Pancetta & Sweet Pea Gnocchi

Last year, some of my Italian side of the family got together to make homemade gnocchi with my Nonna for Christmas Eve. Her gnocchi is a staple in our family. She usually makes it with tomato sauce, but I love it just as much, if not more, when she makes it with creamy ricotta. The best!


It took us all a couple of hours to help her mix, cut and form the gnocchi. It was pretty much a four-step process and we did a great job making an assembly line. It was a lot of work, but so much fun to spend that time together and learn from my Nonna. After we helped her make enough for the party, which is usually around 20 people, we couldn’t believe that she does it by herself every year!


Nonna is 80 and still continues to make multiple three course meals for our family. Her love for us always comes through in her cooking,  and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We give her a hard time for continuing to go above and beyond when it comes to food, but she enjoys it. It’s definitely a labor of love.


She’s the queen of all things homemade and as much as I love making food from scratch, I also find enjoyment in using store-bought ingredients like pizza crust, sauce or gnocchi because time is of the essence, people! This recipe is one that embraces store-bought gnocchi and it’s so quick and easy that it doesn’t even seem real.


I am obsessed with every element of this dish and could honestly eat it every day. It is such a nice comforting pasta. I hope you’ll give it a try and if you do, don’t forget to tag #marinamakeseats!

Pancetta & Sweet Pea Gnocchi

Serves 3-4


  • 5 oz of pancetta, diced
  • 16-17 oz package of gnocchi
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups of half and hal
  • 1 cup of shredded parmesan cheese (more for garnish)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 cup of frozen sweet peas, thawed
  • Fresh basil, chopped


In a large frying pan, cook the pancetta until crisp and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the pancetta and set aside, but leave the drippings in the pan.

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add a tablespoon of salt and stir to combine. Add the gnocchi to the pan and cook one minute less than instructed on the packaging. Drain the gnocchi and set aside until the sauce is done.

While the gnocchi is cooking, make the sauce. In the same frying pan used to cook the pancetta, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the half and half and increase the heat to medium-high. Bring the cream to boil for about about two minutes, or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the parmesan, a few pinches of salt and pepper. Whisk until the cheese is melted.

Add the pancetta, peas and gnocchi, stirring to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve in dishes and top with parmesan and basil.

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