Baked Gnocchi with Pesto, Peas, and Pancetta

By PhoebeLapine
January 20, 2010
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Author Notes: This dish was inspired by a truffle gnocchi mac n’ cheese I had a month or so back and am still dreaming about. Since truffles don't quite fit in with my budget, I opted for pancetta, because when in doubt, add bacon. And a little pesto never hurt either. PhoebeLapine

Serves: 4-6

  • 2 pounds fresh gnocchi
  • 4 ounces pancetta, finely diced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3/4 cup grated fontina
  • 1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the gnocchi for 1-2 minutes, just to defrost them. They cook extremely quickly and will finish off in the oven, so don't over do them.
  3. In the meantime, fry the pancetta in 1/2 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Set aside.
  4. In the same pan, melt the butter over a medium flame. When fully liquified, whisk in the flour to create a roue. Add the milk and nutmeg, and simmer until reduced by half. Add the pesto, peas, pancetta, and gnocchi, and stir to combine.
  5. Place mixture in a large casserole or gratin dish and cover with the grated fontina. Bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes, until the cheese has become brown and crispy. It is delicious at this point. But for an extra crunch, remove from oven, cover with breadcrumbs, and return for another 5 minutes. The top should have a nice brown crust.

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