This is a seriously simple dish to make (mostly because cheating is incredibly easy with a dish like this!) and it’s one that will absolutely satisfy you when you’re hungry and needing a food-cuddle kinda comfort.
To feed 4, you will need:
- 500g gnocchi
- 12 meatballs (see my meatball recipe here)
- 2 x 125g (drained weight) buffalo mozzarella balls
- 1 brown onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- Handful chopped pancetta/3 rashers
- Thumb size piece of red chilli
- 2 tins of chopped tomato
- Fresh parsley
To create your masterpiece:
- Set your oven to 180°C. Bring a pot of water to the boil.
- Finely dice your onion and chilli and some parsley. Chop the bacon/pancetta. Crush the garlic.
- Fry the onions for a few minutes to soften then add the pancetta/bacon and chilli until the meat cooks. Set aside until you’re nearly finished the next step.
- Brown your meatballs all over in a frying pan to ensure they keep their shape when we add them to your sauce.
- When your meatballs are nearly done: Add the tomatoes, garlic and parsley and bring to the boil for a few minutes.
- Add the gnocchi to the pan of water and boil as per packet instructions – but essentially until the gnocchi floats!
- Add the meatballs to your tomato sauce and allow to boil for a minute before adding the gnocchi.
- Transfer 1/3 of the mixture into an oven-safe dish, chuck in some mozzarella pieces, add another layer of sauce and repeat. PS. My oven dish was too small so it kind of exploded in the oven…beware!
- Cover the top with mozzarella (we found flattening the mozzarella pearls with the back of a wooden spoon was ideal!) and bake for 15-20 minutes.
- Serve with some fresh parsley and voila!