This gnocchi with blue cheese, bacon, brussels sprouts, and balsamic is an absolutely perfect weeknight dinner. One of my go-to side dishes, brussels sprouts with bacon and balsamic, inspired this recipe. Gnocchi is everywhere online right now, and I wanted to get in on the pillowy action.
I thought the crispy bacon sprouts would work well on a creamy pasta, and I must say that I was right. The sauce is sort of like a béchamel - but an incredibly cheesy béchamel. I used Applewood smoked bacon in this recipe and recommend you do the same. It's really the best type of bacon for most purposes.
This is one of those meals that looks super fancy but is incredibly easy to make. The entire dish is ready to eat in under an hour. I keep the ingredient prep minimal so this can truly serve as a weeknight gnocchi. I use pre-crumbled blue cheese and store-bought gnocchi, which keeps it quick and easy. I made the gnocchi in my trusty cast-iron skillet, but any heavy bottom pan will work (avoid using a Teflon pan, though - the whisking could scratch it).
- 8 ounces Applewood smoked bacon cut into thin strips
- 1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (if you have any particularly large sprouts, quarter them)
- 1 pound store-bought gnocchi
- 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 & ¼ cup whole milk
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Salt & pepper
- Balsamic reduction for drizzling
Cook the gnocchi according to the instructions on its package. Place the cooked gnocchi in a single layer on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper.
Fry the Applewood smoked bacon in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat until crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spatula to a large plate. Pour all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat out of the skillet.
Add the Brussels sprouts to the pan and lightly season with salt and pepper. Allow the sprouts to get crispy and caramelized. Remove the finished sprouts, and place them on the plate with bacon.
Melt the butter over low heat in the now-empty skillet. When the butter begins to bubble, add the flour and whisk until very smooth. Slowly whisk in the milk and allow the sauce to slightly thicken. Whisk in nutmeg, blue cheese, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Remove the skillet from heat and stir in the cooked gnocchi. Add about half of the bacon and sprouts to the gnocchi and stir everything together. Plate the gnocchi and top it with the remaining bacon and sprouts. Drizzle generously with the balsamic reduction. Serve immediately.