Since time immemorial, the final bottom line of all journalism has seemed to me to be articles that begin with “have you ever thought…”. But I just have to start with these words. Namely, until my fifties, I never thought that gnocchi could be prepared other than with dill. And I didn’t like them either because they were often slimy. The oven preparation seems excellent to me. Solve everything.
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It’s the lunch of the day when cooking needs to be done quickly and as simply as possible, because it just needs to do something more important. Whatever happens: decide that you are the master of your time and your space. For example, I thought it was very important to turn off some dandelion lights that day – something I haven’t done since I was a kid. The meadow was strewn with fluffy balls. Maybe the next day they would be blown away.
Since I realized that any gnocchi could also be baked, this way of preparing has become a priority for me. Instead of flour or boiled potatoes, they taste like pizza, there is no trace of slimy skin, they just resist biting. Even better, it’s the same result whatever type of gnocchi you put in the oven: the ones in the photo, for example, were frozen. The joke is that half of the gnocchi is cooked and the other half is still a little cooked: when the tomatoes are dissolved, they release the juice and this pours over the lower half of the dish.
However, I recommend frying the čevapi, which I also used in this collection of balls, earlier. But we really expect them to taste cooked, not cooked. I added them because they boost the meal a bit, which is otherwise light for four eaters. But also with the season in mind: it is, let’s say, a solution if the rain destroys our possibility of grilling.
Gnocchi with meatballs from the oven
- for 4 handfuls of gnocchi (can be frozen)
- for 4 handfuls of cherry tomatoes
- 20 mozzarella balls
- 500 g of horses
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper
- supplements: herbs of your choice
1. Divide the čevapi and form balls the size of a small walnut. Brown them quickly in a pan and set aside.
2. Turn oven to 200 degrees, line original baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Shake gnocchi (can be bought and frozen), tomatoes in a bowl, drizzle with oil, salt, pepper, mix well and shake everything on a baking sheet. Lay out the čevap meatballs and push them all together in the oven.
4. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the pan and add the mozzarella balls. Return to the oven and cook for a maximum of 5 minutes, just long enough for the mozzarella to melt halfway.
5. Serve by placing the baking sheet on the table and letting everyone cover it with a wooden spatula, as if you were in good company having lunch somewhere in the Italian countryside. We also offer a rich bouquet of fresh herbs and a light rose or beer.
We also recommend: Pičiči: a pizza-like snack that is a real Dolenjska hit (you have to make them)
Photo and video: Sonja Ravbar