Waking up at 5AM, delivering the morning traffic, getting some work done for a few hours, going home around 12:30PM and coming back at 2PM for the afternoon show...you know, if it wasn't for the fact that I'm tired out of my mind, a girl could get used to this split shift thing! I've actually enjoyed being able to go home during a "normal" hour and making lunch. I remembered that I had some gnocchi in the cupboard and some fresh roma tomatoes were sitting on the counter. Oh yeah...and some cream in the fridge. So I whipped up some creamy tomato gnocchi. Warning...this is a meal to make when you just don't care about the calories. Seriously. Close your eyes when you eat this...and don't think about the calories!

Creamy Tomato Gnocchi
1 lb of fresh, vacuum packed gnocchi
6 slices bacon
4 ripe roma tomatoes
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp dried basil leaves
½ cup heavy cream
pinch of red pepper flakes, optional

Set a pot of water on the stove and let it begin to heat to a boil. Set a saucepan on medium heat. While the saucepan heats, we're going to tackle the bacon. Two words: bacon rocks. Don't use “healthy” bacon on this – you need to use something stellar, something you would serve to company. An applewood smoked bacon would be totally awesome. I only had plain old center cut on hand and it wasn't as awesome as applewood smoked, but it did the trick. I like to separate my bacon slices into stacks of three. Slice in half lengthwise, then stack both haves on top of each. Then run your knife through it crosswise, roughly chopping the bacon. Do that for the other three strips.

Drop the bacon into the hot saucepan. Hear that sizzle? Yeah...bacon rocks.

While your bacon is sauteeing, grab your onion.

Slice both ends off, remove the paper, and dice 'er up. Don't forget to stir your bacon! When the bacon is crisped up, fish it out of the grease and plop it on a paper towel lined plate. Drain the bacon grease, but leave about 3 TBLS of grease behind. Add the diced onions to the bacon grease. I told you this wasn't healthy.

Grab two cloves of garlic. Smash those puppies up and toss them into the onions once the onions are cooked and brown.

I prefer to seed my roma tomatoes. Simply slice the tomato in half lengthwise and then run your fingers through the middle. That should loosen up the seeds – go ahead and toss the seeds. Give the tomatoes a rough chop. No need to have a pretty dice because the tomatoes are going to cook down.

Dump the tomatoes into the onions and garlic.

Add 1 teaspoon of dried basil. That's all I had on hand, but if I could have used fresh basil, I sure would have!

Add a pinch of red pepper flakes...if you like the heat.

Stir it up and let it cook down, approximately 5 minutes.

While your tomato mixture is cooking, your water for the gnocchi should be boiling. Open your package of gnocchi and dump the little potato dumplings into the boiling water. Once they float to the top, let them boil about 2 minutes longer. Double check your package directions, but that should be universal.

Once your gnocchi is cooked, fish the gnocchi out of the boiling water and add directly to the tomato mixture. It's OK if you get some of the liquid with it because that will help thin out the sauce. Don't stir it quite yet. Now for the cream. See? I told you this was definitely not healthy! I happen to have a bottle of grade A table cream on hand. You can use heavy cream, half & half, or evaporated milk if you want. But seriously? Go with the good stuff. I didn't measure the cream...I just poured till it looked right. It was more than likely a half a cup.

Stir together, let it simmer for a minute, give it one final stir, and you have a finished meal. It should serve 4 modest portions, but if you're hungry...

...I won't tell ::wink wink::

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Maris said... @ April 24, 2009 at 8:41 AM

This looks unbelievable! I think the best tasting meals are usually the ones that make you not care about calories :)

I love looking through your photos, you're an amazing photographer!

Erin said... @ April 24, 2009 at 9:02 PM

Maris - you are too sweet! Thanks!

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