7 Sauces That Will Make Your Gnocchi Game Unstoppable
You’ve seen it in the store. You’ve seen it on menus. You’ve probably mispronounced it once or twice. You may have even seen videos of how to make it and thought, “That looks easy, I should really try that.” No? Just me? Well, let’s just say it didn’t go amazingly.
Gnocchi (The ‘g’ is silent by the way, in case you’re still mispronouncing it — no judgment) are small Italian dumplings, often made from potato though sometimes from ricotta cheese as well. Luckily for me, I don’t have to resort to making my own. Potato gnocchi are easy to find kosher in almost any supermarket.
Personally, I enjoy using the Bartenura brand gnocchi since they don’t require freezing or refrigerating. Plus, they taste great and even have a spinach variety, which adds even more flavor and versatility.
But what do you do once you follow the package directions? How are you supposed to eat gnocchi? Well, friends. That’s where the fun begins! Gnocchi are a great vehicle for any number of sauces. The possibilities are endless. Here are enough recipes for you to have a different gnocchi every day of the week.
Recipe by Susie Fishbein
What a great way to “rosé all day,” am I right? This sauce is insanely flavorful and will go amazingly with your gnocchi.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, minced
4 large cloves garlic, each cut in half
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup rosé (you can also use white wine)
1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes, with their liquid
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
black pepper, to taste
- Heat the butter and oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add the onion, garlic, oregano, basil, and crushed red pepper flakes, and sauté three minutes.
- Add the wine, tomatoes, and tomato liquid.
- With a gloved hand, squeeze the tomatoes in the pot to break them open.
- Simmer for 15 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally.
- Using an immersion blender, process until sauce reaches desired consistency.
- Stir in cream and salt.
- Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add Parmesan cheese, and mix well. Season with pepper to taste.
Extra Pasta Inspo: This sauce also pairs well with a trio of different “pastas.” Check out the original recipe here.
Mushroom Cream Sauce
Recipe by Rivky Kleiman
Potato gnocchi with mushrooms seems like a good enough way to get your daily veggies if you ask me. Just imagine a forkful of pillowy gnocchi with garlicky sautéed mushrooms. Is it dinner time?
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound sliced steak mushrooms or large baby Bella mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon meatless "beef" broth powder, dissolved in 1/3 cup water
1/3 cup semisweet or dry white wine
1 and 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sliced mushrooms. Stir until well coated. Sauté for 10-15 minutes until all mushrooms are slightly browned. Transfer to a dish.
- Combine "beef" broth, wine, soy sauce, cornstarch, Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add mixture to the skillet and bring to a boil. Stir until mixture begins to thicken (about one minute).
- Add in the gnocchi and mushrooms and stir until combined.
- Add in the heavy cream and parsley flakes. Stir until well combined, then remove from heat.
Extra Pasta Inspo: Running out of gnocchi? Feel free to add in fettuccine or another thick pasta. See the original recipe here.
Mushroom-Tomato Meat Sauce
Recipe by Faigy Grossman
Not a cream sauce fan? Well gnocchi is pareve (and gluten-free, by the way!), so there’s no need to shy away from the meat. This sauce is a chunky, meaty option for your gnocchi- you may even want to use a spoon!
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 (16-oz) (450-g) can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 pound (450 grams) lean ground beef
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 (8-oz) (225-g) can tomato sauce
1 cup water
4 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon dried basil, optional
- In a large frying pan, sauté onion in oil until golden; add garlic and sauté an additional one to two minutes. Add mushrooms to pan, and stir until heated through and beginning to brown.
- Add ground meat to pan. Mix to break up clumps, and cook until meat is browned and clumps are broken up.
- Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, and ketchup, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for an additional 10 minutes, until tomatoes are softened and cooked through.
- Remove from heat and season with basil, if desired, and salt and pepper to taste.
Extra Pasta Inspo: This meat sauce is great on pretty much anything. It twirls nicely with spaghetti (that’s something everyone gets excited about, right?), and it’s also great with pastas like penne that can get some of the meat and sauce in the middle. See the original recipe here.
Gnocchi Pumpkin Sauce
Recipe by Joodie the Foodie
This is a good one to have in your pocket come Fall. But if you’re like me, you like to get a head start on pumpkin season. Hey, they wouldn’t sell canned pumpkin in the stores year-round if you weren’t supposed to use it!
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin
1 and 1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup semi-dry white wine
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon cut up fresh sage
- Heat up the olive oil in a sauce pan over a medium flame.
- Add in the shallots and garlic and sauté for 2–3 minutes, until fragrant.
- Add in the pumpkin, milk, heavy cream, and wine, mixing until well combined. You may need to adjust the milk depending on how thick or thin you want your sauce.
- Add in the mozzarella, salt, nutmeg, cayenne and fresh sage and mix until everything is melted and combined.
- Mix the gnocchi with the sauce and plate. Garnish each plate with roasted chestnuts, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, garlic confit, and fresh sage. Enjoy with a glass of semi-dry white wine.
Extra Pasta Inspo: If you decide to try your hand at making your own gnocchi from scratch, you can find an awesome recipe here.
Triple-Tomato Spinach Sauce
Recipe by Brynie Greisman
Did we say triple tomato? We sure did! We got ‘em fresh. We got ‘em crushed. We’ve even got ‘em ‘marinara-ed’ — I’m pretty sure that counts.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2–3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 small ripe plum tomatoes, chopped
1 (28-oz./800-g.) can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
kosher salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
1/2 – 1 teaspoon sugar or to taste
3/4 cup marinara sauce
6 ounces frozen spinach, rinsed
6 ounces (170 grams) shredded Natural & Kosher Muenster cheese (low fat is fine)
2 slices low-fat American cheese, cut up
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté till fragrant, about one minute. Add chopped tomatoes and cook two more minutes.
- Add canned tomatoes, vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15–20 minutes. Midway, add the marinara sauce.
- Add spinach to the sauce and cook covered for four minutes, or until softened. Stir together well. Taste and adjust seasoning. Feel free to add oregano, basil, cayenne pepper, etc. Add gnocchi and mix.
- For extra deliciousness: Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line an 8- x 12-inch (20- x 30-cm) oven-to-tableware dish with parchment paper, lightly buttered.
- Pour half of the mixture in the pan. Sprinkle half the Muenster cheese and the cut-up American cheese on top.
- Top with remaining gnocchi and sprinkle with the rest of the Muenster cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden on top. Cover midway if cheese starts to burn. Remove from oven and let sit a few minutes before serving.
Extra Pasta Inspo: This also makes for a great baked penne, plus there’s an option for making this sauce even creamier in the original recipe here.
Pesto Alfredo Sauce
Recipe by Esther Deutsch
I have a family friend with a crazy amazing garden in her backyard. In the summer, she brings over entire shopping bags filled with basil, and my family is absolutely swimming in it. Needless to say, I’m always looking for recipes like this one.
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup pine nuts or walnuts, toasted
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt to taste
- Process basil, nuts, garlic, olive oil, pepper in food processor until smooth. Stir in grated Parmesan and combine well.
- In a large sauté pan over medium to high heat, heat heavy cream for several minutes until it starts to thicken considerably. Add pesto sauce and stir well to combine. Season with kosher salt if needed.
- Add gnocchi to sauté pan and cook over low heat for a minute or two, combining with sauce until evenly incorporated. Garnish with basil leaves and/or pine nuts. Serve hot.
Extra Pasta Inspo: The classic association with alfredo sauce is fettuccine, so you can’t go wrong if that’s your preference. Check out the original recipe here.
Recipe by Sara and Yossi Goldstein
This is for those times when you’re really looking for something fancy to impress company. If these seven recipes are the days of the week, this one is Shabbat. It’s got rich, deep flavors that develop slowly and will get you nice and ready for that afternoon nap.
1/2 cup olive oil
1 pound (5-6 pieces) oxtail (about)
salt, for sprinkling
coarse black pepper, for sprinkling
all-purpose flour, for sprinkling
5 large celery stalks, coarsely chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, very coarsely chopped
2 cups dry red wine
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, chopped
4 fresh parsley sprigs
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
1 bay leaf
2 cups beef or chicken broth
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or ovenproof pot over medium-high heat.
- Sprinkle oxtails with salt and pepper, then flour. Add oxtails to pan, cooking until brown on all sides, about 15 minutes total.
- Transfer to a bowl. Add celery, carrots, and onion to pot. Reduce heat to medium-high and sauté until vegetables brown, about 15 minutes.
- Add wine and tomatoes. Boil until mixture thickens to a chunky sauce, about five minutes. Add garlic.
- Tie parsley, rosemary, and bay leaves with kitchen string, and add to pot. Return oxtails to pot. Add broth and bring to a boil. Cover pot and transfer to oven.
- Braise oxtails until very tender, about two hours. Transfer oxtails to rimmed baking sheet.
- Using potato masher, crush vegetables and meat in the pot to coarse sauce texture. Pull meat off oxtails and add to sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss ragu with potato gnocchi and serve.
Extra Pasta Inspo: This is another recipe that is actually originally intended for gnocchi- score! To find out how to make gnocchi from scratch using mashed potatoes rather than whole potatoes, check out the original recipe here.
For all the carb lovers out there, this one's for you! Let us know in the comments how you like to eat your gnocchi, and send us pictures if you try these recipes!