Writer and photographer Monica Longenbaker
Whether planning for the holidays or a weeknight dinner, baked gnocchi is a great go-to meal. The soft, pillowy dumplings are tossed with luscious tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, then baked until the top is golden and caramelized. This comforting dinner is easy to assemble and a welcome addition to any table.
Yield: 4-6 servings
16-ounce package potato gnocchi
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup onions, chopped
28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
pinch of sugar
pinch of red pepper flakes
6 ounces baby spinach
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed ½-inch thick
grated Parmesan cheese to taste
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and sauté until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, sugar and red pepper flakes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Partially cover the pan with a lid and simmer for about 20 minutes over low heat.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil with a generous pinch of salt. Boil the gnocchi according to the package directions, about 3-5 minutes or until they float to the top. Drain the gnocchi and add to the tomato sauce. Stir in the baby spinach.
Once the spinach is just wilted, stir in the mozzarella cheese and transfer the mixture to a large baking dish (or four individual baking dishes). Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and the top is slightly golden brown.
Remove from the heat and top with grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.