Here in New England, we are now deep into the throws of winter. Jack Frost has his icy fingers wrapped tightly around me, and some mornings, it feels like a major struggle just to peel off the warm comforter and crawl out of bed.
All this cold weather has got me craving comfort foods on the regular. Hearty soups, steaming mugs of hot chocolate and big bowls of baked gnocchi have become a necessary part of my routine. Smoothies and cold salads just aren’t cutting it anymore.
There is one dish in particular that’s been on repeat for the past six weeks, and it’s this baked gnocchi with tomatoes, mushrooms and kale. With just the right amount of mozzarella cheese to make it feel luxurious, and a good dose of vegetables for added nutrients, this recipe will certainly become a regular part of your dinner routine, too!
Until this past year, gnocchi was a dish that I only enjoyed on rare occasions. I loved ordering it when dining out at restaurants, but I never seemed to remember to make it at home. I think I was intimidated by the idea of making gnocchi from scratch, so that stopped me from attempting to create any recipes in my own kitchen. But these days, store-bought gnocchi is actually really good (look for it in the pasta aisle at the grocery store), so it’s a shortcut that I’m happy to take advantage of. Especially because it helps me get a delicious dinner on the table quickly and easily, and that is something I can always appreciate!
Baked gnocchi is amenable to all kinds of customizations. Some days I like to let it swim in a luscious cream-based sauce, while other days, I stick to a more traditional tomato-based sauce. I also love to add-in additional herbs and vegetables to make it extra hearty and nutritious. Today’s version has fresh cherry tomatoes, shallots, mushrooms and kale, all wrapped up in an easy homemade tomato sauce. About half of the cooking is done on the stove-top. Then the dish is finished off in the oven, which allows for just enough time to toss together a small salad to serve on the side. It’s a dish that you can have on the table in about 40 minutes, and it’s a recipe that the whole family will love!
I used a small amount of red wine in the sauce, which I think really deepens the flavors, but feel free to leave it out, if you prefer.
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