Sunday Night Gnocchi Bolognese Bake.
I know it’s only Thursday, but this Sunday night gnocchi Bolognese bake needs to be on your dinner menu for this weekend.
And hey, we all know it’s never too early to start planning the weekend!
So here’s the deal. I am in comfort food mode (as if you haven’t figured this out) and this gnocchi bake is all things comforting. As you guys know it’s been a little busy around here, with multiple things happening behind the scenes. And then you know, launching the cookbook! It’s been a roller coaster of anticipation, fun, stress, and um tiredness…tons of different emotions. Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving every minute of this ride (ok, well most of it), but some of the stress has just left me craving all the comforting things I love. Things like my favorite pumpkin candle, fuzzy sweaters, and cheesy gnocchi.
Plus, as mentioned earlier this week, the weather in Colorado at night has definitely gone from chilly to just cold, and that means cheesy gnocchi is just what needs to happen for Sunday night dinner this week. I mean, obviously.
I first had the idea for this recipe a few weeks back, but waited until the end of September to tell you guys about it because it just feels like the most perfect autumn Sunday night dinner.
Sunday night dinners have always been my favorite, which is kind of odd since I used to hate Sundays. It’s a long story, but in short, Sundays just meant back to school the next day, which for me was a pretty big issue.
Anyway, dinners on Sunday were always special. My mom would make a point to make a good meal (probably her Potato Chip Chicken, which is a recipe in the cookbook), bake a loaf of bread, and bake fresh cookies. The entire family, meaning all eight or nine of us (depending on the year and who had been born…) would actually sit at the same table and all eat together at the same time. If you’re a Gerard family member then you know this kind of thing definitely did not happen every night of the week, but when it did happen it was always a nice thing. Sometimes football would be playing in the background, but most of the time it was just the family. It was loud and a little chaotic, but it was always the best.
Sunday nights are not quite the same over here since we’ve all gotten older, moved out of our parent’s house, and you know, grown up. But I still love making a good dinner and lighting a candle or two, especially during the fall and winter months…
Which brings me to this gnocchi Bolognese bake. It’s the perfect dinner to simmer on the stove and let your house fill with delicious smells, then bake and eat.
Like a lot of recipes I’ve been creating these days, this dish is made all in one pot. Make the Bolognese sauce in a large skillet, then stir in the gnocchi, add some cheese and bake.
So simple, but yet the most amazing dish. Almost like in Italy…but then what do I really know, I’ve never been there. Someday though!
A few notes. My recipe calls for ground beef or spicy Italian sausage. I like to use spicy Italian sausage for an extra layer of spice and flavor. You could also use ground chicken or turkey if you prefer. To make the sauce rich but flavorful, I use a mix of red wine and milk. The wine adds a fruity flavor while the milk keeps the sauce creamy and rich. If you don’t drink wine or prefer not to use it in your sauce, just use an equal amount of water.
And lastly? The cheese! Mozzarella and provolone are my favorites with this type of Italian meal, but you could also use ricotta, maybe even cheddar or really whatever you love that melts well. Then top with basil and all will be good.
It’s a pretty simple and straight forward recipe, but delicious none the less! Excited to make this on Sunday for a cozy night back home after traveling. I am off again on Monday morning, so a good dinner is totally needed.
Kind of already dreaming about it…
Sunday Night Gnocchi Bolognese Bake
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: easy recipe, Italian meal
This gnocchi Bolognese bake is the perfect dinner to simmer on the stove and let your house fill with delicious smells, then bake and eat.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small sweet onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- kosher salt and pepper
- 1 pound lean ground beef or spicy Italian sausage
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1 28 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh oregano
- 16 ounces potato gnocchi
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, torn
- 1 cup shredded provolone cheese
- fresh basil, for topping
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onions and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the beef and garlic and cook until the beef has browned all over, about 8-10 minutes.
3. Stir in all of the tomatoes, wine, and milk. Add the bay leaf and oregano and simmer the sauce for 15 minutes or until it has thickened slightly.
4. Stir in the gnocchi and 1/3 cup water. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook another 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and remove the bay leaf and oregano. Top the dish with cheese. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese has melted. Top with fresh basil. Enjoy!
The perfect cheese pull. Get’s me every time.
ps. I will be on Hallmark Home and Family tomorrow at 10am EST/9am C.