Gnocchi is one of the few Italian foods that I actually like. Finding out that I could make them at home with ricotta cheese that needed to be used before it expired made me do a happy dance around the kitchen, I’m not going to lie. Finding out that I had everything I needed to make this in the pantry? Bigger happy dance!
I’m adding this to my Dinner on a Budget tab. The gnocchi are made using ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, eggs, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and flour to form a dough. Simple, straight forward, and absolutely delicious. The sauce is even pantry-friendly too. I had all of the ingredients for this recipe on hand without even planning it. A bonus when you’re trying to use up your pantry and cut costs.
I adapted this recipe slightly based upon the reviews and halved the pepper. Using a teaspoon of pepper seemed like a bit too much and I worked about the taste of the final product. I also adapted the amount of flour. In the original recipe, it directs to add a cup of flour. Mine was actually more like two cups. It will all depend on whether you drain the ricotta cheese before making the dough. What an amazing, impressive, quick, and budget-friendly recipe.
For the gnocchi:
1 (8 ounce) container ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Flour, approximately 2 cups all-purpose flour, depending on moisture level
For the sauce:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 (15.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 dash crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
6 basil leaves, finely shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into small chunks
Stir together the ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan Cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a large bowl until evenly combined. Mix in 1 cup of flour. Add additional flour if needed to form a soft dough. I used an additional cup, but the amount will depend on the level of moisture in the dough.
Divide the dough into 3 or 4 pieces, and roll into 1/2-inch-thick ropes on a floured surface. Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces, and place on a lightly floured baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garlic, and cook until softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in diced tomatoes and red pepper flakes; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in shredded basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
While sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Boil the gnocchi until they float to the surface, 1 to 2 minutes, then drain.
To assemble the dish, stir the cubed mozzarella cheese into the sauce and allow the heat of the sauce to soften, but not melt the cheese. Place gnocchi into a serving bowl, and spoon sauce overtop.