Date night Baked Gnocchi with Bacon is the ultimate Saturday night dinner for two. This delicious creamy gnocchi bake couldn’t be more easy to make! – Hungry now? Jump to Recipe
For me, the perfect date night is staying in eating carbs until I fall into a food coma of self loathing and regret. Hmm, sounds like a familiar scenario in the DGBMH household, but by labelling it ‘date night’ it all of a sudden seems justified. Maybe I’m old before my age, but going out on a Saturday night and spending money on average food is not for me. Luckily my hubby agrees and is more partial to an evening eat off. Oh hey baked gnocchi with bacon, you look like a good time!
Gnocchi has to be one of the ultimate easy dinner date recipes for two. Ridiculously quick and easy to cook, but most importantly it’s so comforting and hearty in whichever way you choose to serve it.
In excess, it certainly fills the criteria of ‘food coma of self loathing and regret’ which is fab.
But this particular baked gnocchi recipe works perfectly as a date night meal for a couple more specific reasons.
Firstly is that’s it’s fool-proof. Seriously, even the most beginner of cooks can master this dish, I promise you that. Secondly is that is that it’s so versatile. Vegetarian? leave out the bacon. Love spice? Pack it with chilli. Looking for more vegetables? Absolutely stuff it with your favourite veg! On a diet? Erm, possibly not the dish for you. But you get my point.
But for me, this is the ultimate combination. Let’s take a closer look.
Ingredients for the perfect baked gnocchi
- Tomato Passta & Cherry Tomatoes
- Onion & Garlic
- Cheddar & Mozzarella
- Basil & Parsley
- Smoked Paprika
A gorgeously rich tomato sauce, made ooey gooey delicious with melted mozzarella and a cheeky drizzle of cream. Beautiful blasts of fresh basil and parsley, paired with a handful of cherry tomatoes. Above all, this oven baked gnocchi has a smokey twang, both from the smoked bacon and smoked paprika. Creamy, cheesy, herby, tomatoey (is that even a word?) and smokey all in one dish?
And like I said, this dish is fool proof.
How to make Baked Gnocchi
Firstly it’s a matter of frying off the bacon, onion and garlic and adding the cream, tomato, herbs and mozzarella. Whilst that’s simmering just whack the gnocchi in boiling water for just for a few minutes until they float. Drain and combine with your sauce.
Now strictly speaking you could finish it there, however it’s date night, we want more cheese and we want it baked to really marry those flavours together.
How much cheese you choose to melt on top is up to you, as you can see we take our cheese very seriously in this household.
By the time you’ve baked it, the top is going to be golden and crispy and the centre is just going to be a work of art. I also tend to sprinkle some leftover basil and parsley after, you know, just to make it seem more healthy.
What to serve with Gnocchi
When it comes to what to have it with (oh yes, there’s more) apart from an entire bottle of red wine, because every date night dinner needs excessive amounts of wine, we’ll always go for a side salad and garlic bread.
If you are going for a side salad I do recommend checking out my Homemade Balsamic Glaze. Not only do I drizzle this stuff on literally everything, but in this case it actually pairs really well with the gnocchi. Baked Gnocchi with Bacon as you’ve probably worked out is quite rich. Adding a side salad with a drizzle of balsamic glaze will balance that out neatly with a hint of acidity and sweetness.
In this instance we just went for some rocket (arugula), sliced olives and olive oil.
Whether you’re looking for dinner date ideas at home, a saturday night meal with your bestie or just a hearty homecooked meal, baked gnocchi with bacon is here to fulfill all your foodie needs. With it’s rich and creamy interior and crispy cheese topping, this dish is enough to make you fall in love all over again.
How to make Baked Gnocchi with Bacon (Full Recipe & Video)
'Date night Baked Gnocchi with Bacon is the ultimate Saturday night dinner for two. This delicious creamy gnocchi bake couldn't be more easy to make!'
- 14 oz (400g) Gnocchi
- 2 cups (500g) Tomato Passata
- 1/4 cup (60ml) Double Cream
- 4 rashers Smoked Streaky Bacon, chopped
- 1 medium White Onion, finely diced
- 1 clove Garlic, finely diced
- 4.4 oz (125g) Mozzarella
- 8-10 small Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 handful Fresh Parsley, finely diced (save some to serve)
- 1 handful Fresh Basil, finely diced (save some to serve)
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- Cheddar Cheese for topping, measure to preference
- Olive Oil, as needed
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 390f (200c).
In a pan, fry up your bacon in a little olive oil until it just begins to brown. Add your onion and then your garlic, fry until browned and fragrant.
Pour in your tomato passata and stir through your cream until fully blended. Add your parsley, basil, cherry tomatoes and stir through your mozzarella until melted and gooey.
Pop your gnocchi in salted boiling water and cook until they just start to float (2-3mins). Drain and stir through your sauce.
Place in a suitably sized baking dish, top with cheese and bake for around 15-20mins or until golden and crispy on top and bubbling in the centre.
Serve with an extra sprinkle of leftover herbs.
a) The aim of the game is to JUST about cook the gnocchi. Whatever it says on your packet instruction take 1 minute off. You want to release some starch so it doesn't go too gloopy in the oven, but you don't want to completely cook the gnocchi and cook it further in the oven as it will be too soft.
b) If you're adding cherry tomatoes be careful as they will be incredibly hot when they come out the oven.
For another easy date night recipe check out my Easy Pan Fried Pork Chops with Peach Salsa!