Every Friday I try to plan an easy dish that I can cook over the weekend. It’s always a busy time since we frequently have a sports event to attend, some household and garden chores to deal with, and friends to see. Ensuring that I have the makings of a speedy and nourishing meal can mean the difference between a joyful or a woeful time!
This is a dish that I frequently rely upon because it is made quickly and easily, needs
little more than a salad or steamed vegetable accompaniment and looks divine when pulled from the oven and taken to the table – everyone loves it. You can use a home-made tomato sauce and make your own meatballs of course when time is a little more flexible and even use small pasta shapes instead of the gnocchi if preferred. The dish becomes endlessly versatile if you change the sauce from mild and mellow to spicy and hot and add a handful of roasted vegetables to the mix. Whichever way there will be clean plates all round.
EASY GNOCCHI GRATIN WITH MEATBALLS
low-fat cooking spray or mist
300 g/about 12 oz lean, low-fat meatballs (I used Slimming World variety)
350 g/12 oz jar low-sugar and fat Italian tomato sauce
500 g/1 lb pack fresh potato gnocchi
125 g/4 oz pack low-fat Mozzarella, drained
1-2 tbsp torn fresh basil
- Spritz a non-stick frying or saute pan with low-fat spray or mist. Heat, add the meatballs and cook for 5-6 minutes, until lightly browned, turning occasionally.
- Stir in the tomato sauce, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the gnocchi (or pasta if preferred) according to the pack instructions. Preheat the grill/broiler to a moderate or medium heat.
- Drain the gnocchi or pasta and stir into the meatball mixture. Transfer to a heatproof dish then slice or tear the Mozzarella over the top. Grill/broil for 4-5 minutes until the cheese has melted and is bubbling.
- Garnish with the basil and serve at once with a fresh salad accompaniment.
WLS PORTION: 1/2
CALORIES PER PORTION: 375