March 5, 2024

Cauliflower Gnocchi with Pancetta

Posted on May 27, 2020 by in vegetables

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Cauliflower Gnocchi with Pancetta

The Cauliflower Gnocchi with Pancetta ended up being a winter salad. That, however was not the intention, but is was really, really good.

My Cauliflower Gnocchi with Pancetta Salad had attitude. Lots of texture from the crunchy pancetta, the bitterness from the rocket and pesto and the cream cheese to bring it all together. In between all of these amazing textures, were these soft, flavorful little cauliflower gnocchi pillows. Hubby and little madam were quiet, savouring every bit. So, I will definitely be making this again. Gnocchi is an old favourite here at My Easy Cooking. Up to now, the gnocchi with blue cheese sauce and walnuts was the favorite. Gnocchi is traditionally made with potatoes, but I have made it with sweet potato and even butternut with much success.


Back to the Cauliflower Gnocchi with Pancetta – I am sure you will think of many other textures and flavors to add or replace mine. I think the secret here is to play with different textures. Also, have all your elements ready, so that when the gnocchi is done, you can just add that. The hot/cold element in this salad is also amazing.

Cauliflower Gnocchi with Pancetta

serves 2 – 3


1 big cauliflower – broken into florets and stem removed

3 ml/½ t salt

45 ml / 3 T olive oil

¾ cup / 200 ml flour – this can be a little more

For the salad

250 g cream cheese of your choice

80 ml/ ⅓ cup basil pesto

Fresh rocket/basil coriander – any soft herb you have

Fresh peas or edamame beans

100 g pancetta

Freshly grated parmesan

Cauliflower Gnocchi with Pancetta


To steam the cauliflower, fill a medium pot with about 1 cup water. Bring to the boil. Place the cauliflower in the pot, cover and steam on low heat until cauliflower is very soft. This takes about 10-12 minutes. Alternatively, steam in a microwave.
Cool the cauliflower slightly and transfer to a clean kitchen towel. Squeeze out as much water as possible, you should be left with about 1¼ – 1½ cups cauliflower.

Place the cauliflower, salt, and 2 T of the olive oil to your food processor. Process on high speed until you have a smooth pureé.

Transfer the pureé to a bowl and add the flour. Mix with a fork to mix the dough, just until the starches are combined. Gently knead the dough until it comes together and you can start shaping.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece into a log tht is about 2 cm thick. Use a sharp knife cut into 2 cm pieces. You can use the back of the tines of the fork to give each gnocchi a ribbed effect.
Bring a medium-sized pot of salted water the the boil. Add the gnocchi in batches and when they float to the surface use a slotted spoon to scoop them out onto a lightly oiled sheet pan.
Heat the other tablespoon of olive oil in a large non-stick pan. Cook the gnocchi in a single layer over medium heat. Sauté until they are golden brown. I used my airfryer for about 5 minutes. They were delicious.

Cauliflower Gnocchi with Pancetta

To assemble the Cauliflower Gnocchi with Pancetta Salad

While you wait for the cauliflower to cook, layer the pancetta on a baking sheet, lined with baking paper and put under the grill in your oven until crispy. Keep your eye on it, as it burns easily. Keep the drippings. You can even drizzle it over the salad or use it to sauté the gnocchi. (think flavor)
Use a pretty salad platter and smear the cream cheese on the surface. Pour some of the pesto on the cream cheese and with a knife give it a ripple effect. Add the other other elements and lastly the warm gnocchi and parmesan. Serve immediately.

Cauliflower Gnocchi with Pancetta

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