While growing up this recipe has always been one of my favorites. Straight out of Nonna Lola’s kitchen, this dish encompasses everything that a family meal is about: comfort, happiness, delicious flavors and lots of love. Yes you can read it as a very nostalgic note, as every time I savor a bite of these gnocchi my mind gets transported back in time and very far away… all the way back home in fact.
My grandmother used to prepare a full casserole of these gnocchi in her kitchen and then call me up to walk through the fields to go get it. She would tape a note on top of it with instructions about when to put it in the oven and at what temperature. I would all happy go back home, set up the kitchen table and turn the oven (and the TV) on, and start cooking the gnocchi while my parents were on their way back from work.
This gnocchi can allow you to be a bit creative as well. When I make it for the family I place them lined in a casserole and use a spatula to serve portions at dinner time, but at my shop I like to prepare individual cast iron ramekins that can be baked to order and plated differently. Cookie Cutters Anyone?