Meet one of my favourite sides! This is soooo good. Yes, it has mozzarella and parmesan cheeses in it but it also has fresh cherry tomatoes, spinach and butter/cannellini beans so it both tastes and feels pretty good and virtuous to eat!
We tend to serve this with a gorgeous meaty tuna steak or a piece of salmon that’s been cooked in a griddle pan with nothing more than some black pepper and a little lemon or lime juice. It goes so well with fish because of the flavours it has going on. If you’re not a fish lover try it with a lean pork steak or griddled chicken breast. If you don’t eat meat at all, don’t worry it’s more than delicious and substantial enough on its own!
Gnocchi are funny little potato…. dumplings? For a long time I had heard the name but wasn’t sure what they actually were! As luck would have it, one day – quite a few years ago now, I saw some in the supermarket. They seemed fairly innocent so I picked up a couple of packets and hastened home to Google what on earth to do with them.
I found a recipe for Gnocchi Bolognese which seemed easy and non-threatening (I wasn’t very brave at the beginning) and decided to give it a go one evening. That was our first experience of gnocchi and we’ve liked them – and eaten them regularly in various formats – ever since.
Now for the obligatory part about flexibility – yes I know I can be a bit predictable but part of my lifestyle with my Meniere’s Disease means flexibility is absolutely essential in…well, everything really!
If you find you don’t have something for a recipe, you just run out to the shop and grab it, right? Well 60% (or more) of the time, I can’t do that. If this happens and Kieran is working so I can’t get him to go to the shop for me then I have to make do with what we have. Hence, I automatically think FLEXIBLE when creating recipes.
So anyway, the recipe. You can use butter beans or cannellini beans – I’ve used both and they work well. I haven’t really messed about that much with this other than the beans and experimentation with quantities during recipe polishing but I think it could probably stand up to some swapping in and out of different veggies.
One thing I will mention here is that I always use no-alcohol substitutes in everything. I don’t drink alcohol at all because, quite frankly, at times my vertigo makes me feel like I’m stumbling around drunk and I don’t need that amplified! So when we cook with “alcohol” it’s always no-alcohol – but obviously you can sub the real thing because…..altogether now…..flexibility!
Alcohol-free alcohol was a revelation for me as a cook. I DID drink before the Meniere’s. Obviously I had to stop but thought that it couldn’t hurt to keep using a bit of the real stuff when cooking. I was wrong. After using real Amaretto in a tiramisu I found it hit me – HARD! But thanks to the advent of the ever more inclusive food and drink culture, it’s no longer a big thing.
If you don’t drink or just don’t like using alcohol in cooking but want the flavours, you can see the alcohol-free white wine I use (or something very like it) here. Also, just have a look around in supermarkets and online – there’s quite a big selection out there and while some of the alcohol free substitutes can be a bit naff if you’re looking for something to actually have a glass of, they are perfectly fine to use in cooking and you would never know the difference!
So as always please do let me know what you think, what you served the baked gnocchi with or any changes or substitutions you made in the comments or by using the contact me form on the site. Enjoy! DDxPrint
Oven baked gnocchi with cherry tomatoes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
Oven baked potato gnocchi with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh spinach.
- 500 g potato gnocchi
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely diced
- 2 white onions, diced
- 500 g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 100 ml white wine
- 2X400g tin of butter beans or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 400 g fresh spinach
- 40 g parmesan, finely grated
- 125 g ball of mozzarella, drained and cut into small chunks
- A few basil leaves, roughly torn up
- Juice of half a lemon
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to fan 180℃ / 200℃ / 400℉. Spray an oven dish with cooking spray and put a large pan of water on the heat to come up to the boil while you do other things.
- Heat the olive oil in the largest frying pan you have (that has a lid) over a low heat and add the onion. Fry gently until the onion starts to soften and then add the garlic and fry for another 2 minutes.
- Add the cherry tomatoes, lemon juice and basil leaves and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine and leave to simmer gently until the tomatoes start to wrinkle and burst.
- Add the beans, season with salt and pepper and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the spinach and allow it to wilt – this is a bit of a pain as the spinach has so much volume but just keep poking it down and stirring. You can also cover it with a lid to help hurry the process along.
- The pan of water should be boiling now, so put the gnocchi in and cook until they start to bob up to the surface (this normally takes about 3 minutes for shop bought gnocchi).
- Reserving a small mugful of their starchy cooking water, drain the gnocchi. Add them into the sauce and gently stir in, adding around 2-3 tbsp (or more if needed) of the cooking water to loosen it up.
- Transfer the gnocchi mixture to the prepared oven dish and top it with the pieces of mozzarella and the grated parmesan.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes. Allow to rest for a few minutes before serving.
- Cannellini beans or butter beans work equally well in this recipe.
- I always use alcohol free white wine in my recipes!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Calories: 309.15kcal