Gnocchi with Tomatoes, Pancetta & Wilted Watercress

Gnocchi with Tomatoes, Pancetta & Wilted Watercress

14 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2007

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.

Ingredients 4 servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 2 ounces pancetta, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound gnocchi, (see Shopping Tip)
  • 4 ounces watercress, tough stems removed, coarsely chopped (6 cups packed)
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • Active

  • Ready In

  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.
  • Shopping Tip: We like the texture of “she lf-stable” prepared gnocchi found in the Italian section of most supermarkets, but frozen and fresh refrigerated gnocchi also work well here.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 cup
  • Per serving: 377 calories; 7 g fat(3 g sat); 3 g fiber; 64 g carbohydrates; 14 g protein; 17 mcg folate; 16 mg cholesterol; 5 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 1,775 IU vitamin A; 32 mg vitamin C; 145 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 705 mg sodium; 334 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (53% daily value), Vitamin A (36% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 4 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat

Reviews 14

October 27, 2018
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By: Sherry Pierce Parrish
I loved this. I made it with Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi and used chard instead of watercress. So good. I’ve made it several times and it’s always filling and delicious.
December 30, 2017
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By: Amy Reaser Forry
Excellent! My whole family loved this meal, and that’s saying something! Going to be a regular at our house.
April 24, 2017
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By: Katie Harrill
I loooove this! I've made it once before and I am making it again tonight but I'm going to use spinach instead of watercress (which I also did last time). Instead of the store-bought gnocchi, I'll make homemade sweet potato gnocchi because I have some sweet potatoes I need to use (and because homemade gnocchi is so easy and delicious). This recipe is great and simple! My fiancé went a little nuts over it. Last time I subbed canned whole-peeled tomatoes for the two tomatoes; that worked out fine and I added some sliced grape tomatoes, too. Note: DO NOT skip the red wine vinegar... I forgot to add it until after I had already eaten my (first) serving and when I added it, it made a *huge* difference. I also like vinegar, so if you don't like it - ignore me.
October 07, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
New Favorite Wow... this is amazing! I've made it over 6 times now... I used white wine vinegar (or just white wine), bacon instead of pancetta, and kale. This is my fiance's favorite.... he wants me to make it for his birthday meal, even though we usually eat it once a week as it is :-D Thanks!!!! :-D Pros: Easy, quick, few ingredients, easy to substitute Cons: nothing!!
August 07, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Use Home Made Gnocci As I grew up eating home made Gnocci, I can't stand the taste or texture of the store-bought stuff, unless it's fresh from an Italian grocer. If you wish to make your own, use 1 part mashed potatoes to 1 part white or whole wheat flour and 1 large egg. If your potatoes are new - boil them until they start falling apart and drain well, otherwise the dough ends up too soft. Old potatoes that are sprouting (but not rotting) are best to use. Mix ingredients into a dough, roll into snakes and cut into bite sized pieces and boil until they float. Simple and tasty!!
February 21, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
So good, so quick excellent quick dish that was unbelievably tasty. The sauce came out amazing, and all the prep work and cooking was easy. Like many others I did substitutes: - 4 slices bacon instead of prociutto - serrano-honey vinegar instead of red wine vinegar - arugula instead of watercress (didn't bother stemming it- still tasted great) Pros: easy, quick, tasty
November 13, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Delicious, easy dinner in no time I was a little hesitant about this dish considering how simple the ingredients were, but was pleasantly surprised when it turned out lovely. I didn't keep pure vegetarian, I used prosciutto and I don't care for Watercress's bitter flavor so I used kale instead. It was a brilliant meal that will make it into a normal menu rotation for us. I served with butternut squash soup, next time I will toss a salad and serve with crusty bread. Winner! Pros: Flavorful, simple, easy to make
March 14, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Very easy and VERY flavorful Made this tonight for my husband and it was absolutely delicious. He raved for an hour saying it was the best thing he's ever had. I added a few little twists to it to liven it up. I used 4oz of pancetta and I also doused the tomatoes with Italian seasoning and added a few more dashes of it in the stew. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this was to make and how much flavor it had.
August 02, 2011
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By: Kellie Moffitt Prindle
Bold, Amazing Flavor! This dish uses simple ingredients that just go great together! I never cooked gnocchi before, and my family never usually cares for chunks of tomato...but this dish was a huge hit that is certain to grace our table again soon! There is nothing else more to say except try it, you'll love it! Pros: Quick, and easy to cook Cons: Vinegar is a bit strong, but I love that about this cons
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