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
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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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Showing 106 comments
  • CTanner
    Reply

    This looks wonderful, I’m going to try it today! As a side note to your story about your daughter…I worked for a pediatric ophthalmologist for 17 years. We used Atropine for the treatment of amblyopia, is that what she was diagnosed with? And as far as surgery goes, not sure what the surgery is for, just make sure you are going to a pediatric ophthalmologist. An optometrist can’t perform surgery. There are optometrists that are successful in the treatment of amblyopia, if that’s what she has, however an ophthalmologist is probably who she should be with. And one more thing, as far as the glasses go….they have so many different selections for frames that are awesome! Colors, shapes, designers, etc…. She may just be the hit of her class! It’s all good!!

    • Alida Ryder
      Reply

      She is actually at an Opthalmologist. And I can never remember what she was diagnosed with. But it’s at least not serious, at all, and they’re trying the glasses for now which seem to be working. 🙂

  • Sandi
    Reply

    I made this for dinner last night- AMAZING! So delicious and definitely perfect comfort food. Hope everything went as well as it could with your daughter’s optometrist appointment.

  • Sonet
    Reply

    Food looks so yummy!! My daughter is turning 26 this year, she was born with a squint. It was corrected surgically. It was very traumatic for me, more so that for her I think (she was 2 at the time). Technology has come so far since then. Your child will be all fixed and beautiful. And glasses, these days its all the rage, if she needs them, get a really funky pair. Good luck. Be strong. I look at my beautiful daughter (and she really is beautiful), a doctor now, and can barely remember her with a squint.

  • wendee
    Reply

    try homemade sweet potato gnocchi

    • Alida Ryder
      Reply

      I often make gnocchi with butternut, pumpkin and sweet potato. Just love it.

      • Alisa
        Reply

        What kind of dish did you use to bake it? size?

        • Alida Ryder
          Reply

          I used an oven-proof ceramic dish of around 20x20cm.

  • Reply

    I am not a huge fan of gnocchi, but this looks incredible! Bacon and mozzarella! Nothing can go wrong with those ingredients!

    • Alida Ryder
      Reply

      You’re right. When has anything with bacon ever been bad? 😉

  • Nicole Da Rocha
    Reply

    I’m going to be making this for the first time this weekend for all our friends! YUM!!

  • Annette
    Reply

    Hallo Alida,

    Ek sien jy gebruik Fior di latte mozarella kaas. Waar koop jy dit?
    Hier in die Oos-Rand sukkel ek by ons plaaslike Woolworths om dit in die hande te kry.

    Dankie vir ‘n heerlike resep en sterkte met jou dogtertjie.

    • Alida Ryder
      Reply

      Annette, jy kan hulle Bocconcini ook probeer en as jy regtig nie reg kom nie, gebruik sommer hulle gewone mozzarella. Natuurlik is die buffalo/fior di latte lekkerder maar gewone mozz sal ook werk!

      Baie dankie! x

  • Reply

    This is my kind of comfort food! I don’t even care that it’s 100 degrees outside. I want to stuff my face with this!

    • Alida Ryder
      Reply

      Definitely face-stuffing kind of food. 😉

  • Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie
    Reply

    Not only does this sound amazing, it looks it!

  • Gill
    Reply

    That looks delicious, I will definitely be trying it. On the glasses front, try not to worry too much (easier said than done!) My “princess” had to get glasses when she was in Grade 3 – I was a wreck, she handled it beautifully. Miraculously enough she has never been teased and loves her glasses, although she does occasionally opt for contacts now that she is 18 years old. You get really lovely “trendy” glasses for young girls now, I think that makes all the difference!

    • Alida Ryder
      Reply

      Gill, thanks! That makes me feel a lot better. It’s between glasses or surgery and we’ll find out which on Thursday.

      • Carien
        Reply

        My middle son has been wearing glasses for 8 years now (since he was 2). Had to wear patch on one eye as well to exercise the eye and brain. Not easy process, but it depends on parents attitude. Never gets teased but a little self conscious still. best of luck!

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