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Gnocchi with Tomatoes, Pancetta and Wilted Watercress

We use just a touch of pancetta—cured Italian-style bacon—to balance the sweet tomatoes and peppery watercress. Make it a meal: A salad tossed with a red-wine vinaigrette completes dinner.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings, about 1 cup each
  • Nutrition Info
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2 ounces pancetta, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 large tomatoes, chopped

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 pound gnocchi (see Shopping Tip)

4 ounces watercress, tough stems removed, coarsely chopped (6 cups packed)

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Put a large pan of water on to boil.
  2. Cook pancetta in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, sugar and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until the tomatoes are almost completely broken down, about 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar and salt. Remove from the heat.
  3. Cook gnocchi in the boiling water until they float, 3 to 5 minutes or according to package directions. Place watercress in a colander and drain the gnocchi over the watercress, wilting it slightly. Add the gnocchi and watercress to the sauce in the pan; toss to combine. Serve immediately, with Parmesan.
  4. We like the texture of "shelf-stable" prepared gnocchi found in the Italian section of most supermarkets, but frozen and fresh refrigerated gnocchi also work well here.


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