I think most of the country has had a cold spell of some sort recently. Much as I love snow and winter in general, some of the temperatures we have had are colder than even we like to cope with. It was kind of a shame when it snowed last weekend, the kids couldn’t spend more than a few minutes playing in it as it was just too cold. At least they got to play more after a couple days. However cold weather does mean plenty of comfort food. For my eldest, that means lots of gnocchi. Even though he could have them the same way all the time, I often make different sauces for us. It’s partly to give variety but also to make them go a bit further and this creamy bacon sauce with spinach was a recent one we all loved.
As with many recipes, this creamy bacon sauce came about partly due to what I had in the house. Thankfully, that included some really tasty bacon and so it was kind of inevitable it went in the sauce. For some reason, pork seems to go well with gnocchi, as in the gnocchi with fennel and pork I made before. In fairness, though, I think bacon goes with just about everything.
How it’s made
This might not be as super-quick as some recipes, but it still doesn’t take long and is incredibly easy. For one, everything is cooked in one pan and you just need to stir now and then and gradually add things. Since we’re in need of comfort-food, the creamy bacon sauce is made with wine, cream and pecorino to give a lovely mix of flavor and smoothness. The sauce takes on all the delicious flavor of the bacon and onions that you cook down first. To make things a little healthier, I added some spinach and asparagus. They also both go really well flavor-wise and cook nice and quickly. It’s a sauce that would be great with both gnocchi or pasta, and I’m sure it would go with others things too. Maybe try it over chicken – do experiment and let me know what works!
There’s so much flavor packed into this relatively simple and easy creamy bacon sauce with spinach. The bacon, caramelized onions, wine and cheese all come together so well. It’s also wonderfully comforting and just what you need some times, as has been the case recently. And I’m sure it will be again, so we are looking forward to having this again soon.
Creamy bacon sauce with spinach for gnocchi/pasta
Easy to make and packed with flavor, this creamy bacon sauce will perk up any bowl of pasta
- 3 oz smoked bacon 85g (streaky)
- 1/4 onion med-large
- 1 clove garlic 2 small
- 2 oz asparagus 55g
- 1/4 cup white wine 60ml
- 1/2 cup cream 120ml
- 1 1/2 oz spinach 40g
- 1/4 cup pecorino 6g, finely grated, plus more to serve
- 2 cups pasta 380g, approx cooked gnocchi or whatever amount of gnocchi/pasta you would normally use for 2 people
Warm a medium skillet/frying pan over a medium heat. Slice the bacon and add it to the pan, stirring now and then until the fat starts to render. Once you have some fat rendered, add the onion and cook, stirring now and then, until the onion is soft and the bacon is starting to crisp.
Slice the asparagus into small lengths and add to the pan. Cook for a minute or two then add the wine. Let it largely boil away then add the cream.
Warm the cream through and simmer for a couple minutes to reduce a little.
Roughly chop the spinach and add it to the pan. Wilt it down - it will just take a minute or two - then add the pecorino. Stir it through so it melts into the cream. Add the cooked gnocchi or pasta and mix it through the sauce then serve.
Try these other tasty ways with pasta/gnocchi:
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