresh herbs like sage and thyme then sprinkled with Parmesan just before serving. For this Baked Gnocchi recipe we cooked the dumplings according to package directions then baked them in the sauce for about 15 minutes.
Where can you find potato gnocchi?
Potato gnocchi is readily available in most grocery stores and cooks in about 5 minutes. You can find gnocchi in vacuumed sealed packages in the dry pasta section of the store, or in the refrigerator case, too. Our local grocery store sells both, and honestly I love using both varieties.
Dried gnocchi keeps well for longer storage and tastes about the same as fresh. The texture is slightly different with the fresh gnocchi being a little softer. Since this recipe calls for the gnocchi to be pre-cooked then baked in a sauce, I used the dried potato gnocchi for a firmer texture.
Whatever you use, grab a package of the best gnocchi you can find, or make your own homemade gnocchi using our easy recipe.
Bottled passata creates a wonderful, rich tomato sauce you’ll want to serve with all your favorite pastas!
Over the years passata has become one of my favorite Italian ingredients. It usually comes in a bottle or carton and is made by crushing raw tomatoes, then strained to remove the skins and seeds. Tomato passata has a fresh, clean taste and is a great base for soups, stews or casseroles. Canned tomato sauce is different from passata as it often has additional ingredients like onions and garlic and is cooked down to a concentrated sauce. Passata is bright and fresh with a clean flavor making it perfect for most tomato centric recipes.
Any occasion is the right time to make this dish.
It’s easy enough for a weeknight meal and luscious enough for company. Pure Italian comfort food and leftovers are great!
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Baked Tomato Gnocchi
- 1 (16-ounce) package gnocchi (see NOTES)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, sliced thin
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 (24-ounce) bottle passata (crushed tomatoes)
- ¼ cup cream
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves, packed, large stems removed
- 1 teaspoon fresh basil leaves, chopped
- fresh ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- ½ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese
- fresh parsley leaves, chopped for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Cook the gnocchi according to package directions (slightly undercooked is best). Rinse with cold water and set aside to drain.
- Heat an oven proof skillet over medium heat. Add the olive and garlic and heat until the garlic starts to sizzle and color slightly. Add the crushed red pepper flakes and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. Using a slotted spoon remove the garlic and discard, leaving the oil in the pan.
- Add the passata and cream to the skillet with the olive oil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and heat to a gentle simmer. Add the spinach and basil and stir until wilted. Remove from the heat. Add salt and pepper and check seasoning.
- Add the gnocchi and gently stir to coat. Spoon the ricotta into small mounds around the skillet the top with the grated Parmesan. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling.
- Remove from the oven and allow the dish to cool slightly. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.
- Use good quality refrigerated, dried or homemade Potato Gnocchi in this recipe. Click HERE for our easy homemade recipe and how-to-video for Potato Gnocchi.
- Adapted from a recipe by Donal Skehan
Finally, check out more of our favorite recipes using gnocchi!
With a silky, creamy broth, tender chunks of chicken, loads of fresh spinach and pillowy soft gnocchi, our Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup is comforting, easy to make and super satisfying! Click HERE to get the recipe for Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup.
I bet you’re going to love this comforting, filling and delicious Hearty Beef and Gnocchi Soup. Our chunky soup is worthy of an entire meal, especially when served with a hunk of crusty bread to sop up all the delicious broth! Click HERE to get the recipe for Hearty Beef and Gnocchi Soup.
Finally, don’t miss our recipe for Homemade Potato Gnocchi. Pillowy soft, delicious potato dough dumplings. If that description doesn’t grab you, maybe you’ll be enticed by how simple they are to make! Cooked like pasta and combined with your favorite sauce, this Italian staple is a must make right in your own kitchen. Click HERE to get the recipe for Homemade Potato Gnocchi.
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