When it comes to weeknight meals, they need to be easy to prepare with little time commitment. And this sheet pan gnocchi with bacon, asparagus, and peas truly delivers on that premise. Cook some bacon quickly, chop up asparagus, toss it all together on a sheet pan, and this meal comes together in minutes. Plus, it’s perfect to welcome the flavors of spring!
Cook the bacon until browned and crisp on both sides. Once cooked, lay the bacon on paper towels and reserve the rendered bacon grease.
Place the gnocchi and the sliced shallot in a large bowl. Trim the dry ends off of the asparagus, removing about 1 inch. Cut the asparagus into bite-size pieces, roughly 1 ½ inches in length. Add the asparagus to the bowl. Add the lemon zest, salt, black pepper, and thyme laves. Drizzle the asparagus and gnocchi with 2 tbsp of reserved bacon grease. Toss the mixture to coat everything evenly and spread it into an even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Place the prepared baking sheet in the preheated oven. Roast until the asparagus is crisp-tender and the gnocchi are plump, 20-25 minutes.
Once roasted, remove the baking sheet from the oven and sprinkle the peas over the hot pan. The residual heat will warm the peas. Crumble the bacon over the gnocchi and sprinkle with lemon juice and grated Parmesan cheese.
When cooking the bacon, make sure that the skillet is cold. A cold skillet will slowly render out the fat from the bacon and cook it more evenly.
For the most tender and edible asparagus from the store, make sure to trim off the dry bottom part. When asparagus is purchased from the store, it can tend to be dry on the bottom quarter. Removing this portion will make for a more enjoyable recipe.
If there is not enough bacon grease from cooking the bacon, the difference can be substituted with olive oil. Additionally, if there is too much bacon grease, reserve the remainder for cooking eggs, potatoes, and other fried items.