Sunday 8 October 2017

Baked Cheesy Gnocchi with spinach and tomato sauce.

Baked One Pan Gnocchi

On a chilly Friday, I wanted something stodgy and comforting to feed us, and the special offer, impulse-buy pack of gnocchi seemed the right thing.  I had stopped buying them for a while as the kids just didn't seem to enjoy them, but I don't like to give up, and I like a bit of a change sometimes from the pasta/rice/potatoes trinity of carb options. We do occasionally have a bread supper, but that's also rare.

So I began by frying the gnocchi slowly in some olive oil to get them slightly crunchy on the outside, which makes them a nicer texture after baking, I feel.  To make this a true one pot, I used a pan which can go in the oven also, but if you don't have one, you can always pour the contents into a baking dish before the final step.

Once they were starting to be golden all over (and this DOES take time) I added some frozen chopped garlic and allowed it to soften and lose its harsh bite.  I then added a box of Heinz Fritto which is basically a flavoured passata, and also swished out the box with some hot water and added that too.  I then put in a handful of balls of frozen chopped spinach and stirred them in and then brought the whole pan to a gentle bubble.  

Finally, I covered the top with a layer of grated mozzarella and put the pan in a preheated medium oven for about 20 minutes.

I was rewarded with a deliciously crunchy top cheesy layer, with good oozy strings of cheese when served, and a very filling and nutritious meal all round.  The kids did enjoy it, although it wasn't one they immediately said they'd request again, but clean plates and small victories, definitely!

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