Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Butter the baking dish.
Blend pepper: Clean the bell pepper, remove the seeds, and chop it roughly. Blend it in a food processor (I prefer to use a small food processor). Set it aside.
Simmer: Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet and cook 1 grated garlic clove for about 30 seconds, often stirring. Add the pepper puree and cook for another minute. Pour in the tomato puree, bring to a boil, and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Combine sauce: Add 1 cup of cream cheese and stir well or whisk with an egg whisker until the sauce is smooth. Heat the sauce for about 1-2 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of oregano, salt, and pepper to taste (Note 5).
Add the gnocchi and about ½ of the grated Parmesan (½ cup/ 35 g) to the sauce. Toss to combine. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.
Add cheese: Slice 1 ball of mozzarella and arrange the slices on top of the gnocchi bake. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan (½ cup/ 35 g).
Bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is melty and golden.
My baking dish was packed to the brim, so I don’t recommend using a smaller one. A slightly larger one should be fine, but not too large.
Gnocchi: They are sold in bags and are either refrigerated, frozen, or vacuum-packed. I prefer refrigerated ones. Dried gnocchi should be cooked according to the package instructions before using them in this recipe. Should you use dried gnocchi, you will need about ½ lb (250 g).
Tomato sauce: You can also use marinara sauce or your favorite tomato sauce.
Parmesan: 1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan weighs about 2.5 oz (70 g). If using pre-grated Parmesan, you will need less, about ½ to ¾ cup, as it has less volume than freshly grated cheese. However, I strongly recommend using freshly grated cheese.
Seasoning: The sauce will need less salt if you use marinara or another tomato sauce. Always taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.