So when it comes to the recipes I make my main goal is to always create healthier versions of the dishes that I love! Sometimes it works, sometimes it is a fail, but there is no doubt that after lots of trial and error I have mastered Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi and it is one of our favorite substitutes for our go-to pasta dishes. So much so that I find myself purchasing it every week along with the rest of our family’s Trader Joe’s must-haves.
First things first, ignore every instruction on the packaging and follow my lead! Let me start by saying that I know carbonara is not for everyone but my version is lighter, hold the cream and is a mild version of the indulgent flavors you’ll find at restaurants. I love the richness that comes from the egg yolks and with the heat of the pasta, a seasoned olive oil and parmesan cheese it creates a creamy sauce that is deeeeelicious! Here is what you need to do:
Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi Carbonara Recipe
Ingredients: (this makes 2 servings)
- Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi (one package, in the frozen section!)
- Chopped Pancetta (I also buy this at Trader Joe’s!)
- 2-3 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Egg Yolk (one per serving)
- Parmesan Cheese
- Red Pepper Flakes
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- Salt + Pepper
- **good non-stick skillet**
- Start by browning the pancetta in a large non stick skillet (this is important!) and set aside.
- Remove oil from pan with paper towel. Add the frozen cauliflower gnocchi to the same pan and brown until you feel like it is too brown! The longer it is cooked without any sort of liquid (NO oil, NO water like it says on the packaging), the better. Adding liquid makes the gnocchi super soggy! This should take 10-12 minutes!
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan heat olive oil over LOW and add 2 cloves of garlic (I buy the minced, frozen version at TJ’s!), a few dashes of red pepper flakes, 1 tsp of oregano, a light dash of salt and 1 tsp of ground pepper. Let the olive oil absorb all of these flavors!
- Separate egg yolks from egg whites per serving and set aside.
- Once gnocchi is browned and cooked through, coat in olive oil mixture and place into plates/bowls. Put raw egg yolk on top with parmesan cheese. Mix well with fork before serving so that the heat of the gnocchi warms/cooks the egg yolk and creates a thick sauce. Serve with extra cracked black pepper and parmesan cheese if needed! Enjoy!!
I know it probably seems a little skeptical to eat the yolk like this but the heat of the pasta really cooks the egg and creates such a delicious sauce! It is way healthier because we don’t add the cream. Such a light flavor! You could also recreate this exact sauce with your favorite pasta (which we also do frequently!). Once you master Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi, you can make so many delicious dinners! I’ll make some protein pasta for the boys and cauliflower gnocchi for us and the same sauce for all of us – it’s a family favorite! Here are some of our other favorite combinations:
- turkey meatballs and marinara sauce
- pesto and spicy chicken sausage
- olive oil, black olives, cherry tomatoes, basil and mozzarella