Small and round pieces of soft dough, usually boiled in water or broth and then served with tomato sauce. I'm speaking about Gnocchi, the popular Italian dumplings famous to be tasty and quick to prepare. If bought pre-made, these dumplings allow everyone to serve a yummy Italian main in no time at all.
To prepare them, you don't need to have culinary skills or lots of time to spend in the kitchen. Believe me, great results can be achieved just by adding a few good ingredients to a package of fresh gnocchi. After all, Italian cuisine is all about simplicity and genuine ingredients!
Today, like yesterday, the most common and appreciated variety is made with potato. This is also my favourite choice, although I often found myself tempted by different flavoured gnocchi, such as pumpkin or spinach gnocchi.The recipe I am going to share is very simple, yet requires one step more compared to the conventional basic procedure: baking in the oven. This allows the tomato sauce to thicken and to bake the Bechamel sauce to a lovely golden brown.
3 tbsp olive oil 1 garlic clove, finely cut in slices 1 can chopped tomatoes 500g pack gnocchi 4-5 tbsp Bechamel sauce salt and pepper to season
1) Prepare the tomato sauce: in a large frying pan heat the oil, add the garlic cut into thin slices and after a couple of minutes pour the canned chopped tomato. Season with salt and cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, drop the gnocchi into a pan containing boiling water and cook for 1-2 minutes. Drain them with a colander and then mix them with tomato sauce.
3) Place everything in a large roasting pan and cover with Bechamel sauce. Bake in a 200 °C / 400 °f / gas 6 preheated oven for 5-10 minutes. Gnocchi will be ready when the Bechamel gets a nice brown color. Serve hot.