Creamy Meatball and Gnocchi bake – #hungrytohappy

I was recently sent some vouchers for Richmonds mini meatballs as part of the Britmums hungry2happy competition. The challenge was to make a new recipe using the meatballs. I love a recipe challenge and I was soon thinking up ideas. If you read my blog regularly you will know that most of the meals I make are proper family dishes, good hearty and mostly healthy meals which can be made cheaply and quickly whilst not compromising on taste. I kept this in mind for the challenge and came up with a dish that my family loved and that I know I will make again.

Gnocchi is one of my favourite foods, I love to make it from scratch but for a quick easy meal you can’t go wrong with the store bought packets. They normally cost less than a pound per packet and when combined with a few ingredients you could well have in your cupboard already then it can make a filling and delicious meal. I decided to make a Gnocchi and Meatball bake as I knew that this would be simple to create and cheap!

Creamy Gnocchi and Meatball bake

You will need:

1/2 packet of Richmonds mini meatballs
1 packet of Gnocchi
250g of Passata
3 tbsp of creme fraiche
1 shallot ( diced)
1/2 a pepper ( I used yellow, diced )
1 large tomato (diced)
1 squeeze of garlic purée or 1 clove (diced)
Fresh herbs ( I used basil – I love it ) dried would be ok too
Grated cheese ( approx 100g)
Olive oil
Seasoning ( if required)

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Preheat oven to gas mark 4 (180)

Cook your meatballs as per packet instructions whilst you prepare your ingredients.

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Heat some olive oil in a large ovenproof pan or cazuela and add your pepper, tomatoes,onions, garlic and herbs, cook over a low heat until softened.

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Cook your gnocchi per packet instructions (normally approx 3minutes ) then drain and add to your pan with passata, creme fraiche and seasoning if needed. Stir well. Add your now cooked meatballs ( I chopped in half to make it toddler friendly) and make sure the sauce covers all ingredients. Add your grated cheese, top with more herbs if you like and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes until golden and bubbling.

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Serve with a large green salad and if you like perhaps some garlic bread.

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The verdict: it was absolutely delicious. The sauce is creamy and the meatballs are incredibly tender after being cooked that way … Yum.

You could adapt this in lots of ways, using up vegetables you have left in you fridge or cupboard. If you are calorie counting you could use just passata rather adding creme fraiche and you could certainly replace the grated cheese with herby breadcrumbs. You could also use pasta instead of the gnocchi but I think for this dish gnocchi is best.

*This post is an entry for BritMums’ Hungry to Happy Challenge sponsored by Richmond Mini Meatballs

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