I’ve found that this improves with time; it seems that the sauce needs a little time to really soak into the gnocchi. Also, I recommend making the gnocchi on the smallish side since that will allow the sauce to soak in even more. The first time I made this I did not use fresh mozzarella and it turned out fine. Also, I did not include the red chili flakes because I’m a wuss.
1 egg, lightly beaten
pinch of salt
1T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (15oz) can plain tomato sauce
salt to taste (I don’t actually add any salt)
4-6oz fresh mozzarella, cubed
2T fresh basil
In a mixing bowl, add egg to ricotta and stir to combine. To that, add 1c of flour and pinch of salt. Fold flour in gently until a soft dough forms. If dough is sticky, add more of the reserved flour until it is no longer sticky. Do not knead or over mix the dough (this will result in chewy gnocchi).
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and pinch off baseball-sized portions of dough. Roll dough into a long snake, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. The thinner the gnocchi, the more the sauce will be able to soak in.
Take a sharp knife and cut the snake into 1-inch pieces. Repeat rolling and cutting steps with the rest of the dough.
Place a large pot of water on the stove over high heat. Salt generously and bring to a boil.
When water is boiling steadily, carefully drop gnocchi in. Grab a large slotted spoon and don’t walk away. As soon as the gnocchi floats to the top, they are done.
In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic stirring one minute, or until fragrant but without browning the garlic. Add tomato sauce to the pan, followed by sugar and salt. Turn heat to medium-low and allow to simmer while the gnocchi are cooking.
Add cooked gnocchi directly to sauce, stirring to coat, and remove from heat. Toss in fresh mozzarella and basil. Stir gently to combine.