During the winter, I crave warm casseroles that warm you up from the inside out. This vegetarian cheesy baked gnocchi is total comfort food….pasta, nuts, cheese and more cheese – yes, please! #FlashbackFriday
Happy Saturday all! Last night Tracey and I organized a little get together than involved making super decadent, cheesy, Gnocchi Dough Balls in a delicious Olive Oil, Basil Garlic Sauce topped with two Cheeses, seasoned Italian Bread Crumbs and crunchy walnuts.
Sounds really tasty, huh?! You know what ~ it was and the best part about it ~ we made both recipes Weight Watchers Friendly and healthy!
We lightened this recipe up by reducing the amount of cheeses used, using low-fat cheeses and one tasty red sauce.
The result was unbelievable! We were all left scraping every last bit of goodness off our plates and talking about how much better it tastes than any restaurant we have ever been at. It is recipes like this recipe that help me convince The Husband Vegetarian Dishes are not bad at all!
If making your own Gnocchi seems like too much work, you can easily use a fresh, frozen or packages gnocchi and have dinner on the table in under 20 minutes!
BAKED RICOTTA GNOCCHI WITH 2 CHEESE & WALNUTS (print it!)
- 8 ounces low-fat ricotta cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, or as needed
Baked Gnocchi Casserole
- 18 oz Bertolli Organic Olive Oil, Basil, Garlic Pasta Sauce
- 16 oz Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi (above) or packaged Gnocchi
- 1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese (about 4 oz.)
- 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbsp. thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped roasted walnuts
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs
1. Stir together the ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan Cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a large bowl until evenly combined. Mix in 1 cup of flour. Add additional flour if needed to form a soft dough.
2. Divide the dough into 3 pieces, and roll into 1/2-inch-thick ropes on a floured surface. Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces, crease with a fork and place on a lightly floured baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
3. Preheat oven to 425°. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Boil half the gnocchi until they float to the surface, 3 to 5 minutes, then drain. Repeat with remaining gnocchi.
4. In a large bowl, combine sauce, gnocchi, 1/2 cup mozzarella, 1 tablespoon Parmesan and 1 tablespoon basil. Top with remaining basil, cheeses, walnuts and bread crumbs.
5. Bake uncovered 12 minutes or until bubbling.
Makes 6 servings, 9 WWFreestyle Smartpoints, 7 points+ each
Nutritional information per serving for all ingredients:
STEP– BY– STEP
Start by making your Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi or cooking your package Gnocchi according to the instructions.
Combine all ingredients except the flour.
Start by adding 1 cup of all purpose flour (not whole wheat or it makes the gnocchi taste grainy). Add 1/4 cup additional flour as needed to make the Gnocchi form into a dough ball.
Pour your Gnocchi ball onto a lightly floured surface.
Divide into 3 equal portions.
Hire your friend to who awesome at making homemade Gnocchi to do this part 😀
Roll into three logs, about 1/2 inch thick.
Slice into 1 inch pieces and press with your fork to make fancy indentations. You could also use your Gnocchi board too.
Place finished gnocchi on a lightly floured plate or cookie sheet while you roll out the rest.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add half the gnocchi. They will take about 3-5 minutes to cook, but, you will know when they are done when the float to the top of the surface. Drain and set aside.
The secret ingredient to this recipe was provided by the folks over at Bertolli. They sent me a coupon asking if I wanted to give their new Organic Olive Oil, Basil and Garlic Sauce a try in our recipe renovation.
I honestly love the Bertolli sauces because you do not really need to “doctor” them up to make them taste like homemade sauce and they make a great base for just about any pasta recipe you are making.
Their stats are great and they use real ingredients!
Once you have finished cooking all your gnocchi, add half or your two cheeses, 2/3 of the Bertolli sauce and 1 Tbsp of freshly chopped basil. Toss gently to combine.
Pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Top with remaining basil. I also thing a nice swirl of homemade or store bought pesto would be fantastic in place of the basil.
Sprinkle with remaining two cheeses, breadcrumbs and toasted, chopped walnuts.
Bake at 425 for about 12 minutes until everything is toasty, bubbling and golden.
Cheesy, gooey, nutty, doughy, good ~ definitely restaurant quality stuff here 😉
Divide into 4, 6 or 8 servings depending on how hungry you are…..
Serve with colorful low point salads for the complete meal!
We all loved this dish and cannot wait to make it again!
You can definitely take a short cut by using packaged Gnocchi, but, if you have the time to make your own ~ do it ~ it really makes a world of difference.
How do you eat your Gnocchi?
Tracey and I were chatting about this while cooking. Up until last night, we both had only eaten it with pesto or in a browned butter sauce. I definitely think that with cheesy goodness and nuts might be my favorite new way. I wish we had leftovers.
I will be back tomorrow with my daily, weigh in thoughts and weekly menu! Oh and you will have a chance to win your own Pasta Making Kit courtesy of Bertoli on Monday….stay tuned!