A friend wrote about a pasta dish that she got from Giada de Laurentiis when watching the Food Network. That dish was Shells with Crispy Pancetta and Spinach. It sounded really good and easy. I love the combination of bacon and spinach and it seemed like a good one dish meal. So I decided to make a similar dish the day after Thanksgiving when my Mom and sister were visiting.
I didn't have pasta shells, only gnocchi and I had bought bacon rather than pancetta. The original recipe called for a lot of asiago cheese, instead I used a quattro fromaggio mix from Trader Joe's which my friend also used in her dish. I used half and half instead of cream though next time, I think I will try it with milk. I also forgot to put the nutmeg in the spinach mixture so I added it to the sauce instead and it tasted fine.
I forgot to take a picture until after we had finished dinner so the picture is not as pretty. My mom, sister and V all gave the dish a big thumbs up. The kids took one look and wouldn't try it
Gnocchi with Bacon and Spinach
1/2 lb bacon, cut into 1/2 pieces
1/2 container low fat ricotta cheese
1/2 cup quattro fromaggio grated cheese mix
1 lb chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 package vacuum packed gnocchi
Cook bacon until crispy.
Mix with ricotta cheese, grated cheese, spinach, black pepper.
Cook gnocchi in boiling water.
Put gnocchi in shallow dish and layer spinach bacon mixture on top.
1 Tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup half and half
2 cups quattro fromaggio grated cheese mix
1/4 cup parsley
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp black pepper
Melt butter and add minced garlic. Stir in cream and bring to a simmer.
Turn heat to low and stir in cheese, parsley, nutmeg and black pepper.
Stir until cheese is melted.
Pour sauce over spinach and gnocchi.
Bake for 20 minutes at 375.