This Tomato & Mozzarella Baked Gnocchi is full of flavor with its pillowy soft potato gnocchi, bubbly tomato sauce and melted mozzarella.
If you’ve never had baked gnocchi before, you must try this recipe. I love potato gnocchi and this is one of the best ways to serve it, nestled into a pan of tomatoes and mozzarella. It’s like you’ve gone to Italy!
Baking this dish leads to so much more flavor than serving boiled gnocchi with tomato sauce. It really takes it to another level – all the flavors build while baking.
Taking it out of the oven is like pulling out one of our homemade lasagnas. It’s like a celebration in our house. The first bite of it has your eyes rolling back in your head. It’s so good.
What is Gnocchi?
If you’ve never had gnocchi before, you will fall in love with these soft pillowy morsels.
Gnocchi is an Italian potato dumpling. It’s made with potato, flour, and egg. The dough is formed into little pieces and then boiled, fried or baked.
In this recipe, you can make your own gnocchi or use store-bought gnocchi. While the store bought version is much faster, it’s really not difficult to make your own (see below).
Prepared gnocchi can be found in most groceries these days. You will likely find it in the fresh pasta section, in the refrigerated case. But it also comes vacuum packed in the pasta aisle.
I have to admit that it took a few tries for me to find a brand that I liked. They can be super light and fluffy (as they’re supposed to be), or really dense and chewy (bad!).
If you try one and don’t really like it, I wouldn’t give up on it just yet. Try another brand.
Make Your Own Gnocchi
There are three things you absolutely need to make good gnocchi. The potatoes must be floury or dry potatoes, like russets. Waxy potatoes don’t work!
You need Type00 flour. All purpose flour can be used, but it will result in a denser, not so fluffy, gnocchi.
Type00 is an Italian super fine flour that is used to make pizza dough and pasta. Being ground finer make a texture difference when using Type00. In gnocchi, it leads to fluffier, lighter dumplings.
Of course, being an Italian flour, it can be difficult to find in the U.S. If you can’t find it, all purpose flour will do fine.
A potato ricer. I’ve tried doing this with other methods of smashing the potatoes, but there really is not substitute for a ricer.
We have a full guide on making potato gnocchi. Go there now to see how to make your own gnocchi.
Here are the basic steps, if you choose to give it a try:
- Boil the potatoes until tender. Peel them when they’re still warm. Pass them through a potato ricer onto a flat work surface dusted with flour.
- Make a well in the center of the potatoes. Sprinkle on the flour, and crack the eggs into the center of the well. Start to incorporate it all into a dough fall, without much kneading.
- Break the dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece out into a long log. Cut into 1″ pieces.
- The gnocchi can be put directly into the skillet for this dish, without boiling it first.
How to Make Baked Gnocchi
Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).
You’ll need a heavy oven-safe skillet for this dish. If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, you can use a dutch oven, or a large skillet that can be put into the oven up to 400 degrees. If you have none of those, use a casserole baking dish.
Add olive oil to the skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, until translucent.
Add the minced garlic, tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper. Stir well and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the gnocchi. There’s no need to cook the gnocchi beforehand. If you boil the gnocchi before adding it, it can become quite soggy.
Top the dish with shredded or sliced mozzarella.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with basil and shredded Parmesan and serve.
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One Pot Tomato & Mozzarella Baked Gnocchi
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/4 cup tomato puree
- 14 oz can chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp Italian herbs
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 lb gnocchi homemade or store bought
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- Handful of basil leaves
- Shredded Parmesan cheese for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).
- Add olive oil to a heavy oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, until translucent. Add the minced garlic, tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper. Stir well and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the gnocchi. Top with shredded mozzarella.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with basil and shredded Parmesan and serve.