Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Baking gnocchi...

In anticipation of Gus's arrival this week, I planned ahead and chose recipes for the remainder of the week that didn't take much effort to maximize puppy playing time! While tonight's dinner, Baked Gnocchi with Spinach and Ricotta, took awhile to bake, it just took a few minutes to throw into the baking dish.

You could basically think of this as a lasagna, except the gnocchi stand in for the sheets of pasta. I used some homemade marinara that I've had in the freezer from quite awhile ago (almost time to get more going!), but feel free to use whatever red sauce you like - a meaty batch would work well here too. Do note that the packaged gnocchi are added without being boiled first - since a generous amount of sauce is used, there is plenty of moisture for them to drink in as they bake.

In between the layers of sauce, tender baby spinach leaves and gnocchi are dollops of a three-cheese blend of ricotta, mozzarella and fresh grated Asiago cheese. I love the assertive nature of Asiago, but you can always swap that out for Parmesan if that's what you have. I use those two interchangeably often, but I know not everyone may like its flavor. Fresh basil leaves are also added, along with a pinch of crushed red pepper and an egg to add a little puff as the heat from the oven warms the dish through. The gnocchi transformed from their firm potato-y selves into soft, pillowy nuggets that tightened up the dish well. Those creamy pockets of cheese were a delight to find and added a needed richness. If you can wait long enough for it to cool down some, I think this dish might even hold its shape when you portion it out, but we were ravenous and didn't care to push it!

And lest we forget, I did get the baking done for the Weekly Wednesday (I mean Thursday... at least this week!) Treat Day. We didn't get a chance to take pictures yet, so I'll get those done and slip them into tomorrow's post.


  1. Oh yum that sounds delicious. This is my kind of dinner dish.

  2. Oh joy! I have gnocchi in the freezer and can sub some of my chard for the spinach!

    BTW - Love the new pup! What a cutie with that mottled fur and bright blue eyes.

    Thanks again for all the recipe reviews!

  3. Looks good! My boyfriend loves gnocchi so I would love to make this for him or with him. Thanks!

  4. Katie - The leftovers held up well as we found out at lunch today too!

    Kristin - I bet the chard would be great here!

    Hillary - Hope you enjoy!