A comforting Italian bake doesn’t have to involve pasta. Try using gnocchi instead, packing it out with spinach and adding in some sundried tomato paste to give it an extra hit of flavour, just like I have done with this recipe.
Another Italian recipe? You betcha! When I did a little survey on Facebook recently and asked what type of recipes you wanted to see more of, Italian recipes were in the top 3. You ask and you shall receive. Well, not everything, don’t be sending me requests for cash or anything, as you know all my money goes on my avocado habit.
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I seem to be confessing a lot to you guys recently, what can I say, I guess I just feel comfortable with you all. But I only tried gnocchi for the first time last year. It was actually Dave that got me to try it, as I was convinced by the idea. I was thinking, potatoes and flour? Made in to little balls and cooked like pasta? That seemed odd! But then I thought….potatoes AND flour, cooked just like pasta? Yes please! What’s not to like about potato and flour together.
We have tried making our own, and I will have a recipe for that coming soon, but you can also get some really great store bought ones and they cook in under 5 minutes. Since trying it for the first time, I think we have eaten it almost weekly. So, thanks Dave for introducing it to me. It can be payback for me introducing you to Nutella 😉
The simplicity of the gnocchi means that I didn’t want to over complicate it when it came to the sauce, so I turned to a trusty jar of Cirio passata. As I shared with you all in my Easy Tomato Pasta Sauce recipe, I am going to be working with Cirio over the year to show you all the different ways that you can use their tomato products.
I think that when it comes to kitchen staples like passata and tinned tomatoes, that quality is so important and with Cirio you get the best quality due to the amount of care they take when making their products – they pick the tomatoes when they are at their ripest so you get the best flavour. If you want to eat like an Italian, choose Cirio!
You don’t have to put cheese on this, and you could just keep it totally vegan, however I think a little bit of mozzarella on this goes a long way. What can I say, I am a cheese fan! I am also a basil fan and I love how my hands smell of basil for hours after I have used it in a recipe. It’s like a herby perfume. Okay, that might be a little weird.
If you have a comfort food craving, throw this in the oven and have a very happy belly in under 30 minutes!
Ingredients – Serves 4:
– 500g pack of Gnocchi
– 1 onion, diced
– 10 shiitake mushrooms, diced
– 3 garlic cloves, crushed
– 4 handfuls of spinach
– 8 basil leaves, chopped
– Half a jar (340g) of Cirio Passata
– 2 tbsp sundried tomato paste
– A pinch of sea salt and black pepper
– 40g shredded mozzarella (optional)
1) Add the gnocchi to a pan of boiling water and simmer for 4 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2) Heat a little oil in a large pan and add the onions, garlic and mushrooms and sweat for 3 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for a further minute.
3) Add the cooked gnocchi to the onion mix along with the passata, sundried potato paste, basil and salt and pepper and mix well. Pour in to a oven-proof dish and sprinkle with cheese if using.
4) Put in a preheated oven at 190C and cook for 20 minutes.
Nutritional Information – Per person:
Weight Watchers SmartPoints: 7
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**This recipe was commissioned by Cirio, however all opinions are my own**