Thursday, 2 June 2016

Baked Gnocchi with Bacon & Bocconcini

Depending on what our plans are I tend to like to cook more complicated, drawn out recipes on a Sunday but on this occasion hubby (although he was only bf at the time!) was in Cambridge and I was in North London for the day so I wanted something quick yet lovely and comforting (comfort food for me is a 12 month a year thing - but was particularly so in my rather pregnant, at the time, condition).

The week before I was in Borough Market with my friend BGJ to pick up some bits and pieces and we tried some fresh gnocchi from one of the Italian stands there. Oh my god, they were so good so my plan had been to come up with a recipe (this) and go back to pick up some of the gnocchi to go in it.

Unfortunately life intervened and I couldn’t make it down there to pick up some of that incredible gnocchi but I still really wanted this so popped into a Tescburys to pick up some ready-made stuff.

I might be wrong but I wonder if that was the way to go - non-refrigerated shop bought gnocchi tends to be quite firm which I think would prove to be a good thing. I used ready-made gnocchi that was refrigerated with the fresh pastas and that was on the edge if I’m honest. I suspect that the more delicate homemade type would have collapsed into mush with the baking. But anyway - give this a go, it is pretty good.

Baked Gnocchi with Bacon, Mushrooms & Mozzarella
serves 2-4 (you may have leftovers)

1 pack shop-bought gnocchi (400-500g)
1 tsp olive oil
1 small banana shallot, finely chopped
150g bacon, chopped
100g mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp tomato purée
125ml (small wine glass) white wine
handful cherry tomatoes, halved
½ tsp sugar
2 tbsp double cream
salt & pepper to taste
100g bocconcini, halved (or mozzarella, torn into chunks)
handful basil leaves, torn

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the gnocchi following packet directions. Drain.

Meanwhile heat the oil in a large heavy-based sauté pan over medium heat. Cook the onion, stirring, for 5 minutes until softened but not coloured.

Add bacon and cook, stirring, for a further 5 minutes or until the bacon is starting to crisp with most of the fat rendered. Add mushroom and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes or until mushroom is soft.

Add the wine. Cook, scraping any bits from the base of the pan, for 3-4 minutes or until wine reduces by half. Stir in the tomatoes and tomato purée, sugar and red pepper flakes and simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream, basil and seasoning.

Add the drained gnocchi to the sauce and transfer to an oven-proof dish and top with the torn bocconcini.

Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the mozzarella is melted and golden. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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