A Squared: What's For Dinner Wednesday: Baked Gnocchi with Spinach, Caramelized Onions, & Smoked Mozzarella

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What's For Dinner Wednesday: Baked Gnocchi with Spinach, Caramelized Onions, & Smoked Mozzarella

If the way to a man's heart is food, then the way to my husband's heart (specifically) is gnocchi. The man could eat gnocchi every day. I don't make it that often since I like a little more variety in our dinners, but when he sees that it's on our weekly menu he becomes a giddy little kid. Funny story: he was doing the dishes (as he always does-- love him!) and he opened up the dish I had brought my lunch in that day and said "did you take the rest of the gnocchi for lunch today?!" I reluctantly admitted it and he was disappointed that it was gone. He then went on to say "even the Tupperware that it was in smells good!" Precious.

We love making baked gnocchi for dinner-- it is comforting and hearty, even though I usually make it meatless. I have posted another baked gnocchi recipe before, but what makes this one a little more special is the addition of caramelized onion and smoked mozzarella. The sweetness of the onions and the smokiness of the cheese is a delicious combination. And this recipe is so easy to throw together after work-- or even earlier in the week and then all you have to do is bake it.

  • 16 oz. package gnocchi *I used mini gnocchi this time, but regular size and whole grain work well too
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • Salt
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
  • 4 oz. smoked mozzarella, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan, divided
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly spray a 8" x 8" glass baking dish with cooking spray or olive oil and set aside.

Cook gnocchi according to package directions.  Drain well and add to a large mixing bowl.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add butter. Once melted, add onions and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft and slightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove onions from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Add (cooled) onions, chopped spinach, marinara, mozzarella, and 1/4 cup parmesan to the gnocchi in the mixing bowl.  Stir gently until combined and pour into the prepared baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup parmesan and panko breadcrumbs.  Sprinkle evenly over the top of the gnocchi mixture and lightly drizzle or spray with olive oil.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is fully melted.  Broil for an additional 3-5 minutes until topping is golden brown.

Makes about 4 servings.

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