This homemade gnocchi carbonara is the perfect comfort food for chilly nights. Soft fluffy gnocchi in creamy carbonara sauce is any pasta lover’s dream!
Table of Contents
- For the gnocchi: I made homemade gnocchi for this recipe but you can easily use store-bought gnocchi too. To make it yourself, you’ll need potatoes, egg yolks, flour and salt.
For the Carbonara sauce
- Cured pork. Traditionally, carbonara is made with Guanciale (cured pork cheek) but as this can be difficult to find, using pancetta or bacon are good alternatives.
- Egg yolks.
- Cheese. Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese.
- Salt and black pepper.
How to make gnocchi carbonara
Make the gnocchi according to the instructions in the recipe card.
Slice the guanciale into small pieces then add to a large frying pan with a tablespoon of olive oil. Allow to cook, rendering the fat, until crisp and golden. While the pork is cooking, whisk together the egg yolks, grated cheese, salt and pepper.
To cook the gnocchi (store-bought or homemade), bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the gnocchi and allow to cook until they float to the surface. With a slotted spoon, remove the gnocchi. Reserve 1 cup of cooking water and whisk half into the egg mixture.
Add the gnocchi to the pan with the guanciale/bacon then remove the pan from the heat and add the egg mixture. Stir and toss the gnocchi in the sauce, allowing the residual heat to cook the eggs, until the sauce is creamy and coats the gnocchi evenly. Scatter over chopped parsley and serve.
Can I make this ahead?
Gnocchi can become slightly chewy if cooked too far in advance. However, the gnocchi can be made and formed then frozen in a single layer and kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. The sauce is also best served immediately after cooking as the eggs can curdle once re-heated. Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge overnight and gently reheated with a splash of water.
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- 1 kg baking/fluffy potatoes
- 2 egg yolks
- 1-1.5 cups flour
- salt to taste
for the carbonara sauce
- ½ lb/250g guanciale/bacon chopped
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 cup grated Pecorino cheese
- freshly cracked black pepper
- salt to taste
- large handful chopped Italian parsley
- To make the gnocchi, place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake at 200°c until a skewer is easily inserted.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Halve the potatoes and scoop the flesh into a bowl. Mash well.
- Add the egg yolks and mix well.
- Add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time and mix in gently, you don’t want to over-work the dough. I only needed 1.5 cups of flour for my gnocchi but some mixtures might need a bit more. It’s best to make sure your potatoes are quite dry before adding the flour though as the more flour you add, the tougher your gnocchi will be.
- When you’ve added enough flour to result in a soft dough, break tennis ball sized pieces off of the dough and roll into long strips on a floured surface. Cut the strip into 1cm gnocchis and place on a floured tray until you are ready to cook them. If you like, you can also use a fork to make indents in the gnocchi which create little spaces to suck up more of the sauce.
- To make the carbonara, fry the guanciale/bacon until slightly crisp.
- While the bacon is frying, combine the eggs, Pecorino and seasoning and whisk well.
- To cook the gnocchi, bring a large pot of water to the boil. Drop in the gnocchi gently and when it floats to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon. Reserve 1 cup of cooking water.
- Pour half of the pasta water into the egg mixture and whisk well.
- Once your gnocchi is cooked, add it to the pan with the pork then remove from the heat and pour in the egg mixture. Stir to coat all the gnocchi in the sauce. Add a splash more pasta water if necessary.
- Scatter over the chopped parsley and serve.