Homemade Gnocchi with Caramelized Balsamic Chicken, Crispy Bacon and Pesto Sauce.

Oh my goodness, who here loves homemade pasta? This recipe is so simple, delicious and way more satisfying than any pasta you’re going to buy at the grocery stores. Best part is – it is cheap to make this gnocchi at home! It consists of one main ingredient: semolina flour. This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled- whatever you need. Note: the gnocchi needs to dry for at least 24 hours, so this is a 2 day recipe. You’re going to love this dish – I kept it dairy free, but included what you’ll need if you would like to use dairy.

Recipe for the dough:

  • 2 cups semolina flour
  • 1 cups water


  1. In a bowl, mix together the semolina flour with the water. Depending on temperature and humidity, you may have to add more water or flour depending if your mixture feels too dry or wet. Use your discretion. The dough should be hydrated similar to pie dough. Pliable, not too dry where you can’t handle it, and not too wet where it’s sticking all over your counter.
  2. Lightly dust a portion of your counter that the dough will rest on.
  3. Once dough is mixed together, form into a ball and place on a lightly dusted counter space.
  4. With a bench knife, cut part of the dough off and roll into log with your hands. The dough should be 1/2″ wide. *If dough is sticking to your counter, dust with semolina flour, if dough will not roll out, spritz water on your counter.
  5. Cut the dough into 1/2″ pieces.
  6. Using the back of a fork, press one 1/2″ piece of dough on the back of the fork to make an indent.
  7. With your thumb, roll the dough onto itself to make the piece of pasta, cinching the ends so the pasta doesn’t roll back apart.
  8. Place gnocchi on semolina dusted tray and let dry out in room temperature for at least 24 hours.
The recipe will make way more than this, this is just 1 of 3 pans!

Recipe for Caramelized Balsamic Chicken

  • 1 package of bacon, diced
  • 3 large chicken breasts, cut into medium chunks
  • 1 tbsp. good Italian olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Modena balsamic reduction
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large pan saute the bacon on medium heat, allowing the fat to render and bacon to get crispy. Drain the fat out of the pan, and reserve the bacon to the side.
  2. Pour the olive oil into the saucepan with some of the bacon fat (about 1 tbsp.) and cook the chicken on medium heat, ensuring not to overcrowd the pan.
  3. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Once the chicken pieces have a nice sear on them, pour in half (2 tbsp.) of the balsamic reduction, and stir to coat the chicken. Repeat this step with the remaining chicken.
  5. Reserve to the side while you start the pesto.

Pesto Recipe:

  • 1 bunch of basil (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cups spinach (optional, I enjoy the earthy flavor spinach adds and it bulks up the pesto nicely).
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups good Italian olive oil (roughly, might need more)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a food processor, add the basil leaves, spinach, garlic, lemon zest and juice, pine nuts, honey and parmesan cheese. Pulse until mixture starts to come together.
  2. Slowly drizzle in olive oil with food processor on. Pesto should be thick but spreadable.
  3. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Reserve to the side while you make the sauce.

Pesto Sauce

  • 2 – 13.5 oz cans full fat coconut milk (or 27 fluid ounces of heavy cream)
  • 1/4 cup Modena balsamic reduction
  • Caramelized balsamic chicken
  • Crispy bacon
  • 1 – 1&1/2 cups fresh pesto


  1. In a large deep skillet, add the cans of coconut milk or heavy cream. On medium-high heat, allow the milk to reduce, about 10-15 minutes, stirring it occasionally until it becomes thick.
  2. Once milk has thickened, reduce heat and add in the balsamic reduction.
  3. Add all of the balsamic chicken, stirring to cover with the milk. Cover with a lid and let simmer for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the crispy bacon and stir to combine.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and add in the pesto. Tip: ensure you add your pesto last to your sauce. If you add it too soon and allow it to cook it will turn an unpleasant green color.

Assembling the dish:

  1. In a large sauce pot filled about 3/4 of the way with water, add about 1 tbsp. of salt. Turn on high heat.
  2. Once water is boiling, add the gnocchi. Allow the gnocchi to cook fully. It should get soft as it cooks. This will take anywhere from 12-15 minutes, depending on the size of your gnocchi.
  3. Once gnocchi is cooked fully, drain and add to the pesto sauce.
  4. Garnish with fresh parmesan or asiago cheese, and serve warm.

There you have it! My husband and I are starting a new routine of making pasta every weekend together. We talked about endless possibilities with both shapes and sizes of pasta, different sauces and meats. We are really excited to be getting into the kitchen together and creating yummy dishes! It’s always more satisfying enjoying a meal that you’ve made completely from scratch!

I hope you guys have enjoyed this recipe! Share this recipe with your biggest pasta-loving friends and family & let me know what you think! Saluti amici!

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