Easy Tomato-Based Gnocchi Meal
What is Gnocchi? Gnocchi is a mini dumpling made out of flour, egg, and potato! I don't typically purchase gnocchi but when I saw them on sale at the grocery store for $2/pack, I couldn't resist purchasing them to try out for a dinner-time meal, especially since the packaging said that they could be cooked in 2 minutes! Who can say no to a quick and easy meal? Also, don't be fooled by the size of each gnocchi - although they are small, they are incredibly filling to eat since they are so dense and made of potato.
Gnocchi can be paired with so many different sauces including:
- Tomato Sauce
- Pesto Sauce
- Alfredo Sauce
- Rose (tomato-cream) Sauce
- Sage Butter Sauce
- Garlic Butter Sauce
In this recipe, I make my own tomato sauce to go along with the gnocchi, since I figured that you can't get any more quick than cooking some gnocchi for 2 minutes that I may as well spend a bit more time on the meal by making my own sauce. However, if you are really in a crunch, you can just cook the gnocchi with canned tomato sauce but why not have some fun with this already-easy-to-make meal?
- 2 x 400 gram Gnocchi
- 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Large Carrot, diced
- 1 Red Pepper, diced
- 5 Medium-Sized Tomatoes, ripened and diced
- 3 cloves Garlic, chopped
- Handful Basil, fresh or dried
- Handful Oregano, fresh or dried
- Black Pepper
- Cheese, grated
- 2 Sausages, sliced
- Turn on a pot to medium heat and add oil and garlic.
- Once heated, throw the carrots and sausages into the pan to fry and cook through.
- Once sausage is no longer pink, throw in the red peppers to fry for a minute.
- Next, add the tomatoes and herbs. Grind some black pepper into the pot. Turn heat down to low to allow for the sauce to simmer for the next 45 minutes. *Note - if you would like your sauce thicker, let simmer for at least another 30 minutes.
- Within the last 5 minutes of the sauce being completed to your desired consistency, boil a pot of water. Once boiled, throw in the gnocchi and cook according to package (typically about 2 minutes, or until the gnocchi starts to float.) Once it is floating, drain out the water, add sauce, add shredded cheese on top and serve!
Now, was that simple or what? All/most ingredients in this meal are typically also found in a well stocked fridge so this sauce can be made at any time! As mentioned earlier, to make this meal even simpler and to make the meal within about 10 minutes total (including prep and cooking), you could just use a can of tomato sauce. That would definitely make a speedy meal if you were crunched for time but did not want to order any take out for dinner.
As always, a few notes about the recipe:
- Carrots and Red Pepper in the recipe - You can swap these out for different peppers or vegetables that you prefer, but I generally think that these compliment well with sauces.
- Tomatoes - The mistake I made for when I cooked this was that I did not let my tomatoes ripen as much as they could have, thus you will notice that the sauce in my photos is not as rich in red as they could be. Also, the more ripe, the sweeter the sauce should taste!
- Basil and Oregano - If you don't have these on hand, feel free to use any other italian herbs or italian herb blends you may have available in your home. I just love using the fresh things, especially due to the smells that it brings out in the home, and the fact that I have a couple herb plants growing in my home that I can readily pick whenever I choose to.
- Sausages - If you're like me, you may live with someone who can't live without eating *some* type of meat during dinner time. I had sausages in the fridge so I decided to throw that into the sauce. However, if you don't necessarily need meat in every meal (which is healthy for you too!), you can opt out of adding any meat at all. Otherwise, you can also switch up the type of meat included in the meal by changing it to something like: bacon, pancetta, or ground meat.
- Simmer time of the sauce - Because I did not want to wait *too* long for my sauce to finish cooking, I simmered it for about 45 minutes. After this amount of time, the sauce is generally still somewhat runny, but very flavourful. If you wish for your sauce to be thicker in consistency, let it simmer for a longer period of time.
Hope you enjoyed this super simple (yet incredibly filling) meal!