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Mozzarella & Pancetta Gnocchi Dreams

After watching Governor Cuomo’s press briefing yesterday where he recalled the tradition and  comfort of the Italian-American Sunday dinner, I decided to get off my duff and get into the kitchen for some sauce therapy. And while in this time, we may not have our normals, we can hold onto pieces of them and certainly appreciate them with more gusto when they return. So while my table was a little less full yesterday, I kept thinking about how I can’t wait to make this for my parents and sisters and all the kids and have everyone screaming around the table again. 

Craving a cozy dinner? I used pancetta to add a POW of flavor to a fast sauce that made these gnocchis sing!  My husband actually said mid-bite, “These are the best gnocchi I have ever had.”

What Do I Need?

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

28 Ounce Can of Roma or San Marzano Tomatoes

1 Onion, peeled and halved

4 Ounces of Pancetta (diced)

1/2 Cup White Wine

4-5 slices of fresh Mozzarella or 1/2 cup shredded

Salt & Pepper

17.5 Ounces Gnocchi

This should feed 4, but Brian and I ate it all!

Now What?

Heat a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, add 1/4 cup of olive oil and your pancetta, saute for about 4 - 5 minutes. Next, add your can of tomatoes, your halved onion and bring to a simmer. Add 1/2 of your white wine, salt and pepper and keep simmering and cooking down for about 45 minutes to an hour. Your sauce should reduce and be quite thick, thin with the remainder of your white wine if needed. 

Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook your gnocchi according to the package’s instruction. Do not overcook your gnocchi and as soon as you drain them, add them directly to your sauce and stir to coat. In a baking dish, I use my beloved 9” Staub Oval baking dish, but you can use a standard 9” square one, you want your gnocchi tight, stacked about 2” high in the dish.  Next add a layer of mozzarella over the top. I had a block so I cut about 4 slices to cover the top, you can use shredded if that is what you have on hand. Broil your gnocchi until the top of the cheese is bubbled and golden brown.

Now cozy up to your quarantine partners and enjoy!

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