Do you love gnocchi? They are one of the foods that immediately remind me of high school, because my Italian teacher booked the kitchens for one lesson and we made potato gnocchi together as a class and ate it for lunch. But, with two kids I don't eat gnocchi as much as I would like, because I'm a gnocchi snob thanks it my high school Italian teacher and won't buy it premade. But polenta gnocchi? It's super simple and this polenta gnocchi pie is a kid favourite!
You might be looking at the pictures and thinking what the hell? Has she gone totally mad? It's sooo pretty, right? Kind of like pinterest pretty, but that's where the prettiness ends. You don't have to make heart shapes with your polenta gnocchi. Just cut it into little squares.
This is basically a bolognaise sauce with the polenta gnocchi on top. You could put any other sauce underneath. Make it meat-free if you like, just add some chickpeas or other veg to bulk up the sauce.
I have to be honest here: my kids like their veggies more on the crunchy side so I cook the sauce a little under what I'm putting in the method. If your kids like theirs crunchy...then cut 5 minutes off the original cook of the sauce. If your kids hate veggies and you're trying to smuggle them...blitz the sauce before it goes under the gnocchi!
The great thing about this meal, is you can make the sauce and the gnocchi the day before, or make them both as a double batch. Then just assemble and pop in the oven for a dinner in 20! I prep it at lunchtime and then bake at dinner.
Here are my other pie recipes that your kids will surely love once they tasted them:
Polenta gnocchi pie
- 3 tbsps olive oil
- 1 brown onion diced
- 500 grams beef mince
- 1 400 gram tin tomato pulp crushed tomatoes
- 400 mls passata
- 1 zucchini diced
- 1 carrot peeled and diced
- 3 cups milk
- 75 mls olive oil
- 1.5 cups polenta
- ½ cup grated parmesan
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
- Start by making the polenta gnocchi.
- In a medium saucepan bring the milk and oil to just before the boil.
- Add the polenta and stir for 4 minutes or until thick. Stir in the parmesan.
- Immediately spread on a lined baking tray and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- In a large saucepan, add the olive oil, then fry the diced onion until soft.
- Add the beef mince and brown.
- Add the tin of tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the passata and veggies and cook 5 minutes more. (cook for an extra 10 minutes if you want the veggies soft, or if you want to puree).
- Remove from the heat and pour into an oven proof baking dish (mine was 23cms by 30cms).
- grab the polenta from the fridge (it should be set) and cut into small pieces, either squares, rectangles, or get fancy and use a cutter.
- Overlap the gnocchi all over the top of the mince mixture.
- Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake for 30 minutes.