A pasta bake with one of the most luxurious pastas ever invented! Why hasn’t anyone done this before? Momma’s Gnocchi Bake is Mom’s secret weapon for parties, potlucks, and special occasions because no one can complain when this touches down on the table! The gnocchi are pillowy and coated in a fragrant, rich, and vaguely spicy tomato sauce and then covered in creamy provolone cheese. It sounds incredible and yet it tastes even better than that! Momma’s Gnocchi Bake shows just why Mom rules the kitchen!

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces frozen or fresh gnocchi
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 small eggplants, diced
  • 1 1/4 cups jarred roasted garlic marinara sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 ounces provolone, shredded
  • fresh basil or oregano sprigs, optional, to taste, for garnish

Directions

Step 1 –Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.

Step 2 –In a large pot of salted, boiling water, add the gnocchi and cook according to the package directions.

Step 3 –Drain the gnocchi, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.

Step 4 –In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil.

Step 5 –Add the onions and the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes.

Step 6 –Add the eggplant to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is very soft and the onions are golden-brown, about 10-12 minutes.

Step 7 –Transfer the skillet from the heat.

Step 8 –Add the gnocchi, the reserved cooking liquid, the marinara sauce, and the red pepper flakes to the skillet with the eggplant mixture and stir to combine.

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Step 9 –Transfer the eggplant-gnocchi mixture to a 9-inch oval or square baking dish.

Step 10 –Sprinkle the gnocchi mixture with the provolone.

Step 11 –Bake on the top oven rack until hot and the cheese turns golden, about 15 minutes.

Step 12 –Transfer the dish from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes.

Step 13 –Serve garnished with the basil sprigs.