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gnocchi carbonara with salami on a plate with gnocchi in the background

Gnocchi Carbonara

This creamy, pillowy gnocchi carbonara is an easy fancy meal you can make at home. It's done in about 30 minutes, and has deep buttery, meaty flavors. It's a simple gnocchi version of the tried and true lemon carbonara.
Course dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 people
Author Rebecca


  • Medium sized pot
  • small mixing bowl
  • whisk
  • Grater
  • cutting board
  • knife
  • Cast iron skillet
  • Measuring cups, spoons


  • 1 lb package Gnocchi
  • ¼ cup chopped pancetta, salami, or ham (if using ham, add a teaspoon to cook)
  • 1 whole egg
  • teaspoon grated parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup frozen broccoli or green beans (optional)


  • Boil 16 oz (1 lb) gnocchi according to package directions.
  • While gnocchi is cooking, heat cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add ¼ c chopped meat (pancetta, chopped hard salami, ham) to hot cast iron skillet. Cook until browned, about 3-4 minutes. (if using chopped ham, add 1 teaspoon oil to pan).
  • While meat and gnocchi are cooking, mix sauce. Crack an egg into a small mixing bowl, grate ⅛ c parmesan cheese into bowl, and add 1 teaspoon lemon juice to egg. Whisk until all incorporated. Set aside.
  • When gnocchi has been floating for 30 seconds, drain water. Save 1 cup of remaining gnocchi water, and set aside. Add cooked gnocchi to meat in the cast iron skillet. Spread gnocchi out into a single layer on pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until gnocchi is browned on at least one side.
  • Once one side is crispy and browned, remove from heat then add egg mixture. Mix gnocchi and egg mixture until well incorporated. Add pasta water ¼ cup at a time to thin out the sauce. Return to low heat, simmer until sauce is desired thickness.
  • Serve immediately, garnish with parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper.



  • If using chopped ham, add 1 teaspoon oil to pan
  • Save lemon to add more to finished gnocchi, if desired.
  • REMOVE from heat before adding egg mixture, unless you want scrambled egg carbonara.
  • Taste gnocchi, if it's too rich, add in some frozen vegetables and mix all together. This will spread the sauce over more and it won't be as rich in flavor.