I’m aware this doesn’t look or sound like the most appropriate dish for spring-time - more like winter comfort food! But there is a reason behind me making it…
I’ve been on a huge smoothie kick lately (more on that to come) and more often than not have been starting my days with a blended breakfast! I like to keep a good selection of frozen fruit and ice on hand so I can whizz up whatever takes my fancy at any time, but considering my freezer is pretty teeny, it’s getting very tight in there!
I’m sure it’s a familiar story: impulse purchases thrown in the freezer only to be forgotten for months, half batches of muffins stashed away to stop me from eating them all in one go, mysterious foil-wrapped items, and of course those neat containers of homecooked beans and grains, which would have been sensible to have on hand - only if there was actually space for them…
All that to say, I’m giving my freezer a spring clean! Among the items I dug out was a nearly full package of gnocchi.
Serving it with pesto was the obvious choice but I’m a bit pesto-ed out right now. This Vegan Gnocchi Bake is nearly as easy to make and the little extra time it takes is well worth it.
I made a thick, rich tomato sauce with plenty of vegetables to generously coat those little Italian dumplings. This would be delicious eaten as is but the Moxarella took it over the top! I came across this recipe a long while back on the blog Vedged Out and was stunned at how authentic it looked.
It browns and stretches just like regular mozzarella! Mega bonus points for having just a few ingredients and for being nearly instant. It’s fantastic as a topping for this Gnocchi Bake but I also can’t wait to try it on pizza!
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1 Onion, diced
- 1/2 Orange or yellow pepper, diced
- 1 Clove of garlic, minced
- 1 x 400g/14oz Can of chopped tomatoes
- Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)
- 1/2 C Water
- 1 tsp Coconut sugar
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 400g/14oz pkg Vegan gnocchi*
- 50g/2oz Spinach, chopped
- Handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 x recipe Vegan Moxarella*
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-8 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
- Add the canned tomatoes, cherry tomatoes (if using), sugar and salt and bring to a simmer. Leave to simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, or until flavoursome and quite thick.
- Add the gnocchi, stir well and cover the pan. Leave to simmer on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until gnocchi is heated through, stirring occasionally to ensure it doesn't stick to the bottom. Remove from the heat, add the spinach and basil and leave covered until wilted.
- Preheat the grill (broiler).
- Pour the contents of the saucepan into an ovenproof dish, top with dollops of the Moxarella (you may not need/want all of it) and place under the grill for approx 5 minutes, until just beginning to brown.
- Serve immediately with a big green salad.
*A lot of store-bought gnocchi is vegan but check the package to be sure as it can sometimes contain egg.
*I halved the salt in the Moxarella recipe.