bacon, brussels sprouts, & gnocchi

I never remember eating brussels sprouts growing up.  I have no memories of weird green mushy lumps that I would refuse to eat. I just think that my parents never served them.  Maybe they were too traumatized from their childhoods to serve them to their kids.  It was shortly after I started to really cook that roasting brussels sprouts became a thing.  I remember seeing it all over, and it was usually paired with bacon. Instead of waiting for the brussels sprouts to roast in the oven, I decided to create a meal where the bacon and the brussels sprouts would cook in one dish.  I also decided to pair it with gnocchi instead of pasta just to shake it up. I try not to serve pasta more than once a week, but you can use your favorite pasta if you prefer.  The result is a very easy meal that can be on the table in less than 20 minutes.  In fact it is so easy, that for the 2 weeks after hurricane sandy that we were living without power, and using a cooler instead of a fridge, I made this multiple times. Thank goodness for a gas stove and a magnetic flashlight that I was able to attach to the exhaust hood. Hopefully, you won’t have to go through such extreme measures to make it.

 

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Bacon, Brussels Sprouts, & Gnocchi

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb package of gnocchi // I found shelf-stable gnocchi in the pasta aisle
  • 4-5 slices of thick cut bacon, diced
  • .5 lb brussels sprouts, sliced and ends removed
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. Place a large pot of salted water on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a heavy pan over medium-high heat.  Add bacon and cook until it is almost crispy.  If it looks like there is a lot of bacon grease in the pan, remove a couple of tablespoons.
  3. Add in the brussels sprouts.  Season with salt.  Stir occasionally to keep from burning, but you do want them to get bright green with some charred parts, so don’t worry about it too much.
  4. Turn off the heat, and add in the garlic and crushed red pepper.  The heat from the pan will cook the garlic without burning it.
  5. At this point the water should be rapidly boiling.  Add in the gnocchi and give it a big stir.  Wait for the gnocchi to rise to the top of the water.  Fetch them out as they rise with a slotted spoon and add them to the pan with the bacon/brussels sprouts mixture. Continue until all of the gnocchi have risen.
  6. Gently stir the gnocchi and bacon/brussels sprouts together.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

If you do end up having leftovers, you can reheat it on the stove.  The gnocchi get a nice crust of them which is absolutely delicious.  I usually double the recipe to ensure that I have enough left over for the next day.

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