Simple Provisions

Food does not need to be fancy to be celebrated

Cauliflower, Pancetta and Hazelnut Gnocchetti | Simple Provisions

The first rays of spring sun have started streaming through my windows. Like a cat, I’ve found myself moving around our back room, basking in the warmth, following the sun as it makes its journey across the sky. At just about the right time for lunch, the sun hits my dining room table and makes it an exceptionally pleasant place to be. It’s made even more lovely, as many things are, with a flavoursome plate of pasta and a crisp white wine.

Cauliflower, Pancetta and Hazelnut Gnocchetti | Simple Provisions

I found little gnocchi, “gnocchetti”, in the supermarket the other day, and bought them because they were cute (this is a perfectly valid reason for purchasing ingredients). Emiko Davis recently posted a recipe for gluten-free gnocchetti, which she claims is even better than gluten-laden gnocchetti, so if you’re that way inclined head over to her blog for the recipe.

I enjoy a meal that consists of everything being the same size. It’s satisfying to look at, and to eat. Since the pasta is already hazelnut sized, it seems perfectly matched to a nutty sauce with small cubes of pancetta and diced cauliflower, which is a riff on Emiko’s recipe.

The crunch of the hazelnuts, the texture of the cauliflower and the pillowy soft parcels of potato make an excellent marriage. Its strong in pork flavour and so buttery an accompanying white wine is practically mandatory to help cut through the richness. It’s a pretty dish that looks delicate, but it tastes very robust.

Cauliflower, Pancetta and Hazelnut Gnocchetti | Simple Provisions

If you’re in the habit of roasting vegetables for the week, this is a great recipe to use up your cauliflower. Or, if you have the oven on for another meal during the week, throw some cauliflower in to take advantage of a hot oven and get ahead for this dish, which then turns into an easy weeknight option. It doesn’t freeze very well, which is OK, because it’s unlikely you’ll have leftovers, and if you do, you’re a stronger person than I.

Cauliflower, Pancetta and Hazelnut Gnocchetti | Simple Provisions

Cauliflower, Pancetta and Hazelnut Gnocchetti

Serves 4


  • 1/2 a medium cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 500g gnocchetti (or gnocchi if you can’t find the little fellas)
  • 4 thick slices of pancetta, chopped into cubes
  • Olive oil
  • 70g whole hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • ½ glass white wine
  • 50g cold butter
  • handful of chopped parsley


Heat oven to 200C/400F. Place chopped cauliflower onto a baking tray, coat with a glug of olive oil and season. Roast until golden, about 20-30 minutes.  Chop your cauliflower into pieces about the same size as the gnocchetti and pancetta cubes.

Cook your gnocchetti according to packet instructions.

Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a pan and saute the pancetta until golden brown. Drain the excess fat, add the hazelnuts to the pancetta and toast a few minutes. Add the wine to the pan to deglaze, then simmer until you have barely any liquid left in the pan.

Add the cold butter and herbs and when melted, toss the drained gnocchetti and roasted cauliflower into the pan to coat. Add a bit of the pasta cooking water if you need a bit more liquid to bring everything together.

Serve with a crisp glass of white wine.


Adapted from Emiko Davies’ Gluten-free Gnocchetti recipe

19 thoughts on “Cauliflower, Pancetta and Hazelnut Gnocchetti

  1. ladyredspecs says:

    While my method is slightly different I too make gnocchi GF. It is wonderful, but it’s your sauce that excites me here. Bookmarked for the next batch of gnocchi

    1. Amelia says:

      I hope you enjoy it Sandra. Looks like I’ll have to try GF gnocchi if you’re also a fan.

  2. Saskia (1=2) says:

    Love the rays of sun lapping your plate Amelia. Bring on Spring! Absolutely agree with the validity of purchasing cute ingredients, and actually I reckon tiny gnocchi are a great idea. The big fellas can be so starchy. Love a bit of textural crunch in pasta. Big yum from me, and a pin for later!

  3. Gorgeous post Amelia… I can completely relate to searching out the sunniest spots in the house and basking in the warmth. Spring is just around the corner! :) This is such a beautiful and flavoursome little dish – I love the thought of tiny gnochetti and will keep an eye out for them when next in our local Italian deli.

    1. Amelia says:

      Good one Margot, I hope you enjoy them if you do find them.

  4. margaret21 says:

    That’s a great looking recipe, and what makes it apposite for us here in Europe is that the Autumn hazelnut season is just kicking in: so the recipe suits us as much here as it suits you over there

    1. Amelia says:

      I love this time of year Margaret, it’s when our seasons cross over and I kind of make sense to the whole world. not just us southern hemisphere people.

  5. dreamtaker00 says:

    Reblogged this on Raw, Veg and Feel Good Living and commented:
    Very interesting

  6. My kind of food – looks great!

  7. This looks awesome! I roast a head of cauliflower at least once a week so I’m predicting this will be in my very near future. For what it’s worth, I also think being cute is definitely reason enough to buy something. I use that excuse all the time, especially in the spring and summer when miniature (and adorable!) produce is abound.

  8. Feast Wisely says:

    I could just eat this right now – sounds delicious!

  9. I think . . . I think I need more hazelnuts in my life.
    And wine. . .

  10. I just discovered your blog and I’m loving it — we have very similar taste in food!

  11. Bec says:

    I am the biggest gnochhetti fan and love anything tiny. Angel hair, orzo or those tiny little pasta stars you can buy are some of my favourites. This looks delicious! Bec x

  12. Reblogged this on Conversations I Wish I Had and commented:
    This looks SO GOOOOOOD. Yum.

  13. marziabalza says:

    Hi Amelia, these look delicious! And for once I have almost all the ingredients at home, aside from pancetta :) Do you have suggestions about a substitute that would give the same kick?

    1. Amelia says:

      Bacon is the easiest substitute, and will still add a lovely salty kick.

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