Cheesy Baked Gnocchi

This delicious and super easy dinner will take you about 40 minutes to cook and prepare.

My husband and I are buying our first home. We are buying off plan so we were able to choose the fittings and fixtures including the kitchen. For me, the kitchen one of the most important rooms which is why most of my focus on planning and designing my new home has centred on the kitchen. It is the one room in which I would not compromise on my vision. I spent months going to different kitchen stores, pouring through my mother massive collection of home magazines and good old pinterest before I decided upon the kitchen. I spent the last couple of months dreaming of that kitchen. I still am. I just can’t wait to cook in it. Now we are hopefully only a couple of days from getting the keys. But I have been saying that for weeks!

 I always keep a pantry stocked full of staples. So with the impeding move, we are trying to get by without doing a big shop to minimise the amount of food we have to move and the maximise the amount of funds available for all the materials we need to put the flooring once we get the keys. I have been trying to cook meals using mostly the pantry with fresh veg and meat. The problem is with the dwindling pantry most of the meals I would normally cook requires than just fresh veg and meat. So I having to be a bit more creative with my meal plans. Pinterest is really great for this. I mean for this meal I only typed in “tin of chopped tomatoes” and got hundreds of pins. I found this baked gnocchi recipe. I choose this meal because who doesn’t love cheesy gnocchi. I know my husband certainly does. I changed around the ingredients some what to fit what I had readily available and it worked out fine. It mightn’t have tasted as good as the original recipe but I’ll never know!

Ingredients:

  • 500g packet of gnocchi
  • 300g packet of bacon lardons (alternative you could buy packet of streaky rashers, but sometimes its easier just to buy the lardons)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed, if you prefer
  • 2 tsps smoked paprika
  • A 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tomato, roughly diced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp. of fat free crème fraiche
  • 1 tbsp. of dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp. of dried basil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 100g grated cheddar cheese
  • Some fresh basil leaves, to garnish

Method:

1. Firstly, pre-heat the oven to 200°c or (180°c for fan assisted ovens).
2. Bring salted water to the boil in a large pot.
3. Put a large frying pan on a high heat, and add the bacon lardons. Fry the bacon until they are crispy with most of the fat rendered down. Drain off most of the fat and then add the garlic and smoked paprika. Toss it all together and fry for 30 seconds. Add the tin of tomatoes, the tomato puree, the chopped fresh tomato and the sugar. Combine it all together and  simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the crème fraiche, parsley and seasoning.
4. Cook the gnocchi in the salted water until it starts floating to the top. Drain the gnocchi and add them to the sauce.
5. Spoon the gnocchi and sauce mixture into oven-proof dish(es) and sprinkle the grated cheese over the top. I used individual size gratin dishes for this. But a single dish can also be used.
6. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes on the top shelf until the cheese is melted and golden.
7. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Place from fresh basil on top.
 And simply enjoy!

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