Whether you want to believe it or not, school has returned and with it the hectic days of picking up the kids and getting dinner ready.

We brought in chef Pat Lizzi of Mezzo Restaurant & Lounge to show us two ways to make a simple pasta dish that takes less than 10 minutes total to complete from start to oh so good finish.

Gnocchi with a simple tomato sauce.
Gnocchi with a simple tomato sauce.

While we used gnocchi, an Italian potato ‘dumpling’, you can use any pasta noodle you choose.


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole plum tomatoes with juice, crushed by hand
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 2 sprigs basil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Gnocchi
  • Thinly shaved parmesan cheese, for serving


  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add wine; cook until most liquid has evaporated. Add tomatoes and juice, tomato sauce, basil, Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until slightly thick, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm.
Gnocchi cooking in tomato sauce.
Gnocchi cooking in tomato sauce.
  • Bring a large pot water to a boil; add 1 tablespoon salt. Add half of the gnocchi; when they rise to the top (after about 2 minutes), continue to cook until tender, about 15 seconds more. Transfer gnocchi with a slotted spoon to pan with sauce. Repeat process with remaining gnocchi.
  • Reheat gnocchi over low heat; gently toss. Serve with cheese shavings.


You can also make it even simpler for yourself creating a new dish completely.

Gnocchi tossed with butter and cheese.
Gnocchi tossed with butter and cheese.

Simply toss the cooked gnocchi and a generous heap of butter into a large mixing bowl, sprinkle grated cheese as well as pepper to taste and mix for a creamy take on gnocchi.

Quick and easy gnocchi with butter and cheese.
Quick and easy gnocchi with butter and cheese.


It’s almost like it’s mashed potatoes with butter and cheese!