5 March 2014

The Virtual Supper Club Goes Italian. Let's Enjoy Gnocchi with Asparagus and Pancetta


Gnocchi with Asparagus and Pancetta

We always appreciate you joining us for this monthly event where a group of ladies and one gent in two neighbouring countries get together on the first Wednesday of every month to create a delicious meal from appetizers to dessert with a theme in mind. In its fourth year this is a team effort where we continue to share a love for healthy eating and living. We look forward each month to strengthening our bonds, and enjoying each others company virtually. The party goes on for days!!

Here at the Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club we have dreamed up a menu on the healthier side without giving up any of the comfort you find in delicious food. This months menu "Why Don't We Go Italian" was chosen by our very own Sarah of All Our Fingers in the Pie. Here at the Virtual Supper Club we do love our Italian food. It seems to appear more often than any other theme. Italians are known for taking ‘simple’ dishes and basic ingredients to the height of perfection which is easy to do with quality ingredients. 

So what have we brought to the table this month…..

To start us off Sarah of All Our Fingers in the Pie brings the piece de resistance with Parmesan Sage Crusted Pork Chops.

Jerry of  A Life Lived easily coaxes us with a fresh and lively Melon Proscuitto Salad with Parmigiano. 

Sandi of  Whistlestop Cafe Cooking  treats us to one of her favourites Tuscan White Bean Soup with Proscuitto.

Originally I was bringing along a gnocchi browned in butter, but, as the snow fell on the Okanagan I began thinking more about Spring and decided upon Gnocchi with Asparagus and Pancetta. So good, I made it twice.

Susan of The Spice Garden rounds out our meal with a heavenly Warm Caramelized Pears with Clove Zabaglione.  Did I say heaven. 

On to the recipe...

1 (16-ounce) package vacuum-packed gnocchi or homemade
2 ounces pancetta, cut into thin strips (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shaved Parmesan cheese

Cook gnocchi according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Keep warm.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and sauté 3 minutes or until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate.

Add sliced shallots and trimmed asparagus to the pan. Sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in garlic and sauté 1 minute more. Add gnocchi, pancetta, reserved cooking liquid, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to pan; cook 1 minute. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Note: I like my gnocchi to be crispy on the outside so omit the pre cooking step. I add the gnocchi at the same time as the ballots and asparagus.

Jackie Mills, MS, RD, Cooking Light
APRIL 2008

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. Your gnocchi is so pretty with the asparagus and prosciutto and perfect for spring. I took a cooking class on gnocchi once and homemade is heavenly.

  2. I love gnocchi, especially potato gnocchi. I've never omitted the pre-cooking step, I'll make them this way next time.

  3. Oh Val, this looks so comforting and delicious. As Autumn gets cooler, I'm craving pasta. :-)

  4. Mouthwatering! This dish is simply fabulous.



  5. This sounds like such a delicious combination, Val! A little bit of spring with the asparagus and yet still hearty for winter with the gnocchi.

  6. I'm going to take this virtual dinner party and add the gnocchi to my real life menu tonight. Watch Instagram for the results. GREG

  7. Gnocchi is my favorite!

  8. I always love a good gnocchi dish! Especially one that incorporates spring vegetables like this (it must be coming soon, right?!)

  9. Oh! This sounds wonderful, I'm crazy for gnocchi and asparagus and pancetta sound like a wonderful accompaniment!

  10. I am so ready for gnocchi. I have never used it without per-boiling. Must try it that way.

  11. Oh my goodness, this dish could be a main for me ... it's a beautiful addition to the Italian feast though,Val! I crave asparagus at this time of year and can't wait for the good local shoots to show up at the markets! Now, a question ... did you make your own gnocchi? I have tried a couple times and am wanting a recipe that will give me a firm little knob cut from 'the rope' and marked with a fork.

    1. I did make my own gnocchi Susan. The recipe is above as a link using ricotta and potato. Ricotta makes it lighter.

  12. This looks amazing - perfect when the local asparagus arrives in the market. This year I expect that will be July. ACK

  13. What a spread of Italian recipes. I adore gnocchi and wish I made it more often. Love your new blog template header Val! And as always your photos are beautiful!

    1. Thanks Roz. Would it be fair to say the old header was not me. It is fun to experiment.

  14. Great way to enjoy some asparagus!

  15. This looks absolutely mouth watering Val.


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