Creamy potato gnocchi with bacon and cheese, sounds delicious, doesn’t it?
Well, guess what? It’s absolutely fantastic!
But before I would offend some Italians: this is not a traditional Italian gnocchi recipe. It is a Slovak national dish.
Yes, I call it gnocchi. That’s the best translation of “halusky” I could come up with. Some people might call it potato dumplings. No matter what it’s called, the main thing is that it tastes really good.
The difference between the classic gnocchi and Slovak halusky
- The biggest difference is that, unlike Italian gnocchi, the dough for Slovak gnocchi does not require boiled potatoes. On the contrary, raw grated potatoes are used.
- The dough for Italian gnocchi has a classic consistency and individual gnocchi are shaped before cooking.
- Slovak halusky are added to boiling water through a special strainer with larger holes. If you don’t have one available, using a cutting board and a knife will achieve the same effect. It takes a little longer, but this was the traditional way of Slovak grandmas. You just need to separate small pieces of dough step by step and put them in boiling water.
- Halusky have a different texture when they are cooked. They are more succulent than gnocchi.
The traditional way of making Slovak gnocchi
I live in Germany and I’m always happy to make this recipe for someone. I love to present Slovakia with good and unique food.
I have made sheep cheese gnocchi many times for people from different countries and I always look at them like a madman while eating them. I always hope they like it.
We Slovaks are just very proud of our food.
And it seems like people really enjoy this recipe. For some, bryndza (sheep milk cheese) was a bit intense. But if you like goat cheese or sheep cheese, you won’t be disappointed!
When I serve creamy cheese gnocchi, I offer everyone a shot of slivovica (fruit alcohol made from plums). Yes, that is also typical for us Slovaks. While Italians enjoy their meal with a glass of wine, the Slovaks often drink schnapps.
The recipe for creamy potato gnocchi
Living abroad, it’s not easy to get the ingredients for this recipe, even though my home country Slovakia is only a few hundred kilometers away.
The main ingredient is the bryndza cheese.
So when visiting family and friends in Slovakia, the only option is to pack lots of bryndza and other unique Slovak delicacies. Or if we have a Slovak visit here in Germany, bringing bryndza is an absolute must. And slivovica too, it can’t be forgotten.
Since this Slovak cheese is not easy to find, you can certainly replace it with other soft sheep or goat cheese. In my opinion, sheep milk cheese is the best cheese for gnocchi! Alternatively, you can try mixing feta cheese with sour cream.
Which bacon to use?
Bacon is easy to replace. Of course, original Slovak bacon is the best for “bryndzove halusky”.
But there are many excellent types of bacon from different countries. My favorite choice is Italian pancetta or guanciale. Guanciale is a priority in many Italian pasta recipes. It is perfect, for example, for spaghetti carbonara.
The dough for gnocchi
For the dough, you only need potatoes, flour, salt, and egg. Some people don’t add an egg at all, but I like to add one.
As for potatoes, the Russet potatoes are particularly suitable. They generally contain less liquid. But how much water the potatoes release is always different. For this reason, it is not easy to say how much flour you should use.
Therefore, add flour gradually. Better to have a looser dough first than too thick.
Tips for the best no baked gnocchi with bacon and cheese
- Add the strained gnocchi to a larger bowl with the sheep cheese and mix well. As a result, it will cover all the gnocchi with cheese and make them nice and creamy. Then simply transfer to plates and sprinkle with fried bacon and fresh chopped chives.
- If you don’t eat all the gnocchi at once, it’s possible that they will get a little hard after a while. Then you can add a little water in which you cooked your gnocchi. This creates a super creamy consistency again. So always have some pasta (gnocchi) water ready. This also applies when you cook different types of pasta.
- Garnish the finished dish with freshly chopped chives or spring onions.
- If you have any leftover bacon, you can use it for a fantastic Flammkuchen.