Baked Gnocchi Bolognese

This tasty variation on an Italian classic is very popular at my place because it is so simple to prepare and really scrumptious. It is fantastic when you have a lot of people to feed- just keep doubling the recipe and adding what-ever bits and pieces you like and it still works a treat.

Best of all, it uses good Aussie beef mince, supporting us beef producers and providing a delicious dish at a very economical price. With the nights still chilly, it is a perfect time to road-test this one on the family.


Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Chop the basil leaves, leaving aside 4 small sprigs as a garnish. Brown the mince. Add a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Chop the onion and garlic and fry in oil until translucent. Combine the meat, onions and garlic and add enough Bolognese sauce to create a firm, not sloppy mixture. Test the mixture for flavour and add salt, pepper and a dash of tomato sauce if necessary. In the meantime, boil the gnocchi in a large pan with some salt.

Cook for about 3 minutes.

When they rise to the top, remove with a slotted spoon. Spread the Bolognese mixture into a large dish (suitable for lasagne) and add a sprinkle of the cheese mix. Sprinkle on the chopped basil plus more cheese mix. Add all the cooked gnocchi in a layer on top and season with salt and pepper. Top with the grated parmesan and a few sprinkles of nutmeg. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the top is brown and bubbling.

Leave it to settle out of the oven for 10 minutes before serving and garnish each portion with a small basil sprig.

Serve with a green salad, some crusty bread and possibly a glass of good red wine.

Serves 4


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 750 g of good beef mince
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 onions
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 1 500 g pack fresh gnocchi
  • 1 large bottle Bolognese sauce eg Paul Newmans
  • 1 packet pizza cheese mix
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • Nutmeg, salt and milled black pepper

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