What’s better than a quick and easy pasta dish? I would say not much. This easy Baked Gnocchi Recipe is made with 2 types of cheese and a perfectly spiced tomato sauce. It’s about as good as you can get. Also known as Gnocchi alla Sorentina, it makes a delicious family or get together dinner idea.
With the cooler weather on it’s way (yay!) it brings the desire for comfy cozy recipes, such as casseroles, soups and everything baked. Whether you make your own Gnocchi or use store bought this is the perfect easy way to make a baked pasta dish. If you prefer a white sauce then why not give this White Sauce Baked Gnocchi a try also.
Table of contents
What are the ingredients for the recipe
- Olive Oil
- Tomato Passata (puree) – if you can’t find puree then you can use pelati or San Marzano canned tomatoes, just be sure to mash them well.
- Hot pepper flakes – if you like a sauce a little spicy.
- Mozzarella – be sure to use a firm mozzarella, fresh has too much moisture which will make the dish watery.
- Parmesan Cheese – it’s always best to grate your own rather than purchase packaged already grated.
- Gnocchi – you can use a good quality store bought or make your own.
In a medium pan add the olive oil, garlic, purée, water, oregano, basil, and salt. Stir to combine cook until thickened.
While sauce is cooking, boil water and cook the gnocchi just until the float to the surface, approximately 30 seconds, drain immediately but do not rinse.
When sauce has thickened add the gnocchi and toss gently.
place in the prepared oven safe baking pan, top with the shredded Mozzarella cheese and then the grated Parmesan cheese. Bake in a pre-heated oven for approximately 10 minutes or until cheese has browned, (watch it doesn’t burn). Serve immediately.
Where did Gnocchi originate?
Apparently the first recipe was introduced in the second half of the 16th century. Two Renaissance chefs first described how to make a first course (gnocchi) using flour, breadcrumbs, boiling water and eggs.
Then at the end of the 1700’s they were made more or less how they are known today, with potatoes, water and flour. However, this recipe does not become widespread until the early 1900s.
And today Gnocchi have become one of the most popular and consumed recipes in the world. It has also progressed over the years, into some very interesting variations, including the addition of pumpkin, beetroot, spinach, ricotta and many more.
Choosing the best Parmesan Cheese for grating
The difference between them is that Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is authentic or DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta which means Protected Designation of Origin), and Parmesan cheese is just an imitation of Parmigiano Reggiano.
Reggiano is always made in Italy, while Parmesan can be made anywhere, there are no restrictions on using the name Parmesan. And don’t forget a less expensive but also a DOP choice is Parmigiano Grana Padano. This is why I always think it’s best to buy a chunk of good quality Parmesan and grate or shred it yourself. Remember ingredients can make or break your dish!
Any leftover pasta should be covered tightly and stored in the fridge. It will last up to 1-2 days. It can be reheated in a low oven or microwave until warmed through.
I usually make this meatless, but you can easily add some ground beef, or chopped pancetta or even Italian sausage to the sausage. Or why not some chopped or sliced mushrooms or peppers.
Good gnocchi should be soft and delicate never chewy or tough.
Once they have been added to the salted boiling water give them a couple of stirs and watch carefully, it doesn’t take long for them to cook 1-2 minutes (sometimes less), once the float to the surface they are done. Remove them immediately. Over cooked and they will turn to mush.
More Baked Pasta recipes you may enjoy!
- Homemade Creamy Baked Pancetta Macaroni
- Creamy Broccoli Bacon Pasta Casserole
- Homemade Creamy White Sauce Lasagna
- Classic Lasagna
- Homemade Baked Macaroni and Double Cheese
I sprinkled the top with shredded mozzarella and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Baked it for 10 minutes and there you have the perfect-cheesy-any-night-of-the-week-dinner-dish, Baked Gnocchi Double Cheese Tomato Sauce, Buon Appetito!
Cheesy Tomato Baked Gnocchi Recipe
- 1 pound Gnocchi (homemade or store-bought store-bought)
FOR THE SAUCE
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup tomato purée (passata)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon basil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 clove small garlic chopped
- 3/4 – 1 cup shredded firm Mozzarella (Fontina or Gruyere cheese)
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Pre-heat oven to 400F (200C), lightly oil an 8 x 6 inch baking dish.
- In a medium/large pan, add the olive oil, garlic, purée, water, oregano, basil, and salt. Stir to combine, on medium heat cook until thickened (not too thick), approximately 15-20 minutes.
- While sauce is cooking, cook the gnocchi in the boiling salted water, just until they float to the surface, approximately 30 seconds, drain immediately, do not rinse.
- When sauce has thickened add the gnocchi and toss gently, place in the prepared baking pan, top with the shredded Mozzarella and then the grated Parmesan cheese. Bake for approximately 5 minutes then raise heat and broil for another 3-5 minutes or until cheese has browned, (watch it doesn't burn). Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Updated from November 30, 2015.