Cheesy Bacon and Pesto Baked Gnocchi
Ready made gnocchi is a brilliant substitute for pasta, very inexpensive and really easy to cook with. You can boil it, as with dried pasta, or you can add it directly to your sauce. This has the added benefit to thickening your sauce and gives you one pan less to wash up. I prefer to do it that way, and provided the sauce is liquid enough you it will cook wonderfully and taste better too.
Cheesy Bacon and Pesto Baked Gnocchi is a very easy family recipe which tastes delicious and comforting. I chop it up a bit for my 3 year old and mash it up for my (nearly) 1 year old. They both love it. I like to serve it with a salad for grown ups. Because gnocchi is quite dense a light salad compliments it well.
I have used fresh and frozen broccoli, I cannot tell the difference in taste. I have also used frozen peas and peppers, so just use any veg you have. Mushrooms would work well I'm sure. This recipe also freezes really well. Just defrost and reheat in the oven or microwave until piping hot.
Creamy Bacon and Pesto Baked Gnocchi
Time: 15 mins prep + 15 mins baking
Serves: 3 Adults
Cost: 91p per serving
Calories: 553 per serving
4 rashers smoked (or unsmoked if you prefer) back bacon
1 clove garlic (optional)
150g frozen or fresh broccoli florets
500g ready make gnocchi
1 tablespoon green pesto (ready made from a jar)
75g mature cheddar cheese, grated
A little oil for frying
Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 200 C / gas mark 6.
Cut the bacon into strips and remove the white fat and rind. Fry the bacon until cooked in a large saucepan along with one clove or chopped or crushed garlic if you wish.
Add the milk, broccoli, gnocchi and pesto. Give it all a good stir and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer for around 10 minutes stirring frequently until the gnocchi has swollen, the sauce has thickened and the broccoli is tender. Throw in about two thirds of the cheese and stir through until melted. If the sauce is a little thick, add a splash more milk.
Pour into one large oven proof dish or three individual oversized ramekins (depending what you have available and who will be eating it! It really doesn't matter). Sprinkle over the remaining cheese. Bake in the oven for 10 - 15 minutes until bubbling round the edge and golden brown.