When we went to DePasquale's Homemade Pasta Shoppe in Boston's North End on the Bertolli tour, I picked out a package of red bell pepper gnocchi to bring home. I figured it would make a quick meal for Jeff and me one evening.
I had asked the woman at the pasta shop what sort of sauce she would make to go with the gnocchi, and she suggested sauteeing red bell peppers and doing a tomato or cream sauce, so that's just what I did.
Red Bell Pepper Gnocchi With Red Bell Pepper-Tomato Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut in thin 1-inch long pieces
1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 large basil leaves, torn
1 package red bell pepper gnocchi from DePasquale's Homemade Pasta Shoppe
Put a pot of salted water on to boil for the gnocchi.
In a large saucepan, heat olive oil, and then add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until onions are soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.
Stir in the garlic slices, and cook for 1 minute.
Add the bell pepper slices, and cook just until peppers start to soften, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the plum tomatoes, tomato paste, and basil.
Let sauce simmer for about 10 minutes, or until it thickens.
While the sauce is simmering, cook the gnocchi according to package instructions.
Stir some of the sauce into the gnocchi, plate, and serve. (You may have leftover sauce.)
I really loved the way the sauce came out, and I thought the gnocchi was so good. I do wish I had tried a piece of gnocchi before coating it in sauce though because once it was covered in the bell pepper sauce, it was hard to tell how much bell pepper flavor the gnocchi itself had.
I had some of the red bell pepper-tomato sauce leftover and decided to use it for another pasta dish the next night. I cooked some Italian sausage and then added the sauce to the pan, and let it simmer while I cooked some mini farfalle. I stirred the mini farfalle and some mozzarella cheese into the sauce and created a completely different meal for us than we had the night before. It reminded me of a sort of stove-top baked ziti.
What's your favorite pasta shape?
I love just about anything besides spaghetti (thin spaghetti is okay though) and wagon wheels. Mafalde, orecchiette, and pappardelle are some of my favorites, but the list just goes on and on!