This super simple 3 ingredient Gnocchi with Sweet Peas, is a winner every time it’s made. Inspired by one of my favorite meals eaten at Eataly in Rome, it’s simplicity is truly the star of the show. A 20 minute meal that everyone loves make this recipe a true winner!
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Why does this gnocchi recipe work every time?
The short answer is because you are using items you have on hand. The longer answer is because the quality of your store bought ingredients determines the outcome of this dish. Buy a delicious store bought pasta sauce and frozen sweet peas, and this will be a stunner every time.
Another great thing about gnocchi with sweet peas is that even the most beginner cook can make this recipe work. It’s a great recipe to teach to your kiddos for those nights when you just don’t feel like it. They can cook this with very little supervision (or your partner can for that matter) and you can enjoy the glass of vino you deserve!
A few notes on the ingredients:
- Store bought gnocchi: We really like the Trader Joe’s variety but any type will do. If you want to make your own gnocchi, go for it. It will work just the same once you’ve cooked it.
- Pasta sauce: You can use any type of red sauce you like. If you want to make it from scratch, my pink sauce recipe works really well, but mostly I just open a jar and keep it simple.
How to make Gnocchi with Sweet Peas
You’ll start by bringing a salted pot of water to boil over high heat. Be sure to salt your water well as this starts building flavor into your gnocchi.
While the water comes to a boil, set a large saute pan over medium heat on another burner and add your frozen peas.
Now, let them be.
You want the peas to get a little char on one side of them before you move them around. Once all the peas have warmed through and are charred on one side, drizzle a little olive oil over the top, give the whole pan a shake and then turn off the heat. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt.
Pour the pasta sauce into the pan and turn the heat up to medium. Let the pasta sauce warm up until it just starts to simmer. Then reduce heat to low.
Meanwhile, the water should be boiling now. Once the water boils, add the gnocchi and cook according to the package directions. The gnocchi should be done at the same time the pasta sauce is warmed through.
Using a slotted spoon or spider mesh strainer spoon, carefully drain the gnocchi over the pot of water and place into the pan with the pasta sauce.
Then add the peas back into the pan, stir everything together, let cook another minute or two, then serve.
Feel free to garnish with basil, add in mozzarella balls, or the protein of your choice!
How to cook gnocchi
The trick for cooking gnocchi perfectly is to babysit your pot of boiling water once you put the gnocchi in the pot. You want to be sure to scoop them out just as they float to the top.
If you take the gnocchi out of the boiling water before they float to the top, you’ll end up with a gnocchi that’s not cooked all the way through.
If you let it continue cooking too long after it floats, you’ll end up with a gummy, mushy consistency that won’t be fun to eat!
Frequently Asked Questions
You can easily add grilled chicken or grilled salmon to this recipe. Just keep the seasoning on the chicken or fish to something simple like olive oil and italian herbs so that it matches the flavor profile of the gnocchi.
We love adding ciliegine (small mozzarella balls) to this dish at home. We simply slice them in half and add them to the pan once we’ve stirred everything together. You don’t want them to become too melty and lose their shape in your bowl.
Sometimes I’ll serve a big green salad on the side and sometimes just a big bowl of gnocchi is dinner around here. Once you add in some mozzarella balls, it serves are purposes for a simple, filling and well rounded meal 😉.
One more simple tip
- Always keep good pasta sauce in your pantry. Not necessarily the fanciest, but the one your family loves! (Ours is this one from Gefen, but we do mix it up sometimes.) It’s a game changer on busy nights. It ensures success Not only can it always be poured over your favorite pasta, but you can adapt it into so many other recipes in a pinch. It’s a good base for soups, for spaghetti squash pasta bowls, and baked pasta dishes. There are always at least 5 jars in our pantry at all times!
Looking for more simple Italian inspired recipes? Try these:
When you try this recipe and love it 😍 let me know by leaving a comment below or 5 ⭐ rating!
Gnocchi with Sweet Peas
- 1 pkg gnocchi (about 17 oz)
- 26 oz pasta sauce (1 jar of your favorite)
- 10 oz frozen sweet peas
- Bring a salted pot of water to boil over high heat.
- While the water comes to a boil, set a large saute pan over medium heat on another burner and add your frozen peas. You want the peas to get a little char on one side of them before you move them around.
- Once all the peas have warmed through and are charred on one side, drizzle about ½ tablespoon of olive oil over the top, give the whole pan a shake and then turn off the heat. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and move the peas into a small bowl for use in a minute.
- Pour the entire jar of pasta sauce into the In the same pan that you cooked the pea in. Place it over medium heat. Let the pasta sauce cook until it just starts to simmer.
- Once the water boils, add the gnocchi and cook according to the package directions.
- Using a slotted spoon, carefully drain the gnocchi over the pot of water and place them into the pan with the pasta sauce. Then add the peas back into the pan, stir everything together, let cook another minute or two, then serve.
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