Chicken Pesto Gnocchi Bake

For me, gnocchi brings a little more baggage than little round balls of potato should. They’re riddled with guilt: I know how to make it from scratch, but I almost never do; the husband eats it but doesn’t necessarily love it, so I always feel a little bad for throwing it into the menu plan; I always feel like I bastardise it by creating a mongrel of a recipe with all sorts of random things thrown it.

But, guilt be damned. I don’t have much time in the evenings, and I need easy, filling, budget friendly meals that have some sort of nutrition involved, without eating the same things over and over. Yes, the gnocchi comes from a packet. Yes, husband would probably prefer wheat pasta. Yes, I’m making it up on the fly instead of following a recipe from 5 generations of women who lovingly pass it down from daughter to daughter. But we all do what we can to keep our families fed, right? Despite it’s flaws, this recipe ticks all my boxes, and is tasty, to boot (although it’s just over 500 calories, which is slightly higher than my usual weekday meals – still, better than takeout, right?). Vive la packet pasta!

Serves 4

Ingredients

500g gnocchi

2tsp olive oil

1 brown onion, diced

200g mushrooms, sliced

1 garlic clove, minced

500g chicken breast, diced

70g sundried tomatoes, finely diced

1 medium zucchini, diced

400g tinned tomatoes

190g pesto

3tbs parmesan cheese, grated

50g grated cheddar cheese

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Heat oil in a deep ovenproof frypan over medium heat. Add onion and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes until golden. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
  3. Add chicken and cook for 5 minutes until browned all over, stirring occasionally. Add sundried tomatoes and zucchini and mix well.
  4. Meanwhile, cook gnocchi in a large saucepan of salted water, to packet instructions. Remove and drain about a minute early.
  5. Stir in tinned tomatoes and pesto, and combine very well.
  6. Remove from heat and sprinkle over both cheeses.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes until golden and bubbly.

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