Basil Gnocchi with Simple Tomato Sauce and Wild Rocket

The best way to serve home-made gnocchi - with a herb and chilli tomato sauce, this dish by Silvana Franco makes a great vegetarian dinner
By Silvana Franco
Basil Gnocchi with Simple Tomato Sauce and Wild Rocket
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 400 g tin canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig rosemary, thyme, or a couple bay leaves
  • 1 pinches dried red chilli flakes, (optional)
  • 60 g wild rocket

For the gnocchi:

  • 500 g waxy potatoes, (Desiree, Romano, Estima or Wilja)
  • 15 g basil
  • 200 g plain flour
  • 1 pinches fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Begin with the sauce. Place the tomatoes in a small pan, then half fill the tomato can with water and add that to the pan. Stir in the shallot, garlic, herbs, chillies and salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for at least an hour until thickened and dark red.

2. Meanwhile, to make the gnocchi, boil the potatoes for 10-15 minutes until tender, then drain. Mash them well - this bit is important because lumps will be noticeable in the gnocchi, so use a potato ricer if you have one, or mash the potatoes thoroughly to as smooth a texture as possible.

3. Sprinkle over the basil, plenty of salt and pepper and the flour. Using a wooden spoon or your hands, bring together to make a firm dough. Knead the dough gently for a couple of minutes and then roll out into sausages about 1cm thick. Cut the sausages into pieces 2.5cm long.

4. Gently cook the gnocchi in a pan of simmering water for a minute or two, until they rise to the surface. Scoop them out as they rise, toss with the tomato sauce and rocket leaves, and serve.

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