Comfort food…oh how I love you!
And I am so happy your time to shine has come again.
You know, even though I complain about it, I think it may be a good thing I live in such a cold place. As much as I hate the cold, I love cozy… and in my head you can’t really be cozy without cold.
My point is, cold weather makes me think cozy thoughts… blankets, fires, soup, stew, pasta, cheese, hot cocoa… yadda, yadda, yadda. I could go on and on and on, but I’ll spare you some rambling.
It’s not a secret around here that I happen to do cozy food REALLY well. Even in the warmer months, I can somehow manage to find a way to make a dish cozy. You might even call it my specialty! So you can imagine how excited I am to be heading into these cozy months ahead. Fall is my favorite, and it’s T-minus six days until its official start. Clearly I have left summer in the dust. Sorry summer, I will love you again come late May/June, but today it’s on to cozy gnocchi!
I know, YES!!
Here’s the thing. This is actually the PERFECT transition to fall meal. While it is baked and super cozy, it’s also a great way to use up all those beautiful late summer tomatoes and fresh basil. So you see, you kind of get summer and fall in one.
Cool. I think I kind of like that!
Best part?? You honestly just add everything to a baking dish all at once and throw it in the oven. It could not be easier! Like SO SIMPLE, you will love it! AND the 45 minutes listed to make this dish, that’s almost all spent baking in the oven, giving you bonus free time. YES. I love, love, love when that happens. Depending on the time of day (cause most of the time I cook throughout the day) I’ll either get some work done on my computer or…ehh, that’s a lie, most likely I’ll do something that’s a total waste of time, like get caught up on Snapchat. OR, if by chance I am cooking at night and have a free 45 minutes? Oh my gosh you better believe I am taking the longest shower known to man. Lately there just hasn’t been enough shower time happening in my life!
When I was growing up I would come home from school, immediately get all my homework done and then have to “wash off” school in the shower. Fully admitting my mental issues right here and now. But really, that’s how much I disliked school. I had to shower to get it off of me. I know, isn’t that weird?
Good news is that fortunately I have grown out of this…or well, I am just out of school now, so the whole “washing off school” thing is kind of obsolete. Anyway, my nice hot showers are no longer frequent, nor long enough for my liking. Who knew that there would come a day when I literally had to make time for a shower. Like UGH. Grown up life is brutal!
But guys, I am clean…I just don’t always get a daily shower…which does make me sad, but apparently it’s really good for my hair and skin. So… cool??
Ahh, sorry. Enough about my hygiene habits.
This one-pan spinach and cheese gnocchi! It’s a beautiful thing, right? I actually made my own homemade ricotta gnocchi, but seeing as I really wanted this to be a throw and go kind of meal you can use store-bought if you prefer. I used this simple recipe from the kitchn for ricotta gnocchi if you are interested.
And like I said before, the rest is really simple. The sauce is basically tomatoes + my special little ingredient that spices this dish up just a bit…enchilada sauce! I know that may seem weird in an Italian dish, but trust me, it works! Also, I used a few different cheeses, including blue cheese. If you’re not a fan, I think goat cheese or simply feta would both be good substitutes.
Final selling point: you don’t even need to boil the gnocchi. Just put all the ingredients in a baking dish and… DONE.
Seriously, I love meals like this, they make weekday life so much better!!
Oh and!! My whole family ate it! This made me beyond happy!
Like Kai didn’t even ask questions about the green basil, he just kept eating. That is a beautiful thing right there!
One-Pan Spinach and Cheese Gnocchi with Roasted Garlic Tomato Cream Sauce.
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories Per Serving: 280 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 1 cup [chunky basil pesto | https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/20-minute-brown-butter-chunky-basil-pesto-pasta/] or store bought
- 10 cloves roasted garlic mashed* OR 2 cloves, garlic, grated or minced
- 1 ounce can whole peeled fire roasted tomatoes 24
- 1/2 cup enchilada sauce
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 8 ounces frozen spinach thawed and squeezed of excess water
- 1 cup fresh basil chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh sage chopped
- salt + pepper to taste
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 ounce box gnocchi 16
- 6 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese or more
- 4 ounces gorgonzola cheese crumbled, may use goat cheese or feta cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan + more for serving
- fresh basil + sage for serving
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
- To the greased baking dish, add the pesto, garlic, tomato sauce, enchilada sauce, balsamic vinegar, heavy cream and butter. Whisk everything together to combine.
- Stir in the spinach, basil, sage, salt + pepper. Add the tomatoes and gnocchi. Toss to combine.
- Dollop the ricotta over top the dish and sprinkle the gorgonzola + parmesan on next. Cover the dish with foil and place in the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, remove the foil and continue baking another 10-15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly, the cheese is bubbly and the gnocchi is soft.
- Remove from the oven and top with fresh herbs. Serve with more parmesan.
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*To roast the garlic, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Chop off the top portion of the garlic head to reveal cloves. Peel any excess paper/skin off from the bulb of garlic. Place the cloves onto a piece of tin foil and pour about a teaspoon of olive oil on top. Cover with the foil. Place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes, or until the garlic is golden brown and soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool five minutes. Squeeze the garlic out of the paper skin into a bowl and mash well with a fork.
Oh, and don’t forget about that parmesan. You just can’t, it’s the best!