24 ounces packaged gnocchi (I used whole wheat gnocchi)
1 pound bacon, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tsp paprika
28 ounce can plum tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
2 ounces semi-soft goat cheese
2 cups shredded cheese (I use peccorino toscano, but mozzarella or another soft melting cheese will work)
Preheat oven to 425.
In a large sauce pan or sauté pan with high sides, sauté bacon until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp. Spoon bacon on to a layer of paper towels with a slotted spoon and pour off bacon fat leaving just enough in the pan to coat it. Over low heat add garlic, paprika, and tomato paste and sauté until tomato paste begins to caramelize. In a bowl, crush tomatoes with your hands until fairly uniform, but still a bit chunky. Add to garlic, paprika, tomato paste in pan along with sugar and bring to a simmer. Stir in goat cheese until fully melted and the sauce is creamy, set aside.
Cook gnocchi according to package directions. When done, use a slotted spoon to move gnocchi to sauce. Stir to combine. Pour into a large casserole dish and add all but 1/2 cup of reserved bacon. Stir to combine. Top with shredded cheese and last 1/2 cup of bacon. Put into oven and bake until cheese is melted and beginning to brown--about 10 minutes. Allow to rest for several minutes before serving. Garnish with basil chiffonade. If you can get pancetta, sub for the bacon. It raises this dish just a touch more :)