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Gnocchi & Bacon Gratin with Garlic Bechamel

Gnocchi & Bacon Gratin with Garlic Bechamel Final 1 There’s a GIVEAWAY starting today! Come check it out and enter HERE!

So, Monday….we meet again! Is it just me or are these weeks flying by? Yesterday I was organizing and deleting lots of photos off my laptop and it made me realize that not too long ago, my baby was in fact a teeny tiny baby. She has turned into the most joyful, animated, beautiful and smart little girl. She’s not a toddler any more, she’s a small lady that happens to be turning 3 on Wednesday….excuse me while I go back to bed and cry myself to sleep. Seriously, some days seem to drag on forever, but looking back they fly right by.

Sigh….

Almost makes me want to have another one….almost.

I’m not dropping any hints, fyi.

So, I’ve been wallowing these last few days. Translation: I’ve been shoveling in the carbs. This recipe was one of my favorites I’ve made. Creamy, dreamy, garlicky, bacony and all around comfort in a bowl. Perfect for bad days, blizzards and potlucks alike. Serve it with a salad and that’s dinner. The only bad thing about this recipe is it requires the use of more than one pot. Do I like dishes? Never. Is this dinner worth the extra dishwashing later? TOTALLY. Also, I thought there could have been more bacon. Bacon is what makes the world go ’round, dontcha think?

I’m glad we agree.

Here’s how it goes down–start by cooking some bacon in a pretty deep skillet. I used some thick cut peppered bacon…because I can.

gnocchi 1

While the bacon sizzles, sprinkle some breadcrumbs into a small skillet with some butter and place over medium heat. Once the butter starts to melt, stir so the crumbs get evenly moistened.  gnocchi 2

Peel some gah-lic and have it waiting in the wings too. I love garlic. Keeps you healthy…or so I hear.
gnocchi 3

Get a pot of water and bring it to boil for these bad boys. Do you know how long it took me to find these gnocchi? Yeah…13 days and 6 stores later, I finally found some  at Target!! Who knew Target sold gnocchi of all things.  gnocchi 4

Once your bacon is done, remove it from the pan and get rid of most of the drippings because….. gnocchi 5

we’re going to replace them with butter!! I just had a Paula Deen flashback. Weird. gnocchi 6

Once you get that butter into the pot with that tiny bit of bacon grease, grate in that garlic.  gnocchi 7

You only want to cook it about 1 minute–not long at all! You don’t want it to turn bitter!

gnocchi 8

After that, sprinkle in some flour! It’s béchamel time, baby! gnocchi 9

Once you stir the flour in, things look sort of pasty. Cook this paste a minute or two to get rid of the raw flour flavor and then– gnocchi 10

slowly whisk in the milk to avoid lump city. gnocchi 11

After a minute or two, your béchamel should start to thicken. Reduce the heat way down and add in salt, pepper and nutmeg. I didn’t take any pictures of that but lets pretend I did.  gnocchi 12

Don’t forget about those bread crumbs! Once they turn golden, remove from the heat! gnocchi 13

After your sauce is complete, you’re going to want to cook that gnocchi. They take 2 minutes to cook. Once they float, they’re done! I strained mine off and dropped them right into the sauce. gnocchi 14

Along with that bacon we started with. gnocchi 15

Once everything looks bueno, dump it into a baking dish and throw it into the oven. If your sauce got too thick, splash in a little milk or cream.  gnocchi 16

And then remember you made those bread crumbs, take it out of the oven, sprinkle them on top and place back into the oven.  gnocchi 17

After 15 or 20 minutes, pull it out and dig right in. Gnocchi & Bacon Gratin with Garlic Bechamel Final 2

Like I mentioned before, I would have loved more bacon, but this was pretty darn tasty as is. Garlicky, creamy, and dreamy! Mmmmm….  Gnocchi & Bacon Gratin with Garlic Bechamel Final 3 Enjoy! :) Hope you like this one! We sure did!

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Gnocchi & Bacon Gratin with Garlic Bechamel

Yield: 2-4 servings, depending on appetites

Ingredients:

3 slices thick-cut bacon
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk
2 large cloves garlic
17 oz. package gnocchi
salt & pepper, to taste
scant 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
topping-
2/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
1 1/2 tablespoons butter

Directions:

Bring large pot of water to boil. Sprinkle breadcrumbs and butter into small skillet and place on medium heat. Once butter melts, stir breadcrumbs around to moisten completely and brown lightly. Remove from heat and set aside. Once bacon is cooked and crisp, remove from skillet onto paper towels to drain. Leave 1 tablespoon bacon grease in pan and melt in 2 tablespoons butter. Grate in garlic cloves and cook 1 minute. Sprinkle in flour and whisk. Cook 1-2 minutes and then whisk in milk slowly to prevent lumps. Add in salt, pepper and nutmeg and reduce heat to low. Pour gnocchi into boiling water and cook until they start to float, 2-3 minutes. While gnocchi is cooking, crumble cooked bacon. Drain gnocchi and stir into sauce. Add in bacon. Pour entire contents into buttered baking dish and sprinkle with toasted bread crumbs. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes and serve hot.

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34 Comments

  1. I am always looking for more things to do with gnocchi and this sounds just too good to be true. I love all that creamy garlicky bacony goodness. Plus I have a recipe somewhere for homemade gnocchi that takes 5 minutes to make, let me know if you want it so you don’t have to spend another 13 days looking for some!

    Reply

    • Lauren — February 6th, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

      YES!!! Send me that recipe! 5 minutes? Too good to be true??

      Reply

    • Melanie D. — August 11th, 2014 @ 11:14 pm

      May I please have that 5 minute recipe too Kathryn?? That sounds aaaaaamazing!!! And with two children, a husband and a business it sounds downright delectable!!!

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  2. there is so much YUM in this dish!! I love creamy sauces especially with BACON! that’s so sweet about your baby girl — she’ll always be your baby :) happy early bday to that sweet daughter of yours!

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  3. Come to mama!!! I sure could use a carb fest right now myself!

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  4. The days are long but the years are short…

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    • Lauren — February 6th, 2012 @ 4:15 pm

      SO true!

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  5. I am with Bev – absolutely delicious looking!!

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  6. Love garlic. Love bechamel. Love gnocchi. Totally love this meal!

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  7. I love everything about this dish…it looks amazing…it is fat free right? ; D

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  8. Ohhh yes! I looovveee me some gnocchi…and Garlic Bechamel? Count me in!

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  9. This sounds like upscale mac & cheese – delicious!

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  10. I feel ya – Abbi turned 3 at the end of January. Such a bittersweet moment! (I’m afraid I’m going to be a mess when kindergarten rolls around…) This looks like the kind of thing I’d want to drown myself in!

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  11. this is 100% decadence, everything delicious and carby, then with garlic and bacon and gratin’d! i need this RIGHT now!!

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  12. OH.
    MY.
    WORD.

    I’m honestly speechless. This is total comfort food that will keep me warm and cozy forever and ever!! I think I now believe in love at first sight 😉

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  13. Woah Lauren! This looks insanely delicious! That Garlic Bechamel looks too good to be true. Then combined with soft gnocci… LOVE!

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  14. This looks absolutely amazing! I think our family would absolutely love it. Thank you! Will make this for a family dinner!

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  15. This was delicious! I skipped the breadcrumbs, but added swiss chard and broccoli and a topping of parmesan. Decadent without being overly heavy!

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  16. Just made this for dinner tonight and it was the best thing ever! It was so easy and simple to make, yet it was one of the best dinners I’ve ever eaten!

    Will definitely have to make again.

    Btw, you are a genius :)

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  17. Hi, I have a questions…

    Do you think doubling this recipe would go well? My husband and I have been implementing cooking on Sunday for the week ahead and casseroles are perfect for that. I would preferably like to have enough for 2 dinners and 2 lunches, but my husband eats A LOT! So, I’m wondering how much of this recipe to fill a full size casserole dish (think at least 9×13). Any recommendations would really help!

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    • Lauren — August 14th, 2012 @ 5:49 pm

      Yup, freezing should be ok. I’ve never done it, but I think it should hold up just fine if you cover it well.

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