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Gnocchi Carbonara

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I am sure everyone has already tried this delicious and simple dish, but a Gnocchi Carbonara is my new addiction and you should also make it yourself if you never tried it before, the result is just incredible! It only takes 13 minutes to prepare and you need just 5 ingredients to make it.

Carbonara is one of my favourite comfort foods, but with gnocchi, it takes to a whole another level of deliciousness! It’s creamy, salty, soft and rich in flavour.

gnocchi carbonara dish

This recipe is perfect for a quick fix on a Thursday night, as it’s fast and it doesn’t leave a mess in your kitchen.

Let’s get cooking:

Cooking Time

  • Cooking: 8 minutes
  • Preparation: 5 minutes
  • Total time: 13 minutes

Servings

  • 2 people

Equipment

  • Sauté pan
  • Large pan

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Ingredients list

  • 1.1 lbs (500g) gnocchi
  • ½ cup (30g) Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Regiano cheese, grated
  • 2 medium egg yolks
  • ½ cup pork belly, guanciale or bacon, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons cooking water from gnocchi

ingredients lists of a gnocchi carbonara

How to make Gnocchi carbonara

  1. Bring to a boil a large pan with salted water over high heat.
  2. Add the cheese, black pepper and egg yolks to a small bowl. Mix with a splash of the salted water to emulsify it. Reserve.
  3. In a large sauté pan or skillet, fry the pork belly at medium heat until crispy, then turn off the heat.
  4. Add all the gnocchi once the water is boiling violently.
  5. Once the gnocchi starts floating, remove it with a slotted spoon and add it straight to the skillet with the pork belly.
  6. Pour the egg mixture over to finish your gnocchi carbonara and toss to coat with a spoon.
  7. Serve immediately with some extra black pepper if you like.

Important Notes

  • Avoid overcooking the eggs – don’t add the eggs with the skillet over the heat, leave it to cool for a minute before adding them, otherwise the sauce may turn into scrambled eggs.
  • Meat – in case you buy a piece of pork belly, guanciale or bacon, remove the extra fats or skin for better results.
  • Don’t drain the fats – it is vital to leave the fat as it’s what gives this dish all the flavours.
  • Watch out for the salt – there is a lot of salt on cured meats, cheese and cooking water, so don’t add extra salt to this recipe unless you tried and feel it’s needed.
  • Leftovers and storage – This dish is not the best for reheating or freezing, so it’s best to eat it all at once!

prepared carbonara sauce with gnocchi

FAQs

Why is there no cream in carbonara?

There is no need to add cream in carbonara sauces. The egg yolks mixed with hard cheese, guanciale and cooking water over low heat will emulsify into the classic creamy carbonara texture.

What is carbonara sauce made of?

The original carbonara sauce is made mainly of 5 ingredients. Egg yolks, pecorino cheese, pancetta, guanciale or bacon, pasta cooking water and plenty of black pepper.

Is gnocchi a side or main dish?

The gnocchi carbonara is considered a first-course dish (primo piatto). But you can also serve it as a side dish (contorno) to some other main dishes.

Why do people make carbonara wrong?

Cooking the carbonara sauce over the heat is the biggest mistake in doing this dish as the heat will overcook the eggs and turn your carbonara sauce into scrambled eggs instead of just emulsifying the mixture into a creamy sauce. 

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slice of torta salata spinach tart

Gnocchi Carbonara

This decadent, savoury and impressive torta salata is so easy to make and will leave your meals much more exciting. I gathers the most delicious combinations of all: spinach and bacon.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Total Time 13 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2 people
Calories 365 kcal

Equipment

  • Sauté pan
  • Large pan

Ingredients
  

  • 500 grams gnocchi
  • ½ cup Pecorino Romano or Parmigianno Regianno grated
  • 2 medium egg yolks
  • ½ cup pork belly, guanciale or bacon chopped
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoon cooking water from gnocchi

Instructions
 

  • Bring to a boil a large pan with salted water over high heat.
  • Add the cheese, black pepper and egg yolks to a small bowl and mix with a splash of the salted water to emulsify it. Reserve.
  • In a large sauté pan or skillet, fry the pork belly at medium heat until crispy then turn off the heat.
  • Add all the gnocchi once the water is boiling violently.
  • Once the gnocchi starts floating, it’s ready and you can remove it with a slotted spoon and add it straight to the skillet with the pork belly.
  • Pour the egg mixture over to finish your gnocchi carbonara and toss to coat with a spoon.
  • Serve immediately with some extra black pepper if you like.

Notes

Pie pastry: Also known as brisè pastry, or shortcrust pastry is a prepared pastry for savoury tarts and pies. You can prepare in advance or buy beforehand.
Blind baking: It’s essential to make this and other pie recipes, don’t skip this part.
Bacon: Can substitute for pancetta or omit for a vegetarian option.
Storage: Keep the spinach and bacon Italian tart covered in the fridge for up to 2 days. Suitable for home freezing.
Keyword bacon, carbonara, egg yolk, gnocchi, main course, pecorino romano, pork belly, primo piatto

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