You’d be surprise how satisfying a simple meat sauce poured over handmade gnocchi can be. This meat sauce is nothing close to complicated. Throw together ground beef, onions, and canned tomatoes, and you got yourself a pretty tasty sauce.
I think the key in this case are time and quality of ingredients. I used more expensive San Marzano tomatoes (I bought mine at Whole Foods), which I’m sure made a difference in the flavor of the final sauce. You also caramelize the onions for about 20 minutes, which really gives them a beautiful sweet flavor.
Though the meat sauce is relatively easy, the entire recipe is rather involved, as it also includes handmade kabocha squash gnocchi (tutorial here). Of course, you can always take a shortcut by buying the gnocchi if you are short on time. Definitely add a drizzle of white truffle oil and a dash of sea salt to make this dish outstanding.
Inspired by Saveur
Brown meat in 1 tbsp. of the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, using the back of a wooden spoon to break meat up. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, cook onions in remaining 1 tbsp. oil in another medium skillet over medium heat until soft and golden, about 20 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and their juices. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens. Add the ground meat to the tomato sauce.
Cook the gnocchi (either boiling it for a few minutes until they rise or pan-frying it in a skillet). Combine, and serve!
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