Baked gnocchi with bacon, tomato and mozzarella

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Baked gnocchi with bacon, tomato and mozzarella

Baked gnocchi with bacon, tomatoes and mozzarella

This is comfort food. Comfort food for those who need comforting. And yesterday, I needed it (more than I normally do). You see, yesterday was not only the beginning of the 3rd school term here in SA, but also the day we had to start with Atropine drops on my darling princess. I’m not going to go into what Atropine is (you can read more here, if you so wish) but we are doing it because she has a pretty important appointment at an Optometrist this Thursday. We found out a couple of weeks ago that her eyes are slightly squint (so slightly that we’ve never even noticed) but now there are talks of glasses and surgery and even though this isn’t, by far, the worst thing that could happen, I feel sad. I think as a mom, all you want is for your kids to be perfectly healthy and happy. Again, this isn’t even that big of a deal (and I can’t imagine what it must be like to hear your child is terribly ill, etc). {Our beautiful Abi has been for two eye operations now after the glasses made no difference. Her eyes are perfect and the doctor is very happy. This post was originally written when I was feeling very sorry for myself and so, I’ve edited it slightly because I never want her to read this one day thinking I felt she disappointed me (which one reader pointed out) because nothing she could ever do would disappoint me. She is wonderful, smart and perfect in every way.}

Baked gnocchi with bacon, tomatoes and mozzarella

Anyway, so yes, yesterday I needed comfort food. And since I also didn’t feel like spending hours in the kitchen, I knew I wanted to use a few packets of ready-made gnocchi. This isn’t something I use a lot because I really love making fresh gnocchi but it definitely is a life-saver when you’re pressed for time. I also think it works really well in a baked gnocchi dish because it’s quite a lot firmer than home-made gnocchi so the shape is retained while, I think, home-made gnocchi will just get mushy.

Baked gnocchi with bacon, tomatoes and mozzarella

The sauce is made by frying bacon and then adding both tinned and halved cherry tomatoes and a splash of cream (you could also use yoghurt). The cooked gnocchi is mixed into this and then baked under a blanket of fresh, creamy fior di latte.  Perfect, easy comfort food ready in a flash.

Baked gnocchi with bacon, tomatoes and mozzarella


4.3 from 3 reviews
Baked gnocchi with bacon, tomato and mozzarella
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dinner, Pasta, Gnocchi, Comfort food
Serves: 2-3
  • 500g store-bought gnocchi
  • 250g bacon, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • handful cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons cream/yoghurt
  • large handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 100g mozzarella, sliced
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°c.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.
  3. In the meantime, make the sauce.
  4. In a large, hot frying pan, fry the bacon until starting to crisp with most of the fat rendered.
  5. Pour off most of the fat then add the garlic and smoked paprika and fry for 30 seconds.
  6. Add all of the tomatoes and the sugar and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream/yoghurt, parsley and seasoning.
  8. Cook the gnocchi in the salted water until it starts floating to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the sauce.
  9. Transfer the gnocchi and sauce to an oven-proof dish and top with the sliced mozzarella.
  10. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes until the mozzarella is melted and golden.
  11. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
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Alida Ryder
Alida Ryder
Being a general food freak has proven to be quite helpful in this career I've found myself in. Author of two cookbooks, photographer, food stylist. Mom to twins. Ex make-up and hair artist obsessed with beautiful clothes and spaces. I love a good G&T and I've been known to spend too much money on shoes.
Showing 101 comments
  • Jessie

    What are your suggestions for making this vegetarian? Thank you!

  • Amber

    This was a quick meal which I appreciate, but I’m not sure smoked paprika is the best spice for this dish. The flavor seemed overwhelming; I might try regular paprika next time.

    • Alida Ryder

      There are many people who find the flavour of smoked paprika overwhelming but I just love it, especially with the bacon. Regular paprika would also be great but you could omit it altogether if you’d like.

  • Susan

    I found this on Pinterest and made it for dinner tonight. We all loved it, I ncluding my two year old. Fabulous!

  • Tanya

    Made this tonight, went down a storm with my 9 year old, my husband and me (9 months pregnant and struggling to enjoy anything!)

    • Alida Ryder

      So glad you liked it Tanya! Good luck with the last bit of your pregnancy!

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