I love gnocchi.
Hand-rolled gnocchi is unbeatable. I’ll never forget the first time I had fresh, hand-rolled gnocchi in Italy. It was out of this world good. Gnocchi immediately became one of my favorite dishes.
I’ve made gnocchi by hand before. It’s one of the most time-intensive things I’ve ever prepared in the kitchen. Homemade gnocchi is worth the effort. But on a busy weeknight, few of us can afford to spend that many hours on one component of a meal.
So, gnocchi is one of the few things I’m willing to take a shortcut on.
Yes, I whole-heartedly support the use of store-bought gnocchi.
Creamy Mascarpone Tomato Gnocchi
It’s true that store-bought gnocchi isn’t as good as homemade. But it’s still delicious. It’s even more delicious when served in my creamy mascarpone tomato sauce.
I developed this Creamy Mascarpone Tomato Gnocchi during COVID lockdowns. At the time, the ingredients available in my local grocery stores were severely limited.
But ultimately, those restrictions inspired this dish.
Make Creamy Mascarpone Tomato Gnocchi
Gnocchi, tomatoes, basil, and garlic form the basis of this tomato gnocchi dish. Add some mascarpone, pine nuts, tomato paste, and a little freshly ground Parmesan, and you’ve got an addicting homemade sauce for this gnocchi that comes together in under a half hour.
Don’t wait for a fancy weekend to enjoy a stellar gnocchi dish. Make my Creamy Mascarpone Tomato Gnocchi, and enjoy gnocchi any night of the week.
A Few Things
Gnocchi is available in most grocery stores. If you can’t find it, here’s one of my favorite gnocchi brands, Nocca, on Amazon [aff. link]. Nocca has vegan and gluten-free gnocchi options.
This recipe calls for tomato paste. You can find my favorite tubed tomato paste on Amazon [aff. link]. I prefer tubed tomato paste to the canned tomato paste you find at the grocery store. With tubed tomato paste, it’s so much easier to save anything you don’t use for later.
You can also find my favorite gnocchi and tubed tomato paste in my Amazon store here.
Creamy Mascarpone Tomato Gnocchi
For the sauce:
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 16 oz cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed (literally, just give them each a good smash with your knife!)
- 1 pinch of pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 Tbsp pine nuts
- 2 Tbsp Parmesan, freshly ground (omit to keep vegan)
- 3 Tbsp mascarpone, substitute with cream cheese if needed, or with vegan cream cheese to keep this dish vegan
- 2 tsp tomato paste
- ½ cup water
- 28 oz gnocchi
- Basil, torn or chiffonade (see note below)
- Additional Parmesan, for serving
Make the sauce
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil for just under a minute over medium heat. Now add the tomatoes, garlic, ½ tsp sea salt, and pepper to the skillet.
- Cook over medium heat for 7-8 minutes, until the tomatoes release their juices and begin to break down.
Start the gnocchi
- If you are up for multi-tasking, now is a great time to start the gnocchi, and make this an under 30 minute meal. Simply put the gnocchi in a big pot of water. Make sure that the water covers the gnocchi by at least two inches.
- Turn the heat up to high, and just keep checking back on the gnocchi as you finish preparing the sauce. The gnocchi is done cooking when all the gnocchi rise to the top of the pot. (See photo in article above.)
- Gnocchi is (usually) done about three minutes after the water has come to a boil. But it can vary, so just keep checking back on the pot.
Finish cooking the tomatoes
- Back to the tomatoes. Turn the heat down to low and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat off, and very carefully transfer the tomato mixture to your food processor.
Process the sauce
- Now add the pine nuts, Parmesan, and remaining ½ tsp sea salt to the tomato mixture in the food processor.
- Pulse everything a few times, then process for a few minutes until the mixture is pretty smooth. There will still be a little texture.
- Transfer the sauce back to the skillet, and set aside until the gnocchi finishes cooking.
Finish cooking the gnocchi
- If you multitasked with the gnocchi, it’s probably just about finished cooking at this point. If you haven’t started cooking the gnocchi, now is the time to start. Just follow the directions for gnocchi above.
- When the gnocchi has finished cooking, strain it.
Bring it all together
- Back to the skillet with the sauce. Turn the heat on to medium and add the ½ cup water and 2 tsp tomato paste. Stir until the water and tomato paste are fully incorporated into the sauce.
- Once the water and tomato paste are completely mixed in, add the strained gnocchi to the pan, along with the 3 Tbsp of mascarpone.
- Keep the heat on medium, and stir everything together. Continue stirring gently until the mascarpone has completely melted into the sauce, and the sauce evenly coats the gnocchi.
Serve and enjoy!
- Taste, then stir a little basil into the dish, if desired.
- Serve this Creamy Mascarpone Tomato Gnocchi alone or with some greens, and top each serving with more basil and Parmesan. This gnocchi pairs well with my Champagne Vinaigrette Salad.