Caprese Gnocchi with Burrata and White Beans is a simple, speedy and colourful 6-ingredient, summer-filled recipe for the whole family. Easily vegan, too.
Over the long Easter weekend we had the mixed blessing of being unintentionally Internet-less. As we can’t reliably get 4G where we are, it was like going back in time. Back to a simpler time before the bleep of notifications, and the all-consuming lure of the mindless scroll.
This idyll came to an end last night when Andrew half-heartedly installed our whizzy-fast new modem. Once connected to the outside world it took me a couple of hours to even try it out. I really wasn’t that bothered.
During our impromptu hiatus from the plugged-in world we did some serious grafting in the garden. Raised plant beds were built and filled with young, sappy seedlings; new border plants were dug in and older plants tended. The neglected lawn was fed, and weeds were pulled. Basically it was my ideal weekend. I couldn’t stop smiling. Did I miss Twitter, Facebook and Instagram? Nope.
In between exhausting but hugely satisfying stints in the garden, I experimented in the kitchen. While the sun beat down outside, I happily pottered in my bare feet making and shooting six recipes. Also a feature in any ideal weekend for me. Gardening + Cooking = Happy Kellie.
This Caprese Gnocchi was the first of the six, and probably the easiest. It is also quick. From tearing open the gnocchi pack to eating time, about 20 minutes. And all you need are 6, maybe 7, ingredients.
Are you in?
What’s in this Caprese Gnocchi recipe
This super simple recipe is a culinary extrapolation of the summer staple, insalata caprese. At its simplest, a caprese salad is fresh “wet” mozzarella sliced and layered with juicy ripe tomatoes and fresh basil leaves, drizzled with a best-quality extra virgin olive oil. A liberal sprinkling of salt and pepper, too. Many a happy meal has been made with just this, plus fresh, Italian bread. And red wine. Can’t forget the wine!
For my Food To Glow family meal we are taking the basics and adding them to fresh bought (or homemade) gnocchi and cooked beans. But, instead of boiling the gnocchi we sauté it/them (??) until lightly crisped on the outside, but still soft on the inside.
Yes, it is as good as it sounds. 🙂
So, you will need:
1 pack of refrigerated gnocchi, around 500 g. I used a plain potato one from Waitrose, but use any that you like from the refrigerated cabinet at your favourite store. You could perhaps do this recipe with non-refrigerated kind, but I would add a slosh of water or stock to the pan after a couple of minutes in the oil.
Fresh, ripe and flavourful cherry (grape) tomatoes. Don’t bother making this unless the tomatoes are top notch. If you wouldn’t enjoy them straight from the vine/punnet, put them back. In a recipe this simple, quality and flavour really count.
Fresh, room temperature basil. Torn or cut just before eating the Caprese Gnocchi.
Cooked white beans. Tinned is fine. Jarred is even better. Sometimes Lidl get in really nice jarred white beans – often for “Spanish Week”. I swoop in and buy an armful. This recipe is really good without beans, but they are great to add more protein.
Extra virgin olive oil. You know the stuff that you keep hidden in the cupboard “for best”? This is the time to use it.
Burrata. Ah, burrata. As spruceeats.com comments, “If you like mozzarella, you’ll love burrata.”
Burrata, a bluffer’s guide to
For those of you who haven’t had burrata, think fresh mozzarella with an injection of cream. The outside is a thin shell – pasta filata – made of buffalo and/or cow’s milk mozzarella, while the inside houses a buttery, creamy, stringy mixture of the mozzarella curds and fresh cream.
Buy your burrata on the day you wish to eat it. Or one day before. It is a super-fresh cheese that waits for no one. I got mine at Waitrose (and it’s vegetarian, using microbial rennet), but any good cheesemonger will have it. A word of warning: it is difficult to cut the burrata into neat pieces, what with all of the cream spilling out. To use it here, snip with scissors over the gnocchi just before serving, stirring so that every gnocchi is anointed with its creaminess.
If burrata is impossible to get, use a fresh, “wet” mozzarella, or even a vegan mozzarella like MozzaRisella.
Caprese Gnocchi add-ins to consider
Slivered oil-cured black olives or Kalamata olives
Smoked or antipasti-style preserved tomatoes (amounts given in the recipe card, below)
Fresh arugula/rocket, stirred in so that it wilts
Cooked, finely chopped kale to stir in. You could just have as ribbons, but it is really nice to keep everything soft and easy to eat.
Roasted and sliced red peppers – antipasti-style if you like
Sautéed eggplant/abergine pieces.
For a winter look, stir in roasted butternut squash and fried sage instead of the tomatoes and basil.
Crunchy-soft toasted pine nuts
Smoked mozzarella instead of the burrata
Cooked fresh peas and asparagus
And if you fancy something a little bit more involved, but is really tasty – and a favourite where I work – try making my Cheesy Vegetable and Quinoa Bake with Crispy Panko. It’s super-comforting and can be made any time of year.
You may have noticed a lot of carbohydrate-based recipes recently. I have no issue with carbs – I love them! But recent recipes reflect the need to keep my marathon-training husband well fed and happy! In the near-future expect to see an Italian take on baigan bharta, a 5-ingredient snack bar recipe, an amazing cheese toastie, a crazy-good take on guacamole, and a tray-full of Caribbean-influenced tacos. All simple, nourishing and delicious!
Whether on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or of course here on the blog, I love to see what you do with my recipes, and I welcome your comments, star ratings, tweaks and suggestions on this Caprese Gnocchi, and any of my other 600+ recipes.
Also, if you’ve made/intend to make this recipe, please do consider rating it as it will make this recipe more visible on search engines. To do so, click the appropriate star underneath the small photo on the recipe card, below. Thank you!**
Pan-Fried Caprese Gnocchi with Burrata and Beans
A simple, speedy and colourful 6-ingredient summer-filled recipe for the whole family. Use "wet" mozzarella or vegan mozzarella if you like.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil more as needed
- 500 g pre-made gnocchi or firm homemade
- 150 g cooked white beans rinsed and drained
- 200 g cherry/grape tomatoes ripe and flavourful ones
- 200 g burrata cheese or buffalo mozzarella or vegan mozzarella
- 20 g fresh basil leaves only, ripped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 smoked tomato quarters in oil optional; chopped
Heat the olive oil in a wide skillet over a low-medium flame. Add the gnocchi.
Saute the gnocchi, turning occasionally, until golden on all sides. This should take about 15 minutes. Add the rinsed beans in the final five minutes.
While the gnocchi is crisping up and cooking, chop the tomatoes and tear the basil. If using smoked tomatoes, snip these up.
Just before serving stir in the tomatoes and basil, and a little salt and pepper. Use scissors to snip in pieces of burrata. Do this over the pan so as to capture all of the creamy liquid. Stir until the cheese starts to melt.
Serve immediately. Fab with a crisp sharply-dressed green salad.
Nutrition calculation based on basic recipe for 4 servings.
If you don't fancy adding smoked tomatoes, how about adding sliced Kalamata olives? If you do this, perhaps hold off on adding salt.
Use any kind of gnocchi that you like. Spinach gnocchi would be really nice here.
Take it beyond the idea of a caprese salad by stirring in rocket/arugula leaves and topping with toasted pine nuts or pumpkin seeds. In the winter, why not use leftover roasted butternut squash and sage?
RIPE FOR PINNING!