This is a quick, flavorful meal that looks beautiful on the plate. I wanted to make a roasted red pepper sauce for pasta that doesn’t rely on heavy cream as a thickener. My solution was to use fresh gnocchi so that the starch would add to the sauce. Some parmesan cheese added flavor and some creaminess as well. The result is this Gnocchi with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.
Other ingredients include a bit of red chili pepper for a little heat, onion, cherry tomatoes, and herbs.
I started by roasted a red bell pepper and a few garlic cloves in the oven for 20 minutes. You can prepare most of the other ingredients while the pepper is roasting. The whole meal comes together in about 5 more minutes, so this is a pretty quick dinner to serve during the week. I made this for three people. If you have more to serve, add more gnocchi and another bell pepper.
Gnocchi are little dumplings made from potatoes and semolina. They don’t look like a lot of food when they are on your plate. But they are dense and fairly heavy. A little gnocchi go a long way. They are satisfyingly delicious.
You can make this with any color bell pepper, but I think the red looks particularly beautiful on the plate, especially in contrast to the fresh parsley I sprinkled on top. Red bell peppers also have more nutrition that the other colors. According to WebMD red peppers have 11 times more beta-carotene and 1.5 times more vitamin C. They taste great too.
I served this Gnocchi with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce with a crisp green salad and delicious bread from my local Italian bakery.
I hope you enjoy my recipe. Buon appetito!
Gnocchi with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
- 1 red bell pepper cleaned and seeds removed
- 2 tbsp olive oil not extra virgin
- 3 cloves garlic in their skins
- 1/4 cup onion chopped
- 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 12 grape or cherry tomatoes chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 cup parmesan or romano cheese finely grated
- 16 oz. mini gnocchi
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Arrange a baking sheet with foil. Put a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta.
- Slice the red bell pepper into 3-4 manageable pieces. Toss them with olive oil. Arrange on the baking sheet with the garlic cloves still in their skins. Roast in oven for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, add the chopped onion and extra virgin olive oil. Over low heat, cook the onions until they soften and turn translucent, careful not to burn them.
- Remove the bell pepper from the oven, and place in a food processor or blender. Remove the skins from the garlic. They should pop right out after being roasted. Add the garlic and red chili pepper. Process until you have a chunky paste. Add this mixture to the skillet. Stir to combine.
- Put the gnocchi in the boiling water. If you are using mini gnocchi, they should take about 5 minutes. Gnocchi usually float when they are done.
- To the skillet, add the cherry tomatoes, salt, basil, oregano, and black pepper. Add a bit of the pasta water (about 1/8-1/4 of a cup) to help form a sauce. Continue to cook over low heat.
- When the gnocchi are done, drain them, and add them to the skillet. Toss to combine.
- Add the parmesan cheese and stir everything together. Cook for another 3 minutes to allow all the flavors to combine.