Meatless Monday: Baked Gnocchi with Tomato and Basil

This could not be easier. You don't have to make the gnocchi, just the sauce! Cook's Country is not necessarily known for simplicity, but this is quick and easy comfort food, perfected.

Photo courtesy Cook's Country
Photo courtesy Cook's Country

Baked Gnocchi with Tomato and Basil
Serves 4
The partially cooked, vacuum-packed gnocchi found in the pasta aisle work best here, but refrigerated or frozen gnocchi can also be used. If you do not have an ovensafe skillet, in step 3 transfer the gnocchi to a casserole dish for baking.

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound vacuum-packet gnocchi
1 onion, chopped fine
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 cup water
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large ovensafe nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook gnocchi, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes; transfer to plate.

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Add remaining oil and onion to empty skillet and cook until onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and water and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

Add basil and browned gnocchi to pan. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until gnocchi is tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella and bake until cheese is well browned, about 8 minutes. Serve.

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