Gnocchi with Bacon, Mushrooms, and Corn

Yes, more pasta with bacon and mushrooms. What? First of all, both of those things are good separately (they are!). Second, they’re fantastic together. Third, this changes it up a little by using gnocchi instead of ordinary pasta, adding corn, and having a bit of mustard in the sauce. Fourth, I used up leftover mushrooms and bacon (if you can believe there was bacon left over). And fifth, I didn’t make a fool out of myself this time by trying to get Matt to eat it. I made it on Monday, when he had a union meeting.

But, of course, if you’ve been reading for more than a few days, you’ll know that every time Matt has a union meeting and I think I can make myself something he doesn’t like, something happens and he walks in the door before I’ve even started cooking. And this time was no exception! I was just getting the bacon out when he strolls in through the door. Are you joking me, I thought, or possibly said out loud. He informed me that, no, the meeting wasn’t cancelled or postponed, they had just had it somewhere close to the warehouse instead of at the union hall, which is two towns and two subway lines away (and the warehouse isn’t even ON a subway line in the first place), and then he’d gotten a ride home. But he told me to go ahead and cook anyway and he’d go get a slice of pizza. He also got a couple slices of bacon, but that’s neither here nor there.

So this is my single-serving version (that still netted me some leftovers) of this recipe from Off the (Meat) Hook, which is yet another ace name for a blog. World’s full of them. And since it is not summer and there isn’t fresh corn, and since in any case I am too lazy to cut the kernels off a cob of corn, I used a wee can of corn. Can we live with that? I can. Am I gratuitously using the word “can” here? Not on purpose, anyway.

Gnocchi with Bacon, Mushrooms, and Corn

Ingredients
a decent handful of mushrooms, sliced (I am not about to tell you how many you need, because my mushroom needs may be substantially higher than the average person’s)
2 slices bacon, in bite-sized pieces
let’s say 1/2 a small can of corn kernels (I ate the rest of the can for lunch the next day)
1/2 tbsp butter, which is technically 1 1/2 tsp, but since sticks of butter are so handily marked in tbsp gradations, it’s easy to just halve one. And anyway you can use less, if you like. I mean there IS a bacon grease situation to contend with.
1/4 cup white wine
1 tsp brown mustard
1 1/2 tbsp cream, which, follow me closely here, uses 3 of your measuring spoons: 1 tbsp, 1 1/2 tsp. LIFE IS SO COMPLICATED.
an appropriate amount of gnocchi, as if I measure.

Method
Fry up your bacon until it is crispy and delicious.
Drain on a paper-towel-covered plate.
Pour off most of the bacon grease but keep a bit in the pan for frying up the next ingredients.
Which are the mushrooms. Saute those puppies until brown and soft (the original recipe had them getting crispy; I don’t have that kind of patience).
Take them out and put them on the paper towels with the bacon.
Now throw the corn into the pan and saute that until it is crispy and just starting to sizzle and make popping noises. Can you make popcorn out of fresh corn? Let’s not find out.
Anyway, put that on the paper towel as well.
Now, boil the water for the gnocchi.
Add them when it reaches a boil.
As soon as you’ve added them, put the butter into the pan you’ve been using and melt it until it gets sizzly, then turn it off.
When the gnocchi start to float to the top, fish them out with a slotted spoon and toss them into the pan with the butter, and turn it back on.
Saute them until they get a little brown.
Now add the wine, cream, and mustard, stirring to combine and to coat the gnocchi.
Cook for a few minutes, stirring a bit, until the sauce is almost completely reduced. Play it by ear (or eye, I guess).
Throw in all the things on the paper towel and give it a good stir.
Season with pepper and salt, if it needs any, what with the bacon, and serve.

Question: when a recipe, as they so often do, calls for bacon in little pieces, do you cut it up before you cook it, or break it up after it’s cooked? I do it afterwards, but I’m beginning to suspect this is not normal.

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6 Responses to Gnocchi with Bacon, Mushrooms, and Corn

  1. Meg says:

    Hi! Long-time lurker, first-time commenter. I’ve been following your blog since you started it and mentioned it to all of us over at another website having to do with a certain “life event” that took place for both of us within the last year or so. Anyway, I love you from there and I love you from here. Until now, I’ve never really, really been compelled to comment (I just smile or laugh to myself), but bacon AND mushrooms AND corn…well, that’s just too much goodness for me to contain myself.

    This dish sounds amazing and I cannot wait to make it.

    Also, you should know that you are totally normal. I always cook my bacon in whole slices and then crumble it later. Trying to fish all those smaller pieces out of the grease before each bit gets burnt is a huge pain. I have yet to find a reason to do it any other way.

  2. camille says:

    Hee hee, life event.

    And ok! Support on the post-cooking bacon crumblage! Awesome. I don’t actually have any proof that other people don’t do it this way, but nobody ever mentions breaking it up afterwards, so I was getting the idea they pre-cut it. Might be way off. Whatever.

    And let me know how it comes out!

  3. finsmom says:

    Mmmmm! I can’t get enough gnocchi! I agree with you on the bacon – you are not strange at all!

  4. camille says:

    Yes! Bacon validation! Oh, I like you already.

  5. I’m glad you liked the recipe! I hedge and do the bacon thing before about half the time and after about half the time. Doesn’t seem to make a big difference.

  6. camille says:

    Oh good, I’m not losing something or ruining my bacon – see, see, this is why I needed someone who cut up their bacon before cooking, to know what, if anything, the difference was.

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