Tonight's Dinner: Fried gnocchi with fresh tomato sauce recipe

Sep 20, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. ET

Gnocchi -- those plump, rich little potato pillows that melt in your mouth. But if you thought boiling them was the only way they could be prepared, get ready for a mouthwatering surprise.

A few weeks ago I was watching the news and Michael Chiarello was preparing a gnocchi dish from one of his restaurants. But unlike so many pasta recipes I've seen and prepared, Michael wasn't boiling his gnocchi; he was frying them. In butter no less. Although I don't remember what the final dish was, I do remember thinking I want some fried gnocchi. Right now! Yes, it was 8 o'clock in the morning, but I still wanted it. Since I couldn't get the gnocchi out of my mind, I finally decided to make my own. They were just as heavenly as I'd imagined. See, unlike boiled gnocchi which are soft all over, these now had a crispy outer shell, but were still soft pillows of potatoey goodness inside. Topped with a fresh tomato sauce, and I had a dinner that was out of this world.

Fried gnocchi with fresh tomato sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound gnocchi
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the gnocchi and cook until crispy on the outside, about five minutes. Transfer the gnocchi to a plate and keep warm.
  2. Heat the olive oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes and basil and cook until tender, about two minutes.
  3. Divide the gnocchi among the plates, spoon the sauce on top, sprinkle with cheese and serve.

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