Gnocchi topped with cheese, with beef and basil.

A couple of weeks ago I was watching Rachel Allen‘s Home Cooking on BBC1 and she made gnocchi in about 5 minutes. Instantly I was inspired and wanted to head to the kitchen and whip up a batch of those little pieces of potato loveliness.

So I set about doing some research into the best recipe for making my gnocchi when an Italian colleague of mine come into the room and asked what I am doing. “Looking at gnocchi recipes”, I replied.


Thinking that was obvious, I just gave her a funny look.

“No, no, no… You don’t want that frustration in your life. They make it look easy on TV, but to make decent gnocchi you need years of practice, persistence and patience.”

When gnocchi goes wrong

Rosie then continued to lecture me on all the things that can go awry. She filled me with tales of the dense, soggy and rubbery gnocchi she has seen created over the years, and then she finished with a parting comment of “… And those are the ones that didn’t fall apart in the water!”

Later, she returned with a recipe to try using pre-made gnocchi. “Go to Waitrose, buy some of their best gnocchi and learn to cook with gnocchi… Then one day when you have nothing better to do, start trying to make your own, but make sure you aren’t very hungry.”

And so I was put off trying to make my own, and I headed down to my local Waitrose supermarket and bought the finest gnocchi I could find and went home and cooked this lovely Gnocchi recipe.


This is a super easy and fast dinner that is very tasty and filling.

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 500g minced beef
  • 2 400g tins of chopped tomatoes (with garlic and olive oil, if available)
  • 30g basil, roughly torn
  • 500g gnocchi
  • 75g mixed mozzarella and cheddar cheese, grated

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  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and brown the mince for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer and then bubble for 20 minutes over a low heat until the sauce has thickened.
  3. Stir in the basil.
  4. Spoon into a medium oven proof dish.
  5. Meanwhile cook the gnocchi, according to the packet instructions.
  6. Drain and then top with the tomato and mince mixture.
  7. Top with the cheese and grill for 5 minutes.

2 thoughts on “Gnocchi topped with cheese, with beef and basil.

  1. Thanks for linking to my gnocchi recipe. It’s not that difficult, it’s just time consuming. Don’t listen to your co-worker, roll up your sleeves and give it a whirl. The worst that will happen is that you’ll make terrible dinner and order up ordering a curry. The best that will happen is that you’ll find you have knack for making gnocchi.

    1. Domesticated Dad

      I will try making my own gnocchi, but it will have to be at a time when I have a back-up plan. Thanks for dropping by, I will update you all when I build up the nerve to give making my own gnocchi a whirl.

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