Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bacon Goat Cheese Gnocchi

One day I found myself with an absurd amount of goat cheese in my fridge.  All of a sudden I had about 5 different types of goat cheese!  Though I loooooove me some goat cheese I kinda had the feeling that I should not attempt to eat all this cheesy goodness alone.  Welcome the goat cheese dinner party!  I invited two of my friends over and we had three courses all with goat cheese as an ingredient. 

This was super fun, it forced me to try to be creative and use goat cheese in new ways.  I’ll share the recipe for two of the courses with you.  The first course was just a simple salad with goat cheese crumbles, strawberries, arugula, sliced almonds, and avocado with a ponzu dressing.  Here is what we had as our main course.  This is an excellent weeknight meal since this dinner probably all came together in about 20 minutes!     


Bacon Goat Cheese Gnocchi

4-6 strips of bacon (depending on thickness)
1 pkg gnocchi (I loved the one from Trader Joes)
1 1/2 cup mini heirloom tomatoes
1/2 cup pasta water
3 oz. fresh soft goat cheese
2 Tbsp. pesto
olive oil
sea salt

1.  Cut tomatoes in half and season well with salt and pepper.  Drizzle with olive oil and let them sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

2.  Crisp up bacon, cut into small pieces and set aside.  Drain bacon grease from pan and reserve 1 Tbsp. for later. 

3.  Prepare gnocchi as directed on the package (boil in salted water until they float).  Remove 1/2 cup of pasta water from the pot and drain gnocchi.  Add gnocchi to the pan with the bacon grease and slightly brown the gnocchi.  *I wanted to do this since I kinda like the gnocchi with a slight crisp to it*

4.  In a large bowl add pasta water, browned gnocchi, marinated tomatoes, and goat cheese.  Mix well until the goat cheese melts and creates a sauce that coats the gnocchi.  Drizzle pesto and sprinkle bacon bits.


I like to serve this up with some red chili pepper flakes to give it a little bit of heat.  This is just the right amount of creamy and tangy with out being too rich.