30-minute meals

Crispy gnocchi with tomatoes and mozzarella is the perfect quick dinner fix

The first in our new series for time-poor cooks, Ali Slagle’s pan-friend gnocchi will come in handy on hectic weeknights

Thursday 30 September 2021 12:00
<p>This dish is all about mixing crispy and tender textures </p>

This dish is all about mixing crispy and tender textures

This recipe puts shop-bought gnocchi to good use, browning it in a pan for a mix of crispy outsides and chewy middles. It’s then paired with juicy tomatoes and melty, blistered pockets of mozzarella for even more crisp-tenderness.

Use cherry tomatoes here, as they’re reliably more flavourful year-round than larger, more watery varieties, like beefsteak and heirloom. But whatever kind you use, taste your tomatoes, and if they’re more tart than sweet, add ½ teaspoon sugar in step 2.

Crispy gnocchi with burst tomatoes and mozzarella

Makes: 4 servings

Total time: 25 minutes


2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

2 (340-510g) packages shelf-stable or refrigerated potato gnocchi

60g unsalted butter (½ stick)

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

¼ tsp red pepper flakes, plus more for serving

Salt and black pepper

600g small tomatoes, such as cherry, plum or Sungold

5g thinly sliced or torn basil leaves (optional), plus more for serving

225g fresh mozzarella, cut or torn into 1.5cm pieces


1. Heat the broiler with a rack about 15cm from the heat source.

2. In a large (30cm) frying pan on the stovetop, heat enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan (about 1 tablespoon) over medium-high. Add half the gnocchi to the pan, breaking up any that are stuck together. Cover with a lid or baking tray and cook, undisturbed, until golden brown on one side, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi and olive oil.

3. Add the butter to the pan and cook over medium-high, stirring often, until golden-brown and toasty, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the garlic, red-pepper flakes, 1½ teaspoons salt and a few grinds of pepper, reducing the heat slightly if necessary to avoid scorching. Add the tomatoes and 3 tablespoons water and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the tomatoes have softened and the liquid has slightly thickened, 4 to 6 minutes. Smash the tomatoes as they burst to help them along.

4. Add the seared gnocchi and basil (if using), stir to coat, then shake into an even layer. Top with the mozzarella and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Broil until the cheese is melted and browned in spots, 2 to 4 minutes. Top with more basil, red-pepper flakes and black pepper as desired.

© The New York Times

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