Meet one of our favorite Italian dishes paired with one of the greatest pastas of all time: gnocchi bolognese.
Perfect for a cozy date night in or a quick and simple dinner, this gnocchi bolognese is chock full of delicious, unadulterated Italian flavors. The bolognese comes together in less than 30 minutes, and while we firmly believe there is a time and place for a long, slowly cooked traditional bolognese, there is absolutely no shame in a dish that you can quickly get on the table, too.
Gnocchi cooks in a fraction of the time that dry pasta does, making it the perfect pasta to pair with this bolognese on a busy evening. Just make sure to not overcook it– you’ll know that it’s done when the gnocchi rises to the top!
How To Make Gnocchi Bolognese
1- Prepare the bolognese. In a large dutch oven sautée the onions, carrots, and celery over medium heat in extra virgin olive oil until soft and tender. Add the beef or pork (for this recipe you can use either), and cook until no longer pink. Deglaze the pan with chicken stock, and cook until the liquid has evaporated. Add the crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low and cook for a minimum of ten minutes and up to three hours.
2- Cook the gnocchi. While you’re preparing the bolognese, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt with kosher salt or sea salt. Add the gnocchi and cook until it floats to the top– about 1-2 minutes. Reserve one cup of the starchy pasta water and strain the gnocchi.
3- Assemble the gnocchi bolognese. Before removing the bolognese from the heat, add 1/3 cup of the starchy pasta water to the bolognese and let cook for a minute or so. Toss in the cooked gnocchi and add additional water if needed. Grate copious amounts of Parmigiano Reggiano on top of the prepared gnocchi and sprinkle with fresh basil if desired. Serve the gnocchi bolognese while it’s hot!
30-Minute Gnocchi Bolognese
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 1 lb. ground beef, pork, or a combination of both
- 1 cup chicken stock or cooking wine
- 14 oz. whole, peeled san marzano tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 32 oz. gnocchi
- parmiggiano reggiano & basil for garnish
- In a large dutch oven, warm the extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the carrots, onion, celery, and sautee until soft and cooked, about 10 minutes. If the onions begin to brown, lower heat. Add the ground meat and break up with a wooden spoon as you cook. Cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and cook until the stock almost completely evaporated, about 5 minutes. Pulse the tomatoes for a few seconds in a food processor or crush them by hand. Add tomatoes and salt to dutch oven and cook on low for a minimum of 10 minutes and up to 3 hours.
- While the bolognese sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Liberally salt with kosher salt or sea salt. Cook the gnocchi for 1-2 minutes, just until it's done (it will float when it's cooked). Reserve 1 cup of the starchy pasta water, strain the gnocchi so it stops cooking, and set aside.
- Taste the bolognese and add more salt if needed. Add 1/3 cup of the starchy pasta water to the bolognese sauce and let it cook for a minute or two. Toss the gnocchi and bolognese sauce together, and add more pasta water if needed. The longer the sauce was cooked, the more starchy pasta water it will require to make it smooth and saucy (but not runny!). Top gnocchi bolognese with a generous amount of Parmigiano Reggiano and fresh basil if desired. Serve immediately.
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