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This scrumptious gnocchi with tomato sauce is easy enough for a weeknight, but also perfect for special dinners. Full of flavor and on the table in about 30 minutes!

Pasta is so versatile! I mean, I regularly make pasta as a quick weeknight meal, but I’m also totally pleased to have pasta for a holiday or date-night dinner.

Special dinners warrant taking your pasta up a notch, in my opinion. You know, with little tweaks like making your own sauce or using varieties of pasta that aren’t your norm. And the great thing is that even with these little upgrades, a pasta dinner like this one is still super easy to throw together.

This tomato gnocchi is my new go-to all-occasion pasta dinner. Using gnocchi as our pasta makes it extra special, but the cool thing is that gnocchi cooks up just as easily as any old type of pasta. The gnocchi tomato sauce packs a flavor punch thanks to a bit of red wine, zesty red pepper flakes, and fresh basil. This is an all-around show stopping meal.

Jump to:
  • What You’ll Need
  • How to Make Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce
  • Leftovers & Storage
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • More Gnocchi Recipes
  • Gnocchi with Zesty Red Wine Tomato Sauce

What You’ll Need

  • Olive oil. I don’t recommend substituting another type of oil, as olive will give your red wine tomato sauce the best flavor.
  • Onion.
  • Garlic.
  • Red wine. Use a full-bodied dry variety of red wine, such as cabernet or zinfandel. Not all red wines are vegan, so check with Barnivore to ensure that the one you select is.
  • Canned tomato sauce.
  • Canned diced tomatoes. You can use tomatoes that are packed in juice or sauce — I don’t find that it makes a big difference in this dish.
  • Sugar. This helps balance out the acidity of the tomatoes and wine, but you can leave it out if you’re absolutely opposed to added sugar. Be sure to use organic sugar to keep the recipe vegan.
  • Dried oregano.
  • Red pepper flakes. These add a tiny bit of heat to the dish. Feel free to skip them for a mild sauce, or use more than the recipe calls for if you’d like an extra kick.
  • Potato gnocchi. We’re using shelf-stable gnocchi, sold in the pasta aisle of most supermarkets. Most varieties of shelf-stable gnocchi that I’ve come across are vegan, but be sure to check the ingredients to be sure.
  • Salt & pepper.
  • Fresh basil leaves.

How to Make Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

  • Heat some olive oil in a medium pot, then add diced onion. Sweat the onion for a few minutes, making sure to stir it often to prevent burning. Once the onion becomes soft and translucent, stir in some minced garlic and cook it with the onion for about a minute.
  • Stir in the wine, bring it to a simmer, and let it cook until it reduces by about half. This should take 3 minutes or so.
  • Stir in the tomato sauce, tomatoes, sugar, oregano, and red pepper flakes.
  • Bring the sauce up to a simmer and let it cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until it thickens up a bit.
  • Tip: Feel free to cook the sauce longer if you’d like — up to a full hour! The flavors will mellow with a longer simmer. You can add a splash of water here and there if it becomes too thick at any point.
  • While the sauce simmers, cook the gnocchi according to the package directions. Shelf stable gnocchi only take about 2 minutes to cook, so you can get started on this when the sauce has 5 to 10 minutes left to go!
  • Tip: I used to always splash (and end up getting burned) when adding gnocchi to boiling water. But not anymore! My trick: transfer the uncooked gnocchi to a plate, then back away a bit and gently slide the gnocchi into the pot.
  • Take your sauce off of the burner, stir in some basil, along with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Drain your gnocchi into a colander when it’s done boiling, then transfer it to the pot with the sauce. Stir up your gnocchi and tomato sauce and serve right away! I like to top mine with a sprinkle of vegan Parmesan cheese.

Leftovers & Storage

Leftover gnocchi with tomato sauce will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can this tomato gnocchi be made gluten-free?

Yup! Just use a vegan and gluten-free variety of gnocchi, such as that made by De Lallo.

Is there a substitute for red wine in this recipe?

Try leaving it out and adding a tablespoon or two of balsamic vinegar at the same time as the tomatoes.

Can this recipe be made without oil?

Yup! Just cook your onions and garlic in a small amount of water instead.

Is gnocchi vegan?

Many brands of shelf-stable gnocchi are vegan, including De Lallo, De Cecco, and Wegman’s brand. Always check the ingredients list to be safe though. Frozen gnocchi is more likely to be made with eggs in my experience.

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