One Recipe, Two Meals: Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce

If you feel like your face has been lacking the presence of gnocchi in it, no fear! This post is for you — and your face.

OK, we all love gnocchi. How can you not? Delicious little mouth pillows of delight! It's basically the hybrid love child of all the carbs. Potato + pasta = duh.

I will admit, making gnocchi from scratch can be a bit laborious. It's therapeutic on a weekend, when you have the time for it (and a trough of red wine to accompany this activity). But on a weeknight, when your family is in a fit of hangryness, you need dinner pronto, man! And this is going to be the way to do it.

I've come up with a beyond-simple recipe that gets the kids fed quickly, yet still maintains a teensy bit of fancy for you and yours. The sauce is glorious — packed with loads of garlic and basil, but pureed to give it a smooth, silky texture.

This is actually a tip from my Italian friend, who just spent some time in Italy. She was like, "Bev, you've got to puree that sauce. You want it smooth, dude. Like us Italians. Smooth." She probably didn't say that last part, but I like to imagine that she did.

You're using frozen gnocchi for this recipe, but shoot — dried is fine. Even homemade! The kids get the stripped-down version, topped with a simple dusting of Parmesan cheese and truckloads of crusty bread.

And for the adults, we're simply adding a good handful of Kalamata olives and capers to the tomato sauce, giving it more of a puttanesca feel. You like it, right? I know.

You've got to make this! So incredibly perfect for a gorgeous, crisp fall evening. Top it off with more fresh basil, Parmesan and, like, a million pieces of crusty bread. You need these carbs. Trust me.

One Recipe, Two Ways: Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes (crush the tomatoes with your hands)

Handful of fresh basil leaves (about 8)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Coarse salt

1 bag (1.25 ounces) frozen gnocchi (dried is fine, too!)

1/2 cup halved Kalamata olives

2 tablespoons capers

Fresh Parmesan for garnish

Extra basil for garnish

Crusty bread for serving

Tomato Garlic Gnocchi for Kids:

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic; bloom until fragrant, 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes, basil and a good pinch of salt. Let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer sauce to a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour sauce back in pot.

Bring another large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi and cook until al dente, 2 minutes. Drain the gnocchi and add it to the tomato sauce.

At this point, ladle out about a cup of the gnocchi and portion it out into small bowls. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and it's ready for the kids!

Gnocchi Puttanesca for Adults:

To the pot, add the olives and capers and stir to combine. (You could also just sprinkle the olives and capers on top of the gnocchi if you prefer. Either way is fine!)

The gloriously simple gnocchi puttanesca is ready for the adult faces. Yay!

Garnish with fresh Parmesan and basil leaves. Don't forget that crusty bread!

Follow Bev on her blog, Bev Cooks, if you think you can even handle more.

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