Potato Gnocchi with Bacon, Pecans and Broccoli

This Potato Gnocchi with Bacon, Pecans and Broccoli features fluffy gnocchi combined with crunchy pecans and bacon.  Finish with a drizzle of olive oil for a delicious meal!

This Potato Gnocchi with Bacon, Pecans and Broccoli features fluffy gnocchi combined with crunchy pecans and bacon.  Finish with a drizzle of olive oil for a delicious meal!There we were, caught in a rainstorm in Prague.  And this wasn’t just any rainstorm.  This was a gully-washer.  A real frog-wash.  The kind of rainstorm where every stitch of clothing you’re wearing is drenched within 30 seconds.  And we were a solid mile from our hotel room.

We had just arrived in Prague that morning on an overnight flight from Philadelphia.  We were tired and jet-lagged, but we were determined to break the jet-lag by getting out and exploring the city.  I noticed the weather forecast was calling for rain later that afternoon, but I had no idea what was actually in store for us.  As we were wandering through the twisting streets of Old Town Prague, I noticed that the sky was getting dark.  Ok, so the rain was coming.  Then it got downright dark as midnight.  Then it started pouring.  All of a sudden, the streets (which had been packed with tourists just 5 minutes prior) were completely empty.

This Potato Gnocchi with Bacon, Pecans and Broccoli features fluffy gnocchi combined with crunchy pecans and bacon.  Finish with a drizzle of olive oil for a delicious meal!We quickly ducked into a toy store to (mostly) avoid getting drenched.  Turns out the rainstorm wasn’t just a passing shower.  The weather map on my phone showed a dark, dark red (like maroon red) band stretching for quite some distance.  It was just us in this small shop, and fortunately the shop owner was very understanding.  She even pulled a stool out for Laura to sit on while we waiting.  (On a side note, the store was really fun!  They had all sorts of puzzles and dragon figurines.  If I’m going to be stuck in a small store for an hour, then I at least need some dragon figurines to entertain me!)

After about 45 minutes, I began to feel guilty standing in the middle of this store.  The rain let up slightly, and we made a mad dash down the street to an Italian restaurant.  (We’d been looking for traditional Czech food, but Italian was closer.  Plus, Italian food is delicious!)

This Potato Gnocchi with Bacon, Pecans and Broccoli features fluffy gnocchi combined with crunchy pecans and bacon.  Finish with a drizzle of olive oil for a delicious meal!As we stepped in, we found ourselves in a long, narrow hallway with neon lights.  I almost turned back around, but I did see a hostess stand way down at the end.  Turns out the upstairs was a nightclub, but the hostess took us downstairs to the coolest underground restaurant.  There were brick archways everywhere…pretty much the perfect ambiance for a couple glasses of wine and some Italian food!

Potato Gnocchi with Bacon, Pecans and Broccoli

Speaking of the food, I ordered this Potato Gnocchi with Bacon, Pecans and Broccoli.  As soon as I saw gnocchi on the menu, my mind was set.  (Well, I did look long and hard at the Carbonara, but the gnocchi won out in the end.)  I posted a recipe using ricotta gnocchi several months back.  As I noted in that post, potato gnocchi is a labor of love.  It takes time, but man is it delicious once it’s done!

This Potato Gnocchi with Bacon, Pecans and Broccoli features fluffy gnocchi combined with crunchy pecans and bacon.  Finish with a drizzle of olive oil for a delicious meal!I first learned how to make potato gnocchi when I was studying in Italy after my junior year in college.  I came home and made gnocchi for my family several times, but it was terrible.  I mean, at the time, I thought it was good…but in hindsight it was terrible.  The gnocchi were dense and heavy, not light and pillow-y like they’re supposed to be.  I also served it loaded with cheese and red sauce.  Now I have no issues with cheese and red sauce (yum!), but I’ve come to realize that gnocchi can stand alone in a recipe quite well.

Take this Potato Gnocchi with Bacon, Pecans and Broccoli.  The dish is essentially gnocchi tossed with bacon, toasted pecans and broccoli.  Super simple, but super delicious!  The key here is to toss everything in a good olive oil.  This isn’t the same olive oil that you might keep by the stove for cooking.  This is the good stuff that you only use to finish a dish.  The flavor of that olive oil really complements this dish.  Overall, this is an excellent recipe that certainly will be made again in our house!  (One of our good friends is vegetarian, and I’m always hunting for ideas for when they come over for dinner.  This gnocchi – minus the bacon – is going on the list!)

This Potato Gnocchi with Bacon, Pecans and Broccoli features fluffy gnocchi combined with crunchy pecans and bacon.  Finish with a drizzle of olive oil for a delicious meal!Before we wrap up, I must say that a food mill is the absolute secret weapon when it comes to making good gnocchi.  (Here’s the one I have.  It’s simple, but it does the job well!) (affiliate link)  That was my issue with the gnocchi I made way back in college.  It was just mashed potatoes with way too many eggs and flour mixed in.  Processing the potatoes through a food mill really does produce the light and airy potatoes that you need for making delicious gnocchi at home.

And as a second side note, you could absolutely use store-bought gnocchi here to make this a weeknight meal.  Or you could make this one with ricotta gnocchi instead.  No matter how you do it, I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!  Cheers!

Did you make this Potato Gnocchi with Bacon, Pecans and Broccoli at home?  Leave a comment or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog)…I’d love to see your version!

This Potato Gnocchi with Bacon, Pecans and Broccoli features fluffy gnocchi combined with crunchy pecans and bacon.  Finish with a drizzle of olive oil for a delicious meal!

Potato Gnocchi with Bacon, Pecans and Broccoli

This Potato Gnocchi with Bacon, Pecans and Broccoli features fluffy gnocchi combined with crunchy pecans and bacon.  Finish with a drizzle of olive oil for a delicious meal!
5 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 612kcal

Ingredients

For the Gnocchi

  • 2 lbs. unpeeled Russet potatoes 3-4 potatoes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

For the Toppings

  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
  • 6 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
  • 2 cups broccoli florets steamed
  • ¼ cup pecans chopped and lightly toasted
  • olive oil for serving

Instructions

For the Gnocchi

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
  • Wash and scrub potatoes. Using a fork, pierce each potato 8-10 times evenly around surface. Place potatoes on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for 4 minutes. Turn potatoes and microwave for 4 more minutes on high.
  • Transfer potatoes directly onto oven rack and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a fork can easily pierce the potato. (Note: This is a good time to prep the toppings for later.)
  • Using a kitchen towel to hold the potatoes, peel each potato. Process peeled potatoes through a food mill. Place potatoes on a plate and let cool for 10 minutes.
  • Place 3 cups of potatoes in a large bowl. (Note: Any extra potatoes will not be used in this recipe. Save them for another use.)
  • Beat egg lightly and add to the bowl with potatoes; stir until just combined.
  • Add flour, salt and Parmesan cheese; stir until just combined.
  • Transfer mixture to a well-floured countertop. Knead until smooth, adding additional flour as needed.
  • Divide dough into 8 equal pieces.
  • On a well-floured countertop, roll each piece into a rope approximately ½” thick.
  • Cut rope into segments about ¾” in length. Using the back of a fork, gently press down on each segment to create ridges in the dough.
  • Transfer gnocchi onto the lined baking sheets. (Note: Ensure that gnocchi are not touching one another on the sheet.)
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add approximately ⅓ of the gnocchi to the pot. Cook for 1½-2 minutes. Remove gnocchi from water with a slotted spoon and place into large bowl. (Note: The gnocchi will rise to the surface after about 1-1½ minutes. Cook for 30 seconds more once they rise to the surface.)
  • Repeat with remaining gnocchi.
  • Add Parmesan, bacon, broccoli and pecans to bowl; toss until well combined.
  • Divide mixture into serving bowls. Garnish with more Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil before serving.

This Potato Gnocchi with Bacon, Pecans and Broccoli features fluffy gnocchi combined with crunchy pecans and bacon.  Finish with a drizzle of olive oil for a delicious meal!

Looking for more recipes using potatoes as the star?  Take a look at these other favorites, too:

These Loaded Hasselback Baked Potatoes are a fun twist on a baked potato.  Crispy edges, soft inside...and they're topped with bacon and cheese!Loaded Hasselback Baked Potatoes

Make Thanksgiving easier with this Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes recipe!  (Plus, these mashed potatoes are seriously delicious!)Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

Grab that cast iron skillet!  These Garlic and Rosemary Roasted Potatoes are a fun twist on a classic recipe!Garlic + Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

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34 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    A great flavor combo. We love good gnocchi, but I want it light and fluffy like a cloud and yours looks like they’d float right into my mouth.
    Now about Prague, you didn’t say what you bought at the toy store. I can’t believe you were stranded in a toy store without buying something.

    1. I swear a food mill is the secret to light and fluffy gnocchi! I think back to the first stuff I made back in college. It was basically mashed potatoes packed together in balls. I mean, it was delicious…but it wasn’t gnocchi!

      Hahaha…we totally bought some things at that toy story. I may or may not have bought a miniature dragon for my bookshelf. I’m embracing my nerdiness here along with my love for RPG games. You caught me, Ron!

  2. 5 stars
    We were in Prague doing Thanksgiving several years ago. It was cold but we had a lot of fun. I remember my duck dinner for Thanksgiving. Your gnocchis look great, I like the added bacon. I hope you and your family are well.

    1. We had a blast in Prague! I’m so glad we made it there…even if the first day involved one of the biggest rain storms I’ve seen in years. 🙂 Plus, that first meal led me to recreate this one back home. I would never have thought about this combination of flavors on my own…but it’s delicious! Thanks, Gerlinde. I hope you and your family are doing well, too. Good to hear from you, my friend!

    1. Gnocchi really is a great comfort food, Kathy! (Truthfully, all pasta is comfort food…but gnocchi holds a special spot for sure.) That restaurant was a total accident, but it was amazing. I wouldn’t have ever come up with this combination of flavors…but it works so well! The drizzle of really good olive oil on top is key. Yum!

    1. Hey there, Kelly!! 🙂 Gnocchi really is one of my favorite comfort foods, and I love the combination of flavors here. I can’t take credit for coming up with the flavors, but I can say they are delicious together! Also, bacon.

  3. 5 stars
    I wouldn’t mind getting soaking wet in the heart of Prague…but that must be that warm summer rain, otherwise – no, thanks!
    This recipe sounds and looks great. No doubt I would have chosen this dish over any other pasta. And David, did you really, even for a second, was considering carbonara? We all love old good classics, but this dish is certainly the winner – love it’s unique flavour and texture profile. Scrumptious!

    1. Well…it was summer, so I guess that Prague rainstorm counted as summer rain. But when I say rain, I mean RAIN. The kind that soaks you totally through in about 10 seconds. Haha. Either way, that storm led us to discover that Italian restaurant, and that in turn led to this delicious gnocchi dish. I would never have thought about this combination of flavors, but they are SO good together.

  4. this does look very delicious david. gnocchi can be a bit hit and miss i find, but a fried gnocchi is usually fabulous. i love bacon and pecans and broccoli so this sounds like a winner. oh dear all that rain! at least you found somewhere nice to eat.

    1. I’m with ya, Sherry. Good gnocchi that is light and pillowy in texture is a thing of beauty. It makes me cringe to think about the version I used to make way back in the day. That was basically mashed potatoes! Either way, this combination of flavors is excellent. I wouldn’t have ever thought of it myself, but it totally works!

  5. 5 stars
    Well, may not exactly been fun at the time with all that rain, but at least you got a story out of it 😉 Now, gnocchi! I’ve kinda been a little obsessed with them lately because, well, carby goodness, and then combine with bacon and pecans and broccoli for good measure? Holy moly YUM! This would be perfect this evening with a glass of vino! Have a great weekend, my friend 🙂

    1. Exactly! It wasn’t fun getting stuck in that rain storm, but those are the memories you have when you think back. Plus, it worked out because I got to order this delicious gnocchi dish! I know the combination of flavors sounds a bit different, but they all totally work together. Plus, a drizzle of good olive oil. YUM!

  6. Those kinds of travel experiences are the ones that make for great stories later on! Your story is making me think about when I was in Ireland and went to the Cliffs of Moher, when dark clouds quickly rolled in and it started POURING on us like crazy. We were soaking wet and freezing! And then we had a 3 hour bus ride home haha

    1. Exactly! I wasn’t thrilled about the insane downpour, but it certainly created memories. And it also led to this delicious gnocchi dish, so it worked out in the end. I totally remember you talking about your trip out to the Cliffs of Moher. I’m sure the bus ride wasn’t pleasant, but I bet it looked cool seeing the storm clouds roll in over the cliffs!

  7. 5 stars
    We visited Prague last fall and got drenched a couple of times ourselves, lol! Part of the experience I guess. And look what you discovered! These gnocchi look like fluffy, flavorful perfection!

    1. Haha! I guess getting caught in a drenching rainstorm really is part of Prague then. 🙂 Hey, I didn’t mind it as it led to discovering that really cool Italian restaurant. These gnocchi are delicious! Thanks, Marissa!

  8. 5 stars
    Making gnocchi is just such a fun task – I find it so relaxing! I love the idea of serving with bacon, pecans and broccoli – such a delicious contrast of flavour and texture!

    1. I’m with ya, Alex. I actually put gnocchi and bread in the same boat. It’s a process for sure, but I actually enjoy it quite a bit. (And of course eating it is the reward at the end!)

    1. Oh, I bought something in that toy store. Let’s just say I have a miniature dragon staring at me right now. You know, for good luck…or something.

  9. I’m going to borrow this, have been looking for an excuse to coat the cast iron skillet and bacon is a reaaally good reason. The gnocchi makes a perfect side dish 🙂

    1. You totally should borrow this one, my friend! And try making your own gnocchi. (A food mill is the secret there in my opinion.) Plus, bacon and cast iron skillets go together like Sonny and Cher…err, even better than that. Hah!

  10. Not going to lie, I’m going to use the store-bought stuff! But with the broccoli, bacon, cheese and peacans you’ve got a great mix of flavour and texture. This is the type of dish I like to eat, especially if it is cold and wet outside!

    1. Hey, I can’t blame ya one bit here, Matt. Making gnocchi is a process. I do love it, but I also use store-bought gnocchi, too. Sometimes you just need gnocchi quickly! The ingredient combination here might sound strange, but I promise it all works together quite well. I love this recipe! Cheers, my friend!

  11. 5 stars
    I never thought of putting pecans and bacon together, but I can kind of see how that would go. I see you experienced some terrential “European” rain there in Prague. Me too, similarly in Germany in the black forest region. We were camping and our tent was nearly washed away!! Anyway until we can all go travelling again and experience food in foreign countries this is definitely a recipe I’ll be trying. Thanks David, hope you guys are well in these strange times!

    1. I would never have thought about this combination either, Neil…but I gotta say, it’s delicious! The flavors totally work together. It’s not ‘traditional’ Italian, but man is it tasty!

      I’m with ya, my friend. I can’t wait until we get to go travelling again. We had a vacation here in the States that was already cancelled this year. So what did we do? Adopt 2 puppies instead. 🙂

  12. A real “gully-washer” LMAO! What in heaven’s name does that even mean! Love it. I’ve been dying to go to Prague for so long and your story made me feel like I was there! Also love gnocchi no matter the occasion – sometimes the best meals are in the most unexpected places!

    1. A gully washer is a crazy rain storm! You’re from the South, Lindsey. You should know this! 🙂

      Also, Prague is amazing. I highly (!) recommend going. And while you’re there, make sure to eat your weight in Trdelnik – pastries baked over an open fire. In fact, I made a homemade version that I posted here a while back – check it out!

      And gnocchi. I’ll order gnocchi anywhere and everywhere.

  13. 5 stars
    I haven’t had gnocchi in a long time. It looks delicious, I really like the combination of ingredients. I have been wanting to try homemade gnocchi for a long time, after seeing this I think I will give it a try.

    1. You should totally try your hand at homemade gnocchi, Dawn! However, I will say that I think a food mill is the secret. I’ve tried it several ways, and the food mill has always led to the lightest and fluffiest gnocchi ever. And this recipe certainly is a fun one! It’s not the traditional red sauce, but the flavors come together really well!

    1. Haha! So I’m gathering that getting soaked while in Prague is almost a right of passage, huh? 🙂 We were drenched! However, that rainstorm did lead to discovering that little Italian restaurant that was delicious. Hope you’re doing well, Karen!

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