Gnocchi & Tomato Bake

Gnocchi is gnice.  I haven’t had much Italian food since leaving Lecco ten months ago, so this simple dish has a touch of the exotic about it in its classic tomato, mozzarella and basil combination.  It looks like it might be a slightly stodgy, English take on gnocchi, but it’s a surprisingly light meal that really hits the spot.  It certainly put me in the mood for the good old days of Prosecco on Lake Como!  Here’s the recipe if you want your speedy evening meal to transport you too.

Gnocchi & Tomato Bake

From BBC Good Food (Serves 4)

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 red pepper, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

400g can chopped tomatoes

500g pack gnocchi

handful basil leaves, shredded

60g mozzarella, torn into chunks

Method:

1.  Heat grill to high.  Heat the oil in a large frying pan, and fry the onion and pepper for about 5 minutes until soft.  Stir in the garlic and fry for 1 minute more.

2.  Tip in the tomatoes and gnocchi and simmer for about 10 minutes until the gnocchi is tender and the sauce is thicker.

3.  Season, stir in the basil and transfer to a large, oven-proof dish.

4.  Scatter on the mozzarella and grill for 6-8 minutes until the cheese is bubbling.  Serve it up immediately, or freeze some for a later date – it can be defrosted and cooked for 25 minutes at 200C.

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