This baked Caprese gnocchi recipe is crazy good and so easy. Cooked in a ruby red tomato sauce with milky mozzarella and fresh basil it is simply delicious.
Hi there. I’m just here to tell you that it is November. NOVEMBER. How? And I know that everybody goes on about this, but really now. How?
Every year when June hits, I know that it’s all downhill from there. I will blink and it will be November. And my babies will officially be a year older. This year, they turn 7. Seven. One more than 6. Before I know it they will be leaving the house and marrying people and I can’t. How have mothers been doing this for so many years? How do you not just wrap them in bubble wrap and keep them in your house for the rest of their lives? Because goodness knows, I am not far from doing that. I am filled with intense fear when I think of them as teenagers and going out without me and loving other people more than they love me. Oh grief, they’re going to aren’t they?!
And before you think I’m a psycho-mom, I know they have to. I know they have to go explore the world but right now I just can’t even think about that. Right now I am going to be silly with them, make them laugh at my lame jokes and watch every cartoon with them that I possibly can, while they still want me to. And speaking of cartoons, what is up with Adventure Time? Is it just ok now for people who are clearly high to make programs for children?!
Anyway, what a random way to start a post. What I actually wanted to say is that it is November and you guys, we have been dumped in the hottest Summer I have ever experienced. And even though I long for the comfort food I could enjoy a few months ago, I love that there is such an abundance of fresh produce in the supermarket.
I picked up a small box of the most perfect tomatoes the other day (and like a real smarty pants, forgot to photograph it) and after a few days of enjoying them simply with salt, I decided to turn the ones with wrinkly skin into a glorious tomato sauce. I kept things super simple and flavoured the sauce with a couple of bay leaves and fresh basil. I had a few packets of ready-made gnocchi in the pantry and decided to drench in them in this sauce. It was very obvious that I was going to be turning this into a delectable Caprese gnocchi and added milky mozzarella and fresh basil to finish it off.
The end result was this pretty awesome Caprese gnocchi bake which had all the flavours of summer with just the right amount of comfort I was craving.
Baked Caprese gnocchi
for the tomato and basil sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil I used a basil-flavoured one
- 1 red onion finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 6 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup tomato passata
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon sugar optional
- salt & pepper to taste
- small handful fresh basil leaves roughly torn
For the gnocchi bake
- 1 kg ready-made gnocchi boiled in salted water until cooked then drained
- 100 g mozzarella cubed
- fresh basil leaves
- To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large pan then fry the onion until soft and translucent.
- Add the garlic and fry for another 30 seconds before adding the tomatoes.
- Allow the tomatoes to cook until they start to break down then add the passata, bay leaves, sugar, salt and pepper.
- Turn the heat down and allow to gently simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Add a splash of water if you see the sauce cooking down too much.
- When the sauce is cooked, adjust the seasoning and add the fresh basil.
- Pre-heat the oven (with grill setting) to 220°c.
- Combine the cooked gnocchi with the sauce then add cubes of mozzarella.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes until the cheese has melted.
- Remove and top with fresh basil before serving.