Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce is one of the best pasta dishes. Soft and chewy pasta dumplings are served with a seasoned tomato sauce.
If you have never have gnocchi, you are missing out! Gnocchi has a very unique shape and looks like little dumplings. This pasta is made with potatoes, and has a soft, chewy texture.
Making gnocchi from scratch is a long process, so this recipe makes things easy with pre-packaged gnocchi. You can find gnocchi at your grocery store or local Italian market. Since it is pre-made, it does not need to cook very long. So convenient!
To make the best sauce for gnocchi, you will need the following (go to the recipe below for quantities and directions):
- Gnocchi, premade package: I used a premade potato gnocchi, but you can always make your own gnocchi from scratch.
- Cooking oil
- Carrots: The carrots add a sweetness to the tomatoes, but feel free to “hide” other vegetables like spinach, bell peppers, etc.
- Diced tomatoes, canned
- Brown sugar
- Garlic powder
How to Make Tomato Sauce for Gnocchi
- Cook the vegetables. In a large saucepan, heat cooking oil. Once oil is heated, add in onion and carrots and cook until carrots are fork tender, and the onions are translucent.
- Blend with the tomatoes. Add diced tomatoes to a blender along with the carrot mixture. Puree sauce in a blender or by using an immersion blender. Make sure there are no large chunks of carrot in your sauce.
- Add the seasonings. Return sauce to pan and stir in brown sugar, basil, oregano, and garlic powder. Let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Serve with gnocchi. While pasta sauce is simmering, prepare gnocchi by following package directions. Once the gnocchi has been prepared, combine gnocchi with pasta sauce and top with fresh basil and Parmesan. Serve warm.
Unopened gnocchi can be stored at room temperature, but once opened and cooked, it should be refrigerated. Uncooked gnocchi should be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to three days.
Leftover, cooked gnocchi should be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for no more than a day. Also, they will stick together, so if you can separate the gnocchi from itself with a paper towel or on a tray, that would be best.
The carrots used in the sauce add a sweetness that helps cut through the acidic tomatoes. It’s also a great way of hiding vegetables from your kids (or spouses!).
Make sure that the carrots are completely cooked through before pureeing. When we were testing this recipe, they weren’t cooked quite enough and you could still feel the texture of the carrots. Once they were cooked all the way through, we couldn’t taste them at all.
I love making homemade sauce ahead of time. It is perfect for a quick dinner. The tomato sauce will last up to a week in the refrigerator.
This dish is a grain and a sauce, so adding any type of meat is a great option. I personally would love to eat this dish with diced chicken or ground sausage.
This can be a main dish or a side dish. Serve with garlic bread to soak up the sauce, an Italian Salad with zesty dressing, or Brushetta Chicken.