Cooking On A Budget: Gnocchi with Bacon and Dates

Friday, March 6, 2015

Gnocchi with Bacon and Dates


Damaris Phillips, a Kentucky born woman and culinary instructor won the Next Food Network Star back in 2013. When she won the show I was shocked as I really did not think that she would do well at all. I did not think she had what it took - until I watched her show a couple of weekends ago. The show is Southern at Heart. My mindset has changed. This culinary instructor is perhaps one of the best things that has come along to the Food Network since Guy Fieri won ages ago. I found her to be engaging and fun and warm along with the fact that she "instructs" the average cook very well. It is obvious that she really does know what she is talking about.

Okay, enough of giving her props for being a host; she can cook and the recipe that she made on the show was for Goat Cheese Gnocchi with Bacon, Dates and Kentucky Wine Sauce. The gnocchi was homemade and everything about the dish screamed delicious. I just knew I had to try this but for me goat cheese is rather an expensive type of cheese and also I am not ready to tackle home made gnocchi. So I thought I would try a "version" of her dish using some frozen gnocchi to see how it would taste.

To my delight, this was really good! You get the good bacon taste and saltiness from the bacon, the nice texture from the lightly crisped gnocchi along with the sweetness of the dates and the wine. All of that combines to make a lovely sauce flavored with fresh, lemony parsley.

I made one package of gnocchi and there's enough for 3 larger portions or four somewhat smaller portions. But consider that this is a filling dish and a little gnocchi goes a long way.
  • 1 - 14.5 oz. pkg. frozen gnocchi
  • 5 slices thick bacon - small dice or short strips
  • 8 dates small dice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley + extra for garnish
  1. Cook the gnocchi according to the package, place in an ice water bath to stop any cooking then drain and place to dry on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  2. Chop your bacon and dates and chop the parsley. Also measure out the wine and chicken stock.
  3. In a cast iron skillet or frying pan, crisp up the bacon over medium heat until the fat starts to foam and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon.
  4. Add the gnocchi to the bacon fat and sear to golden brown, about 2 minutes per side then transfer to a bowl.
  5. In the skillet add the dates. Whisk in the wine and broth and simmer until it's reduced by half.
  6. Stir in the parsley and add in the gnocchi and give a toss.
  7. It is ready to be served on a platter family style or in individual bowls.

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