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Gnocchi with Pomodoro Sauce

This Italian gnocchi dish is a real winter warmer, perfect for those cold nights when you feel like someting really comforting with a glass of wine.

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GNOCCHI WITH POMODORO SAUCE

SERVES: SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoons

4 stems fresh Italian flat leaf parsley

4 stems fresh oregano

2 stems fresh rosemary

2 stems fresh basil, plus 2 more stems for garnish

½ yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

1 large can tinned tomatoes

 salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of red chilli flakes

¼ cup heavy cream (optional)

1 quantity of homemade gnocchi (see recipe in dinner section)

½ dozen small mozzarella balls, torn roughly in half

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

METHOD

1.       Add ¼ cup olive oil to a 10-inch high sided sauté pan or a saucepan over medium heat. Add the parsley, oregano, rosemary and 2 stems of basil and cook for about 5 minutes or until the herbs become crisp. Remove the herbs and discard then add the onion and garlic to the oil, lowering the heat if needed so the onions cook gently and don't brown. Cook until the onions are transparent, about 5-7 minutes, then crush the tomatoes with your hand and add to the pan with juice. Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper and red chilli flakes and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the sauce reduces and thicken, stirring occasionally. Stir in the heavy cream and remove from the heat.

2.       Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to a boil and add the gnocchi. Season generously with salt and cook until the gnocchi float to the top of the boiling water.  Once at the top, allow your gnocchi to cook for another whole minute.   Drain and then place the gnocchi into the cooked sauce. Top with the halved mozzarella balls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese then drizzle the tops of the gnocchi with the remaining olive oil.  Place in a hot oven for 10 -15 minutes or until the cheese melts and the tops become crispy. Garnish with additional basil leaves and serve immediately.