This is a variation of one of my favorite quick dishes that also uses store-bought gnocchi as a shortcut. It is less spicy which pleased my husband. 😉 The cheesiness of this version definitely made it a crowd-pleaser.
The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Ali Slagle. It was the perfect dinner to make and serve after making cupcakes all afternoon with my daughter. Fast and fabulous.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
- 2 (12- to 18-ounce) packages shelf-stable or refrigerated potato gnocchi (I used Trader Joe’s)
- 1/4 cup (4 T) unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
- 8 to 10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more, to taste
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups (2 pints) small tomatoes, such as cherry, grape or Sungold
- 4 to 6 T thinly sliced (chiffonade) or torn basil leaves, plus more for serving
- 8 to 9 ounces (8 slices) fresh mozzarella, cut or torn into 1/2-inch pieces
- Heat the broiler with a rack about 6 inches from the heat source.
- In a large (12-inch) skillet on the stovetop, heat enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan (about 1 tablespoon) over medium-high. (I used a 12-inch cast iron skillet.)
- Add half the gnocchi to the pan, breaking up any that are stuck together. Cover with a lid or baking sheet 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.
- Add the butter to the skillet and cook over medium-high, stirring often, until golden-brown and toasty, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the garlic, red-pepper flakes, 1 1/2 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.
- Add the seared gnocchi and basil, 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. (I set my oven to 500 degrees Broil+Max.)
- Top with more basil, red-pepper flakes, and black pepper as desired.