Best Gnocchi Sauce Recipes
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Gnocchi Sauce Shopping Tips
A great sauce is all about flavor. Be sure to get fresh and bold flavors to add to your sauces based on what looks good at the store.
Gnocchi Sauce Cooking Tips
When reducing a sauce to concentrate the flavors be sure to keep an eye out and not let it burn. For extra shine in your sauce, add a pat of butter at the end.
Gnocchi alla Sorrentina Recipe (Authentic Italian style)
by Christina Conte (serves 4)
printable recipe cards below
Make the Gnocchi
Follow the instructions in the recipe below, but these are much quicker and easier than making potato gnocchi. Just pour boiling water into flour, mix to a dough and you’re ready to start rolling!
These are definitely much less labor intensive and quicker to make! I was finished in no time and was able to join Gianfranco in picking up the cheese. Watch my gnocchi making IG story clip HERE.
Make the Sauce
You probably saw the clip above showing the sauce in the making, but it’s also super quick and easy and the recipe card follows below.
Cook the Gnocchi
Carefully drop the gnocchi into salted water that is at a rolling boil. I cooked them in two batches so they don’t stick and cook more quickly. Then remove them with a strainer and we’re onto the next step.
Assemble the Ingredients
In a large pot or bowl, add a little sauce to the bottom and begin adding the drained gnocchi. Add more sauce and the rest of the cooked gnocchi. Add the chopped mozzarella and some grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese. Gently mix to combine. Add a little of the water from boiling the gnocchi if it seems a little too dry.
Bake the Gnocchi alla Sorrentina
Put the gnocchi into oven-proof bowls, place on a tray and bake in a 400˚F (200˚C) oven for about 20 minutes. Remove when bubbling and completely heated through. Add one bocconcino of mozzarella to the center of each bowl with a sprig of basil, and serve.
This is perfect for a cold winter’s night, but Italians eat it in the summer, too! There’s never a bad time for gnocchi alla Sorrentina!
Gnocchi with Bacon Cream Sauce
Amazingly tender gnocchi are bathed in two of the best things in the world: bacon and cream, then sprinkled with cheese for one of the best dishes ever.
PIN this Gnocchi with Bacon Cream Sauce recipe in your WEEKNIGHT, DINNER, SIDE DISH, AND PASTA BOARDS on PINTEREST. And follow Sweet Tea & Thyme on Pinterest for more tips, hacks, and tasty recipes!
Gnocchi is a recent discovery for me, honestly.
Okay, so maybe not a recently recent discovery. I mean, I'd heard of it, I'd seen it, watched it be made, but never had it. I decided to make it after seeing a video by Byron Talbot, then seeing a gnocchi board at Sur La Table. It was fate telling me to make this gnocchi recipe. Finally.
But I had no idea what to eat with it.
Is it potato? I mean, yeah but I wouldn't put it with sour cream and chives.
Is it pasta? Sort of, but what do I do with potato pasta.
I went with my instincts: I put bacon, and cheese all over it.
I mean, isn't that everyone's instinct when it comes to food? Creamy, delicious, cheesy sauce with smoky bacon and savory garlic, it is divine! This stuff should be bottled and sold, honestly.
If you plan on making your gnocchi, check out my how to make homemade gnocchi post. It freezes amazingly and is surprisingly easy to make by hand with simple ingredients and you don't need any crazy equipment.
Honestly, if I don't have any more gnocchi in the freezer, I'll use premade in a snap it makes this go by even quicker, since gnocchi literally takes 2 minutes to cook and you don't have to worry about the kneading, rolling, cutting, etc.
Gnocchi is now my favorite pasta (it's pasta, right?)! It's pillowy, soft, light, it basically melts in your mouth, don't be afraid of making (or buying) some some!
I love gnocchi in comforting (and down right BOMB) chicken and gnocchi soup. This Olive Garden copycat actually blows Olive Garden out of the water!
Frequently Asked Questions
I have edited the recipe to be much more clear and hopefully easier for you guys!
What do I do with the bacon grease left in the pan?
You can pour it out, leave it in, leave half, whatever you want. This dish will still be delicious and tasty with or without the bacon grease. Try to use good quality bacon, as it will have a higher meat to fat percentage and you won't be left with a heart-stopping amount of bacon grease.
How do the eggs not scramble in the sauce?
When you add the garlic, the recipe states to turn the heat to LOW. As in, the lowest setting it can go before OFF. The dish comes together very quickly after this: the egg mixture is poured into the pan on LOW heat, then the chicken stock and cornstarch is whisked in, the gnocchi is tossed in the sauce almost immediately after. There is not enough time nor heat for the egg yolks to sit in the pan and scramble.
However, you can always turn the heat to OFF after adding the garlic or sauce mixture, to ensure there are no overcooked eggs in your sauce.
Why didn't I have any sauce?
I made the recipe to have a moderate amount of sauce. You may have left the sauce to cook in the pan, reducing the liquid and possibly cooking your eggs. In the notes, you'll see instructions to double the liquids if you want more sauce. Please make sure to season to taste and add as much parmesan cheese as you'd like.
How to Cook Gnocchi with Pomodoro Sauce
This a one pan meal—okay two pans but who’s counting—with DeLallo’s potato gnocchi nestled in the same pan I’ve cooked the pomodoro sauce in. Balls of potato gnocchi among little balls of mozzarella and topped with fresh parmesan cheese. It is like heaven!
The sauce starts with the oil. Oil that has been gently infused with fresh herbs to give the sauce a subtle accent of herbal freshness instead of a hit over the head one can sometimes experience with the addition of dried herbs. For this sauce, fresh is the way to go.
The onion and garlic are simmered to softness in the fragrant oil, creating the jammy sweetness to this tomato sauce. As always, be present when cooking garlic in oil, watching it carefully so it doesn’t burn, or the sauce will be bitter. And that would be a crying shame.
The tomatoes are crushed into the pan with your hands and get a generous sprinkling of kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes. The homemade pomodoro sauce simmers for 30-40 minutes or until it sauce reduces and thickens. Finally, a splash of heavy cream is mixed in to add a delightful creaminess to the sauce.
The pillowy cooked gnocchi is then stirred into the sauce and topped with slices of mozzarella and grated Parmesan. Drizzle a little extra olive oil over the top so that after a time under the broiler, the gnocchi and cheese develops a cripsy crust that offsets the smooth texture of the rest of the dish.
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ pound potato gnocchi
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 14 ounces Italian plum tomatoes, halved
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup torn fresh basil leaves
- 7 ounces small fresh mozzarella balls (ciliegine)
- 4 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 4 sprigs fresh basil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly oil an oven-safe baking dish.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook gnocchi in the boiling water until they float to the top, 2 to 4 minutes. Drain and set aside.
While gnocchi is cooking, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Cut an "x" into the skin of each tomato with a sharp knife and add to the skillet stir well. Pour in white wine and simmer until tomatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Using a spoon, gently crush tomatoes to release juice and pulp. Add basil and continue to gently crush tomatoes to create a sauce. Remove and discard tomato skins as they loosen from the pulp. Cook for 1 more minute over low heat. Add drained gnocchi to the sauce and mix until covered with the sauce.
Remove skillet from heat and add mozzarella balls, folding everything together gently but quickly, so cheese is coated with sauce but not cooked or melted. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Bake in the preheated oven until cheese has melted, about 10 minutes. Garnished with fresh basil sprigs.
Eat Trader Joe&rsquos Cauliflower Gnocchi Every Day With These 20 Recipes
Trader Joe&rsquos is famous for creating products that garner cult followings, and cauliflower gnocchi definitely falls into that category.
Trader Joe's pretty much started the current trend of making carb-conscious versions of, well, everything out of cauliflower. If you ask me, they pretty much put cauliflower pizza crust on the map.
However, few (if any) of their ingenious cauliflower creations have hit the food world quite as hard as cauliflower gnocchi.
Typically made from potatoes and flour, traditional gnocchi contains about 230 calories and 50 grams of carbohydrates per one-cup serving. TJ's cauliflower gnocchi&mdashwhich is made with cauliflower and cassava flour&mdashthough, contains just about 140 calories and 22 grams of carbs per cup. (It also provides an impressive six grams of filling fiber and just so happens to be gluten-free.)
TBH, it sounds too good to be true&mdashbut I can personally attest to the fact that it tastes a whole lot like the pillowy, starchy OG gnocchi we all know and love.
If you&rsquore not on the cauliflower gnocchi train yet, go pick yourself up a bag (or five. they sell out fast).
Once you've got your freezer well-stocked, bring that better-for-you gnocchi to life with one of the following recipes. (yes, there's so much more you can do with it than top it with plain old tomato sauce.) Though many of these recipes call specifically for TJ's cauliflower gnocchi , or at least recommend trying it, some of the recipes below were made originally with traditional gnocchi. Try subbing in TJ's creation for flawless (and lower-carb) results.
8 Easy Sauces That Instantly Upgrade Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi
Adding the right sauce to cauliflower gnocchi takes the easy-to-make dish from good to “wow, that’s amazing!” Whether you’re in the mood for something cheesy, tomato-y, or simply want an option that helps you get in your greens for the day, these are the best choices to start with. And get excited: You’ll only need eight ingredients at most.
- potato gnocchi
- mini mozzarella balls
- Parmesan cheese
- extra virgin olive oil
- Italian flat-leaf parsley
- fresh basil, plus 2 more stems for garnish
- oregano &ndash dried
- onion, diced
- garlic, minced
- tomatoes &ndash whole
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- heavy cream (optional&hellipbut encouraged)
- Over medium heat, warm the olive oil.
- Add the herbs. Be careful of grease splatter because the moisture in the fresh herbs will cause the oil to splatter. Cook the herbs for several minutes until they start to crisp and they have infused the oil with their flavors.
- Remove the herbs, leaving the oregano.
- Add the onion and garlic to the oil. Sauté until they start to take on color.
- Add the can of whole tomatoes with the juices. Crush the tomatoes with a spoon.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Allow the sauce to reduce 20-30 minutes to your desired thickness.
- Add the cream if desired. Cream is encouraged.
- Meanwhile, cook the gnocchi according to the package directions.
- Drain the gnocchi and add to the sauce.
- Add the mini mozzarella balls.
- Top with parmesan cheese.
- Broil until the cheese melts and becomes golden.
Another option is to make this sauce and serve it over homemade gnudi. Gnudi is also known as ricotta gnocchi.
Tips for Making Gnocchi Recipe
- Prep ahead: Have all your gnocchi sauce ingredients ready to go because one you start browning that butter, you are minutes away!
- Use fresh herbs: If possible, please splurge on fresh herbs for this gnocchi recipe. You can use a mixture of dried and fresh herbs, of course, but fresh is best in my opinion, especially the sage. Its earthy and delicate quality is a defining feature of this dish.
- How to purchase and store fresh sage: Look for fresh sage that is aromatic and lively, free from soft spots and dry edges. To store fresh sage, remove the leaves from the stems, wrap them in a paper towel and place in a resealable plastic bag in the fridge use within four to five days. Fresh leaves can also be placed in a container and covered in olive oil and stored for about three weeks in the refrigerator. Either method will work for this recipe.
- Use unsalted butter: This recipe calls for a lot of butter. As such, I recommend using unsalted butter so that the dish doesn’t taste too salty. Secondly, salted butter tends to foam up more, which makes it difficult to discern the true color of the butter as it’s browning.
- Cut butter for gnocchi sauce: Butter will take longer to brown if it’s thrown in as a whole stick, but more importantly, it can brown unevenly. Some of the butter can start to burn while the rest is still melting. Chop the butter into 1-inch pieces and your problem is solved!
- Boil and toast gnocchi: You must complete both steps – if you attempt to just pan fry the gnocchi without boiling, the outsides will be crispy but the insides will be raw.
- Don’t overcook the gnocchi: Remove the gnocchi as soon as they float to the top because they will continue to cook in the skillet.
- Sear gnocchi until golden in batches: To achieve the crispiest gnocchi, give the dumplings breathing room in the skillet. Don’t disturb them while they sear until the bottom is golden brown and then use tongs turn them over.
- Use a light-colored pan: A light bottomed pan allows you to easily spot exactly when the butter has browned and before it burns. If you don’t have a stainless steel or light bottom skillet, you can use a light-colored cast iron pan or even Dutch oven if that’s all you have.
- Whisk the butter constantly while it browns: It’s important that you continually whisk the butter at all stages of cooking because those golden-brown bits can go from perfectly golden brown to burnt in a matter of seconds. Once the butter starts to smell caramelized and nutty, remove it from the heat so it doesn’t continue to cook.
- Don’t go too dark with the brown butter sauce: We are going more medium golden-brown butter than dark brown butter. Continue to whisk until the butter reaches a couple shades above your desired degree of darkness because it will continue to cook when we add the fresh herbs.
- Don’t toss the brown solids at the bottom of the pan: The browned milk solids from the brown butter are flavor gold! They are actually where most of the flavor in browned butter comes from, so you definitely want to leave those in and scrape them all from the pan.
- Don’t try and salvage burnt brown butter: If you burn the butter, you MUST start over with the gnocchi sauce because burnt butter is incredibly bitter and can’t be saved. Dispose of the butter, wipe the skillet clean and start again, decreasing the heat and/or time.
- Thoroughly coat the gnocchi in the sauce: Once you add the gnocchi and Parmesan, get in there with your spatula and gently but thoroughly give it a good stir to ensure the gnocchi is fully coated in the sauce before serving. Don’t worry about the Parmesan breaking -that just means more evenly distributed flavor!
This collection of gnocchi recipes contains some fantastic Italian starter ideas from some of the country's best chefs. Emanuele Scarello's luxurious gnocchi recipe is finished with black truffle shavings and a heady garlic sauce, with striking presentation fit for even the finest of dinner parties. If you fancy adding a touch of drama to the plate a dash of beetroot purée will result in a striking starter dish, demonstrated by Teresa Buongiorno in her Pink gnocchi with ricotta cream and Norbert Niederkofler's Beetroot gnocchi recipe.
While gnocchi can often be found lurking somewhere beneath risotto in the pasta section of restaurant menus, in Italy it is actually seen as an alternative to the pasta primo. Traditionally made from potato with the addition of semolina or flour, cheese, herbs and egg, they are technically regarded as a dumpling and tend to be boiled first before being finished in a pan or grill.