I've always been fascinated with gnocchi. The small, round pasta made with potatoes, flour, salt and eggs is hearty, yet delicate at the same time. At least the ideal gnocchi is delicate. Making these dumplinglike morsels requires a sure touch I've never mastered.
I haven't given up on making gnocchi but, in the meantime, I turn to the shelf-stable or refrigerator brands from the supermarket. This version, for example, is very fast, and reminiscent of a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, with its flavorings of bacon and tomatoes. You could even sprinkle the top with shredded lettuce to further mimic the sandwich.
Carol Mighton Haddix is food editor of the Chicago Tribune, which provided the recipe analysis.
Gnocchi With Bacon and Tomatoes
Serves 2 -- Total time: 35 minutes
4 slices thick bacon, chopped
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 package (13 ounces) refrigerated or shelf-stable potato gnocchi
1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley or shredded lettuce
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 teaspoon each: salt, freshly ground pepper
grated parmesan cheese (optional)
Heat a medium skillet over medium heat; add bacon and onion. Cook, stirring often, until onion starts to brown, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan of water to a boil; add gnocchi and cook according to package directions. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
Add some of the cooking water to the skillet; cook, stirring, to make a sauce. Add parsley, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Heat about 1 minute. Add gnocchi; toss to coat. Serve with parmesan cheese, if desired.
Per serving: 366 calories, 19 grams fat, 10 grams saturated fat, 48 milligrams cholesterol, 40 grams carbohydrate, 11 grams protein, 743 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber
Gnocchi With Bacon and Tomatoes; steamed broccolini; sliced Italian bread; mixed berries with vanilla yogurt