Good Morning America Recipes

Gnocchi With Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella

A Hearty Dish Featuring All Your Favorites

"12 Days of Cooking Challenge" winner and Mario Batali bring Italy to Christmas.
Difficulty: Easy
Cook Time: min

Don't know what to make for the holidays? Let Mario Batali help with this creamy Italian dish.


  • Gnocchi dough
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Condiment
  • 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups Basic Tomato Sauce (See Basic Tomato Sauce)
  • Approximately 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
  • ½ pound fresh mozzarella di bufala, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • Basic Tomato Sauce
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, chopped in 1/4-inch dice
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1/2 medium carrot, finely-shredded
  • 2 cans peeled whole tomatoes (28-ounces each), crushed by hand and juices reserved
  • Salt, to taste
  • Cooking Directions

    For the tomato sauce

    In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.

    Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft.

    Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal.

    Season with salt and serve.

    For the gnocchi

    Boil the whole potatoes until they are soft, about 45 minutes. While still warm, peel the potatoes and pass them through a food mill onto a clean pasta board.

    Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and set up an ice bath with 4 cups of ice and 3 quarts of water next to the stove.

    Make a well in the center of the potatoes and sprinkle with the flour. Place the egg and salt in the center of the well and, use a fork, stir the egg into the flour and potatoes. Bring the dough together, kneading gently until a ball is formed and continues to knead gently another 4 minutes until the dough is dry to the touch. Cut a tennis ball-size hunk of dough off the main ball and roll into a dowel about ¾ inch thick.

    Cut across the dowel to form pellets about 1 inch long. Flick each pellet down the tines of s fork to form the traditional gnocchi shape. Repeat with the remaining dough. Drop a third of the gnocchi shape. Repeat with the remaining dough. Drop a third of the gnocchi into the boiling water. When they are floating aggressively (after3 to 4 minutes of cooking), remove the gnocchi to the ice bath. Repeat with the 2 remaining batches of gnocchi and allow all gnocchi to cool in the ice bath. Drain the cooked gnocchi well, stir in the olive oil cover, and refrigerate until ready to cook. The gnocchi will keep up to 35 hours in the fridge.

    Assemble the dish

    When you are ready to serve the gnocchi, bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 table spoons salt. In a 14- to 16-inch frying pan, combine the pepper flakes, tomato sauce, and 2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer 5 minutes, or until the sauce is as tick as a good porridge. (At this point the sauce could be refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

    Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water and cook until floating aggressively, 4 to 5 minutes.

    Carefully transfer the gnocchi to the pan with the sauce, using a slotted spoon. Turn the heat to medium and toss gently for about 30 seconds. Tear the basil leaves into a few pieces and add to the sauce along with the mozzarella cubes. Toss together for 30 seconds longer, pour into a heated bowl, and serve immediately.

    This recipe was styled by chef Karen Pickus for Good Morning America.

    Click here to check out Mario's cookbook

    Recipe Summary

    Main Ingredients: mozarella, gnocchi, basic tomato sauce, olive oil, russet potato

    Course: Dinner, Main Course, Pasta, Starch

    Other Recipes That You Might Like
    Mario Batali's Saltimbocca
    A Recipe for Pork, Chicken or Veal
    Mario Batali's Mortadella Ripiena
    Different Take on the Hot Pocket
    Mario Batali's Pear Carpaccio
    Fresh and Delicious
    Tomato Sauce alla Renee Graziano
    Check Out Renee Graziano Secret Sauce Recipe
    Eggplant Parmigiana
    From 'Chef's Table'
    Scrambled Egg, Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Sandwich
    Start Your Day With This Gourmet Sandwich
    MyRecipes' Baked Mozzarella Bites
    100-Calorie Portions
    Pesto Gnocchi with Green Beans and Tomatoes
    Recipe Courtesy "Cook This, Not That"
    Homemade Tomato Sauce
    Sara Moulton's Homemade Tomato Sauce
    Marinara Sauce
    Rocco DiSpirito's Marinara Sauce for Penne Alla Vodka
    Elisabeth Hasselbeck's Lasagna
    From 'The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide'
    Latest Recipes on 'GMA'
    VIDEO: The Ramen Burger
    VIDEO: Rays & Stark Bar in LA employs an expert to help you choose from 20 brands of water.
    VIDEO: Haylee Nelson reveals all the delicious flavors that make up the new "Sunrise Sundae."
    VIDEO: Ladies and Gentlemen... The Crookie
    VIDEO: World, meet The Cronut
    Food Tips: How To...
    Karen's Kitchen
    Check out "GMA's" chef/food stylist's blog here.
    Karen's Cordon Bleu
    Check out "GMA's" chef/food stylist's delicious and celebratory chicken dish.
    PHOTO: Karen Pickus cherry galette is shown here.
    Karen's Cherry Galette Check out "GMA's" chef/food stylist's recipe for a tasty dessert.
    Connect with GMA
    Social Tools Facebook Twitter Twitter Connect with GMA YouTube RSS