I know I have made a winning vegetarian dish when Sir Stuart (“It’s not a meal without meat”) helps himself to seconds. And thirds. This is one of those recipes, delicious, easy to prepare, one tray bake, it certainly ticks a lot of boxes! The leftovers also freeze and reheat well, so make enough for leftovers for another lunch or dinner.
I have made potato gnocchi before – it is time consuming and not always successful (I have inadvertently made potato soup a couple of times when the gnocchi disintegrated in the cooking water). This was my first time with ricotta gnocchi. So simple! Fool proof even! The soft ricotta with a little flour to bind makes for super light dumplings that cook in your roasted tomato sauce, dressing themselves as they cook.
The original recipe comes from Donna Hay Magazine, issue 82. I modified it to give more cooking time for the tomatoes, I was not convinced by the original recipe and I’m glad I tweaked it otherwise we would have had super watery tomato sauce. The tomatoes really benefit with additional time in the oven, creating a beautiful rich and thick sauce. You can make the gnocchi in advance too and keep it in the fridge for a day, or place them on a tray to freeze individually and then transfer into a container, just defrost them before cooking.
- 3 x 400g cans cherry tomatoes
- 1 long red chilli
- 1/4 cup vincotto (I substituted verjuice)
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbs olive oil
- parmesan and basil leaves, to serve
- 3 cups shredded kale
- 1 cup grated parmesan
- 2 cups ricotta
- 1/2 cup mozzarella
- 2/3 cup plain flour
- Preheat oven to 220 degrees celsius. Place the tomatoes, chilli, vincotto, stock, garlic, salt and pepper in a deep roasting tray. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and reduced slightly.
- Meanwhile, place the kale in a bowl and cover with boiling water, set aside for 5 minutes. Drain and squeeze out the excess water and allow to cool.
- Place the gnocchi ingredients in a bowl, add salt and pepper and mix to combine (hands are good here). Divide the mixture into 4 pieces, roll into logs about 30cm long and cut each log into 2cm pieces. Use extra flour to stop the gnocchi from sticking to your bench. I like to roll the gnocchi between my hands for a tidier shape, it’s quite therapeutic! Set aside until required.
- Add the gnocchi to the tray and coat with the tomato sauce. Drizzle over the olive oil and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes or until the gnocchi are plump and cooked through.
- Serve with grated parmesan and basil leaves (or home made pesto). Serves 4-6.