This was a two-person-in-the-kitchen dinner!  My favorite kind.

Victor was perusing the internet looking at different gnocchi ideas when he came across a recipe for Crispy Gnocchi with Fresh Peas and Bacon.  The minute I heard about it (yesterday) I knew I had to have it (today.)  I shopped on a Saturday afternoon – stood in line – just to bring home the bacon.

We’re talkin’ dedication.  Or something.

It was worth standing in line.  I’d do it again.What a great idea!

Victor used gnocchi he made and froze last month.  The recipe is really simple – and you can cut back on the butter considerably!

Crispy Gnocchi with Peas and Bacon

  • ¼ pound bacon or pancetta, diced (1 cup)
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups shelled fresh peas (frozen works in a pinch)
  • 12 fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (left whole)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1lbs gnocchi fresh or frozen

For the sauce, cook the bacon in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crispy, about 5 minutes. (Pour off some of the fat if your pork is especially greasy. You’ll want about 2 tablespoons of fat.) Add the shallot and garlic, sweat for 1 minute, and then add the lemon juice.

Increase the heat to medium, add the peas, and sauté just until the peas brighten in color. Remove the pan from the heat and fold in the parsley and 2 tablespoons butter. Taste for seasoning and add salt if necessary, though you shouldn’t need much, if any, because the bacon adds a natural saltiness to the sauce. Turn off the heat and set aside while you sauté the gnocchi.

To finish the gnocchi, heat 3 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat in a sauté pan large enough to accommodate all of the gnocchi without crowding. When the butter becomes brown and fragrant, add the gnocchi to the pan and cook, turning as necessary, until they’re browned and crisp on all sides, 5 or 6 minutes.

Pour in the pea and bacon sauce, turning to coat. Add the remaining tablespoon butter, the parmesan, and the 2 tablespoons of water while turning the gnocchi. Allow the sauce ingredients to emulsify and form a silken coating, 1 to 2 minutes. The sauce should cling to the gnocchi. Spoon the gnocchi and sauce into shallow bowls and serve immediately.

I made a swiss steak of sorts.  Beef round steak sliced thin and pounded, floured, and sauteed with onion and mushrooms.  A bit of beef broth and the final container of  mushroom soup.

I covered it and put it into a 275° oven while Victor made the gnocchi.


Did you notice the plate that tonight’s dinner was on?  It’s from Teatro Zinzanni – a show that plays in Seattle and San Francisco.

Click for a large detailed picure.

The concept pretty much is a 5-course dinner served in a circus tent – and the diners being a part of the show.  It’s non-stop fun and possibly one of the best three hours you’ll ever spend.  It’s fantastic.

They bill themselves as Love, Chaos, and Dinner.  They are so right.  We were so enthralled with everything that after the show, we went into the gift shop and bought 4 plates – two oval and two round.  I think they were something like $40.00 a piece.  We were flush back in those days.

Go to the website and click on the videos to see some of the show in action.

And then…  if you’re ever in San Francisco or Seattle – GO SEE IT!