Carbs are my weakness. Whether it is in the form of sweets, bread, or in this case, pasta, it had me from the very beginning.
And this Tomato Basil Gnocchi recipe…oh boy, it totally did a number on me, because I love it to pieces and cannot get enough of it. Trouble is what it is. Trouble for my waistline and everything waist down, because let’s be honest here, that’s where all my carbs go.
But I still indulge, in appropriate amounts. Because life is short. And carbs are necessary, for survival and for enjoyment.
Gnocchi is a form of pasta typically made out of potatoes and flour. It is soft and is a lot like dumplings. Think Western dumplings like chicken and dumplings, not Asian dumplings which is usually filled with meat and vegetables. Gnocchi is typically served tossed in a sauce, and sometimes with meat and veggies.
For this Gnocchi recipe, I am cooking up a tomato based sauce made with San Marzano tomatoes (best kind of tomatoes, truly), lots of fresh basil and using burrata, a gorgeous cheese that is basically fresh mozzarella filled with cream, to thicken and cream the sauce.
It is every bit as lovely as it sounds.
We have been loving this dish, and typically serve it with this delicious Breaded Chicken Cutlet recipe, my Lemon Balsamic Grilled (or Pan-Fried) Chicken, or this simple Italian baked chicken that I make along with with my Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Pasta recipe.
Prepping the ingredients is a pretty straight forward process. Mince fresh garlic (do not substitute with garlic powder for this one!) and cut the fresh basil leaves into tiny pieces. Fresh basil is a must! Don’t substitute with the dried ones. Just like the the garlic, use fresh! Fresh, fresh, fresh is the best way to go for this dish.
Now, let’s make the sauce! Sauté a little bit of garlic in olive oil for 30 seconds in a medium/large pot, be careful not to burn garlic. We are sautéing the garlic in order to release the gorgeous garlic flavors into the olive oil. A subtle but very nice touch to the sauce overall.
Remember to pack your tablespoon with minced garlic, even use more than called for if you like, because it really does bring gorgeous flavors to the sauce. Don’t skim on the garlic.
Next pour the tomatoes (plus juice) into the pot. We are using the most amazing can of tomatoes ever, San Marzano Peeled Tomatoes. This is a fancy, fancy canned tomatoes made with the juiciest, sweetest, most tomato-ey tomatoes ever. They are grown in San Marzano, Italy, thus the name, San Marzano tomatoes. 🙂 Target and Trader Joe’s typically carry these canned San Marzano Peeled Tomatoes.
The canned San Marzano Peeled Tomatoes have basil in them. If you end up using a regular canned peeled tomatoes, and not the San Marzano Peeled Tomatoes, add more basil leaves than what is called for in this recipe.
Then bring basil and the fresh burrata into the pot. I like to break the burrata to release the cream prior to adding it into the sauce. Then break it further and stir once you add it into the sauce. Bring to a boil, and then cook under medium low heat for 20-30 minutes to thicken the sauce.
Garnish with salt and pepper to taste. Salt really brings out the tomato-ey flavors, in addition to adding some saltiness to the dish.
While the sauce is cooking, boil water in a separate pot and cook the gnocchi according to package instruction.
Toss cooked gnocchi with sauce, garnish with shredded fresh parmesan cheese (use good quality!), and serve!
The measurements I provided yields a slightly more saucy gnocchi as I tend to like lots of sauce in my pasta. The pictures shown would be considered a less saucy gnocchi (the honest truth is, less saucy gnocchi looks prettier on pictures…), so be sure to adjust according to taste!
Potato-ey, pillow-soft pasta smothered with a juicy, sweet, basil-infused, garlicky tomato-based sauce. I am a tomato girl (i.e. love tomato-anything), and this is making my heart happy!
What I love about this dish is how simple and yet absolutely delicious it is. The quality of ingredients (fresh basil, fresh garlic, fresh burrata, fresh parmesan cheese, San Marzano tomatoes) is the secret behind the loveliness of the dish.
Grab a fork and dig in because my friend, YOU MUST.
Tomato Basil Gnocchi
- 1 tbsp minced garlic packed
- 1-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 28 oz San Marzano Peeled Tomatoes
- 17-20 fresh basil leaves
- 4 oz burrata
- 1 tsp sugar
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1 1/4 lbs gnocchi
- shredded parmesan cheese
- In a medium large pot, saute garlic in olive oil for 20-30 seconds. Do not burn garlic.
- Add tomatoes (including juice) into the pot. Then add basil leaves (see Note 1), burrata and sugar. Break the burrata and stir into the sauce. Bring to boil.
- Once the sauce boils, bring to medium low heat and cook for another 20-30 minutes to thicken sauce. Then add salt and pepper to taste.
- While waiting for the sauce to cook, bring water to boil in a separate pot and cook gnocchi based on package instructions. I cooked mine for 3 minutes once it comes to a boil.
- Drain water from gnocchi and toss gnocchi in sauce. (See Note 2)
- Garnish with shredded parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy!
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