Four Cheese Gnocchi on a plate

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Cheesy Baked Gnocchi

Gnocchi has always been a staple in Italian cooking. Made from potato, gnocchi are bouncy, pillowy dumplings that, if done right, can have a really incredible texture with minimum effort.

Back in the day, shop-bought gnocchi used to be a little hit-and-miss. Some would turn into one huge stodgy mess that was not pleasant to eat. Luckily, nowadays it’s easy to buy delicious, good-quality gnocchi to make a delicious meal at a relatively low cost. You can also make gnocchi yourself, we have an interesting recipe here for cavolo nero gnocchi, which is delicious but not always attainable on a weeknight or if you just aren’t all that into make pasta from scratch, which we totally understand. If the best cooking for you is all about ease and amazing flavours, you’ve come to the right place.

This is a four-cheese baked gnocchi with butter beans and spinach (this green gnocchi may also be up your street if you like the sound of that). Comforting, cheesy, easy and quick; it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. We have done a little spin on this recipe compared to perhaps more traditional baked gnocchi recipes in that there is a tin of butter beans and a healthy amount of spinach included. This makes it more balanced overall, with your veg and a nice hit of protein in one bake. The great news is that this recipe is vegetarian too so even easier to share with friends and family. 

Some notes on our chosen ingredients:

Mascarpone cheese – adds a tangy and creamy element that melts all the way through the bake for a luxurious feel.

Butter beans – containing potassium, magnesium, folate, iron, and zinc, they also contain high protein which makes this dish filling and hearty.

Baby spinach – an extremely nutrient-rich leafy green veg that makes this a more balanced meal. Full of vitamin C, magnesium, zinc, calcium – we could go on.

Fresh mozzarella – here for melty texture. Nothing beats a huge cheese pull when scooping out portions of this.

Parmesan cheese – here for cheesy flavour. Its salty, umami flavour is hard to replicate and brings the whole dish together. Just make sure to choose a vegetarian friendly Parmesan if you are cooking for veggies. This Brown Butter Gnocchi is also full of Parmesan – we would recommend!

Cheddar cheese – again, here for great flavour and also melty texture too. Cheddar is an absolute classic cheese and just ties the cheesiness together extremely well.

Breadcrumbs – for crunchy, crisp texture on top of the bake. This gives a bit of variation to the sumptuously creamy and gooey recipe as a whole. 

  • Author: margie
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Scale

Simple Tomato Sauce:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 onion finely chopped

1 large clove garlic, crushed

350g Passata

1/2 cup water

Pinch of sugar

1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar

basil, roughly torn

100g mascarpone cheese

Maldon salt to taste

Gnocchi: 

1 pack of gnocchi

1 x 400g tin of drained butterbeans 

a handful of baby spinach

250g fresh mozzarella cheese slices

20g Parmesan cheese

20g cheddar cheese

50g breadcrumbs 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200c. 
  2. Set a pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Cook the onion gently for 5 minutes until soft. Then add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the passata and top it up with the water. Add the sugar, balsamic and season with salt and pepper. Allow to bubble away for 5- 10 minutes when it should reduce and get a little thicker. Taste. Adjust the seasoning if necessary, adding more sugar if it needs it. 
  3. Stir in the mascarpone and add the spinach. Cook for a minute to wilt the spinach. 
  4. Add gnocchi, butterbeans and basil. Stir to coat evenly with sauce. 
  5. Pour into a baking dish and sprinkle with the grated cheddar. Sprinkle over the breadcrumbs and then Top with mozzarella slices and a sprinkle of Parmesan. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until gooey and light golden brown on top. Serve with fresh basil. 

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