Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Baked Gnocchi with Bacon, Tomato, and Mozzarella

Simple comfort in one pot! Bacon, tomatoes, and gnocchi are topped with thick slices of mozzarella and baked until hot and gooey. This guest worthy meal is weeknight easy!

One of my biggest Pinterest pet peeves is the overuse of "best" - the "best" chocolate chip cookies, the "best" meatloaf, the "best" iced coffee. Claiming your recipe is the best of all is off-putting in so many ways (not to mention a completely arbitrary measurement!). I know why some bloggers resort to that - it greatly increases their pins and page-views resulting in more income. But I still don't have to like it :)

So bear with me while I claim this recipe to be one of the very best dinners we eat. Yup, I've made it several times and the entire pot was gone before a photo could be taken. I practically guarded this bowl with my life so I could finally snap a (really not impressive) photo. Y'all, hiding under that thick layer of mozzarella is pure joy.

It's creamy, and tomatoey, and gooey, and is peppered with thick cut bacon and pillows of gnocchi that just melt in your mouth. It's what you want to eat after a stressful day. Or when it's freezing outside and you had to shovel your driveway. Or when you have company coming and need something to impress. Or, you know, you just need some bacon in your life.

Will you think it's one of the best? I don't know. I hope so, though.

I know it doesn't look/sound like much but something magical happens in that pot and this tomato-hating-girl is drooling just rereading the recipe.

I think we'll have it again this weekend :)

Baked Gnocchi with Bacon, Tomato, and Mozzarella
8 slices thick cut bacon
1 pound store bought gnocchi
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes with their juices
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley
12 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
salt and pepper to taste

Spread the bacon out on a foil lined baking pan. Place in a cold oven, set temperature to 400, and let bake for 18-20 minutes or until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to cook slightly and then crumble. Keep oven on.

In a large oven safe pot, bring a pot of water to boil and cook the gnocchi for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Return pot to heat and add 1 tablespoon oil. Quickly fry the garlic and paprika for 30 seconds. Add the diced tomatoes, grape tomatoes, tomato paste, and sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cream, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir in the cooked gnocchi and crumbled bacon. Top with sliced mozzarella and bake for 10 minutes.

Source: adapted from Simply Delicious

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