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Meatballs and Baked Gnocchi in a Tomato Cream Sauce

If you're looking for alight dish... this isn’t it. Scratch meatballs, fresh mozzarella pearls, gnocchi and tomato cream sauce make this a guilty indulgence. But you know what? Every once in a while, on a cold winter night you just need some fatty meat, carbs and cheese. My husband thought it was "wonderful and rich" and I enjoyed it as well.


For the Meatballs:

1/2 lbs Italian sausage

1/2 ground beef

1 egg

1/4 yellow onion, finely diced

5 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup parmesan

Combine the above ingredients and hand mix until thoroughly combined. Roll out balls by hand, roughly 1/2 inch in diameter. Place them all onto a silicone mat (or greased baking sheet). Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees and set aside.

For the Sauce:

1/4 yellow onion

10 garlic cloves

1 tbsp olive oil

14 oz crushed tomatoes

3 oz tomato paste

14.5 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

3/4 oz basil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tbsp onion powder

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Dice and mince the garlic and onion, sautéing in olive oil until browned and fragrant (4-5 minutes). Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes and tomato paste.

Add the balsamic vinegar and the minced basil. Add the salt, pepper, red pepper, onion powder and heavy whipping cream. Stir and allow the ingredients to cook together/reduce for 10-15 minutes; stirring along the way.

You will also need:

a 16 oz package gnocchi

a package of mozzarella pearls.

(Boil the gnocchi for 2-3 minutes, drain and set aside.)

Putting it all together:

In a large mixing bowl, carefully stir the gnocchi, sauce and mozzarella pearls. Once they are stirred well, add the meatballs and stir carefully.

I baked mine in ramekins for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. (I also topped it with a little bit of shredded mozzarella.)

If you're cooking yours in a large casserole dish, do so for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees.

Serve and enjoy!

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