Saturday, 17 October 2015


One of the finest lunches I had whilst on holiday was a delicious Caprese salad. Creamy mozzarella and beautifully vibrant and sweet tomatoes with fresh basil leaves all drizzled with olive oil, it was like someone had sent it down from heaven. I decided to take those flavors and add them to a classic Nigella Lawson recipe for gnocchi gratin and this is how my Caprese-fied gnocchi gratin came to be. I know you should have favorites when it comes to your children but this is definitely of my babies that I'm most proud of.

Caprese Gnocchi Gratin

400g Gnocchi
250g Marscapone
60ml Milk
6 Heaped Tbsp Cheddar Cheese
Pepper To Season
2 Medium Plum Tomatoes
Handfull Of Chopped Fresh Basil Leaves
125g Mozzarella Pearls
2 Tbsp Bread Crumbs
  1. Begin by cooking your gnocchi to packet instructions. As soon as those little treasure raise to the top of your simmering water, carefully drain them and run them under cold water to stop them from cooking anymore and then leave to one side.
  2. Place the marscapone and milk in a pan on a medium heat and whisk until combined and the mixture just begins to bubble and then remove from the heat. Spoon in 4 tbsp of the cheddar cheese and crack in a good amount of pepper and mix until the cheese has all melted. Taste and add more pepper if required.
  3. Add the gnocchi into a large bowl with the cheese sauce. Half the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds. Cut the flesh into small chunks and then add the chinks to the bowl with the cheese gnocchi along with the chopped basil. Careful mix everything together until well combined.
  4. Transfer the mixture to your oven prof dish and level out ensuring  everything is evenly distributed. Push the mozzarella balls into the top of the mixture evenly  right across the top. Leave to rest whilst you hear your oven up to 200 degrees (180 fan).
  5. Once the oven is ready, mix together the breadcrumbs with the remaining cheddar cheese and then sprinkle this over the top of your gnocchi. Place in the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and the breadcrumbs are golden brown.

Leave the gratin to rest for about 5-10 minutes (if you can bear it!) just to cool slightly and firm as it will be like molten lava! Spoon into plates and watch as all that stringy, gooey mozzarella he's all over the place. This isn't a dish that you want to be fancy on serving in plating and refined in eating. Just get stuck in and get that cheese all over your face. Make sure you serve it up with lots of garlic bread to mop up all that sauce and if it's not cheesy enough for you, you can always grate over some parmesan over the top just to finish off the cheese fest. Your diets not going to thank you for making this dish but your taste buds certainly will.

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