Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Nonna's gnocchi sauce

June 29, 2019

What a privilege to receive my friends' beloved family recipes in the lab farewell cookbook! My long-time officemate Pia went so far as to press her Italian grandmother for a record of the gnocchi sauce she makes by memory and to taste. 

We initially gave it a go on a Saturday night, but this is a quick and comforting formula that could easily be accomplished after work. I would never have thought to include grated vegetables in such a sauce, but I liked the heft they added to it. And I reckon with the vegetables on board, there's far less risk of the gnocchi coming over too gluggy or setting up like glue in your stomach.

Nonna's gnocchi sauce
(a recipe shared by Pia)

1 bottle passata
olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large carrot, grated
5-6 mushrooms, grated
a good handful of parsley, chopped
red wine
salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a large pan, and add the garlic. When the garlic has just browned, add the carrot, mushrooms and parsley. Cook them until they start to dry out.

Slosh in some red wine and turn up the heat, cooking until the liquid has evaporated. Turn the heat back down and add the passata. Cook for a little while; add basil, salt and pepper to taste.


  1. How lovely. I love these sort of family recipes. I grew up with pasta sauce with just tomato and onions for the vegies and it was a revelation to meet someone whose family put in grated carrot. Grated mushrooms is something I must try.

  2. I love that there is a history to this recipe.
    What size bottle of passata did you use?

  3. Yum. This is a regular at our house, but sub out the mushroom for a grated zuchinni :) a great weeknight meal and get to try out all the delicious gnocchi varieties!