Student Suppers: Gnocchi with Crispy Bacon & Spinach Pesto

Gnocchi with Crispy Bacon & Spinach Pesto

I think potato gnocchi – that pre-made stuff that comes in the supermarket in pouches this time, rather than homemade is a real mealtime hero. Usually I throw it in with a veggie traybake to get that magical effect when it is roasted – crisp and crunchy on the outside, and soft and fluffy on the inside – but I can never get over how these hard little lumps turn into toothsome, fluffy pillows after just moments in boiling water, even with their own inbuilt kitchen timer, floating to the top of the pan the moment they’re ready.

If I’m going total store cupboard I make my Vegan Gnocchi Puttanesca, but if I’ve got a load of greens to use up, be they fresh herbs, or something a bit leafier like spinach or kale, I make a loose pesto to toss my gnocchi in, usually before sprinkling the whole thing in crispy, salty bacon bits. I say loose, because it is really just a blend of greens, oil, cheese and seasoning – J is not a massive fan of pine nuts, so I’ve been slowly phasing them out of my cooking.

If, like me you’re the sort of person who prefers to follow a recipe for something once before going off piste, you can find mine to use as a basic template over on the BBC Food website. Photo by Kate Whittaker.