Baked Gnocchi alla Neapolitana

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Potato gnocchi is a northern Italian staple, these little potato dumplings are cooked and enjoyed throughout the cooler northern regions and one of the best loved gnocchi dishes are baked.

The recipe below is probably the most traditional of all baked gnocchi recipes, featuring the typical Italian combination of tomato, mozzarella and basil.

500 g fresh gnocchi or homemade gnocchi ( Potato Gnocchi )

1 tbsp olive oil

1 small red onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

400g tinned chopped tomatoes (or homemade passata)

1 tsp oregano

1 lemon, zest only

200 g spinach

125 g mozzarella

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gm 6. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the gnocchi – about 2 minutes less than the packet instructions or they will overcook in the sauce later. If using fresh gnocchi, cook in boiling salted water till they float to the top. Drain and transfer into a large ovenproof dish.

2. Heat the oil in a pan then gently soften the onion with a pinch of salt and the lid on for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.

3. Add the tomatoes, oregano and lemon zest. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes and then stir through the chopped spinach and cover with the lid until wilted.

4. Pour the sauce over the gnocchi, stirring a little to combine. Tear the mozzarella into pieces and scatter over the top of the dish, season with black pepper then bake in the oven for around 10-15 minutes until golden.

(5). Serve with good bread or garlic bread to mop up the juices.

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