A whole new world opened up to me when I learned that…
…you can prepare gnocchi not only by gently simmering the little Italian potato dumplings in water, then tossing them with your chosen sauce, i.e. the traditional way that yields tender, pillowy clouds, and that I would not ever in a million years turn down. A few months ago, I came across a recipe by food writer Ali Slagle that called for pan-frying a pack of shelf-stable gnocchi in oil and brown butter, yielding crisp-tender biscuity bursts. My 17-year-old daughter has made this recipe at least 17 times — often using the cauliflower gnocchi from Trader Joe’s — and now when I eat gnocchi, I crave that crisp.
And thanks to Cup of Jo reader Rachel Robertson, there is a new gnocchi preparation threatening to take over in my house. When Rachel responded to our Instagram request for five-ingredient dinners with this roast gnocchi recipe, it was remarkable for the crispiness of the gnocchi, the short ingredient list, and the stunningly simple preparation. She just tosses (shelf-stable) gnocchi with tomatoes and squash in olive oil, spreads everything on a baking sheet, then blasts it in a hot oven. “This recipe is extremely customizable depending on what’s in season and what you have on hand,” she says. “I’ve mixed things up swapping in garlic, bell peppers, asparagus, squash, peas or broccoli. But onions and cherry tomatoes seem to be essential, as they’re packed with acidity and sweetness, so you don’t have to add many other seasonings.”
We love it just the way it is. Thank you, Rachel!
Roast Gnocchi with Cherry Tomatoes and Squash
1 package shelf-stable gnocchi (straight from the package, no need to boil)
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, whole
1 small red onion, cut into large chunks
1 medium zucchini, cut into half-moons
1/2 – 1 cup of Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, grated
1-2 tablespoons olive oil*
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste*
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (Or line it with foil and brush with oil.)
In a large bowl, combine the gnocchi, tomatoes, onion and zucchini with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Spread mixture evenly on the baking sheet and roast for approximately 20 to 30 minutes, or until the tomatoes burst, and the onions look caramelized.
Serve in a bowl and top with as much grated cheese as you can handle.
*We aren’t counting olive oil, salt and pepper as ingredients.
(Photos by Yossy Arefi for Cup of Jo.)