When I was younger my parents required that the entire family be together at dinner time. We talked about our day or chatted about whatever we wanted. As a kid, I just saw it as family time, but now I realize how important that time was to connect with one another. Now as a married woman, I’ve kept the same tradition going. No matter how busy we may get, my husband and I always know that we have dinnertime to together and that makes us happy. We may have deep philosophical conversations or talk about the weather or anything in between. There’s something about family dinnertime that makes even the busiest of bees slow down.
Yesterday my husband and I enjoyed each other’s company over dinner while eating this delicious gnocchi with a tomato basil sauce and covered in mozzarella cheese.
Tomato Basil Baked Gnocchi Recipe
(About 4 servings)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (divided per the directions)
- 1 package (about 17.5 ounces) gnocchi
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped (roughly one small onion)
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
- In a large skillet, on Medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of oil.
- Add in the gnocchi, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.
- Transfer the gnocchi to a plate.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet you just used for the gnocchi.
- Add in the chopped onion and cook it until soft.
- Stir in the minced garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Stir in the crushed tomatoes, water, salt, and pepper, and cook for about 10 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened.
- Reduce the heat to Low, stir in the chopped basil and gnocchi, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until the gnocchi is tender.
- Pour the gnocchi mixture into an 8 x 8 baking dish.
- Lay the mozzarella cheese slices on top of the gnocchi mixture.
- Bake it until the cheese is browned. It took about 10 minutes in my oven.
Toasted gnocchi tastes awesome. What? I had to test to it… You try holding back. 😉
The sauce is a very simple tomato based sauce. It will start off thin, but it thickens up a bit in short order.
Add the browned gnocchi and fresh basil once the sauce has thickened and stir it all up.
Mmm, fresh mozzarella. It really tastes better than non-fresh mozzarella cheese. (Of course, any mozzarella cheese will work if you don’t like or have the fresh stuff.) Do you know what’s better than fresh mozzarella cheese?
Toasty roasty fresh mozzarella cheese!
Look at that puff of steam! Sure you could use pasta in this dish, but why use pasta, when you can have gnocchi! Gnocchi is a variety of soft and chewy pasta. It can be made from bunches of different things. The kind I used was potato and cheese (yes, we are still talking about pasta here) and they were delish. They remind me of small dumplings more than pasta, but you don’t see me complaining.
In general I tend to prefer my pasta lightly sauced and my husband prefers his to look a bit more like a tomato lake. This recipe makes a small lake of sauce so make sure you have some fresh bread handy to sop it all up. 🙂
How do you spend your dinnertime?
Adapted from: America’s Test Kitchen: The Best Simple Recipes
Here are some other great recipe from America’s Test Kitchen.
We always had family dinnertime as a kid too – I’m pretty sure during my teenage years I hated it but looking back I’m so glad my mom and dad insisted we do it! This baked gnocchi looks soooo good – simple yet perfect – my favorite kind of meal!
Sounds like we come from similar backgrounds. 🙂 I don’t eat gnocchi often but after making this dish I think that needs to change. 😉
Looks yummy and cheesy!
So sweet that you guys eat together! Growing up my family was only ever able to eat together on Friday nights because with 4 kids my parents were pretty much always shuttling us around somewhere. I do have wonderful memories of our friday night dinners though and my bf and I are trying to make it a tradition in our home.
I love family traditions. 🙂
This looks so good, Tina! Love the puff of smoke. I really must get some gnocchi.
Thanks so much!
We always had dinner together when I was growing up too – it is such nice thing to do for the family! Unfortunately my husband usually works later than me, but we do try to eat together when we can! This gnocchi looks so awesome. I love gnocchi, and I LOVE tomato basil sauce.
Thanks Cate. 🙂
This looks SO good! I love that you browned the gnocchi, I’ve never done that before. That is so nice to have family traditions like that, especially nice that you keep them going with your husband. Makes me think my husband and I need to stop eating dinner in front of the tv so much and so more talking!
It really is so good. We finished the leftovers yesterday and I’m already craving it again. 🙂
I think dinner time together is so important! I recently had us start eating dinner at the table with no TV and I have loved it so much. A great time to talk and connect. Plus, you really get to enjoy the food. I loved this baked gnocchi! Sounds delicious!
Agreed. 🙂 Thanks Natalie!
I am absolutely loving this baked gnocchi idea. I’ve never done it, and I’ve seen it popped up all over the place! This looks absolutely delicious, and the perfect hearty meal for a weeknight! Pinned!
Thanks so much! 🙂
This looks so ooey, gooey and cheesy. Yum! We love having dinner together too – it’s such a nice tradition to have!
Tina, this looks so cheesy and delicious! I love that you toasted the gnocchi before adding to the sauce. I bet that adds a lot of flavor. I’m Pinning and making this week!!
Awesome! Thanks so much for pinning. 🙂 I hope you love it just as much as I do.
I’m a huge fan of gnocchi but have never toasted it….trying that ASAP! Also – love this dish. It looks cheesy and delicious 🙂
Awesome! I hope you love it as much as I do. I appreciate you stopping by. 🙂
It’s been such a long time since I’v head gnocchi. It’s time I have some again. Lovely recipe.
This dish has gotten me on a gnocchi kick now! 🙂
Dinner is the time to regroup after a long day and just talk! Good food makes that really easy 🙂 I’m telling you, red sauce is in your blood, Tina! You make the BEST red sauce pasta dishes! Pinned!
Hehe…well, I’m half Italian so that actually does make sense. Thank you for your sweet compliments. 🙂 And thanks for pinning!
This looks so so appetizing, Tina, with all that beautiful oozy mozzarella on top. And I love that you toasted the gnocchi first. I’ve tried that before but haven’t then put it into a lovely bake like this before. Will definitely have to try that.
Love your philosophy on dinner time, too. Precious moments!
Thanks Helen! Precious moments indeed. 🙂
Hahaha a tomato lake. Love it. I never thought of making like a gnocchi parmigiana like this before. Looks so comforting and delicious!
My hubby corned the phrase “tomato lake.” Hehe. He’s very witty. 🙂
Tina, this looks unbelievably good! I mean, anything smothered in cheese and pasta sauce has to be awesome 🙂 And I love that gnocchi are hidden beneath all that good stuff!
Thank you! I totally agree. 🙂
This looks super delicious! Gnocci is a favorite of mine, but not my husband. I know he’d love it this way though:)
My husband isn’t a fan of gnocci either! But he did love them drowned in all that marvelous sauce. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by. 🙂
Family dinner time is my favorite and I love that you and your husband still keep that tradition going:) This baked gnocchi looks delicious and would be such a big hit at any family dinner table!
Thanks Kelly! 🙂