Two recipes today! These 2 easy dishes where the heroes in a recent Italian inspired table, and they where so impressive I didn’t want to separate them. (Although I’m sure they’d play happily with other dishes)

Gnocchi Ala Romana (egg free)

This traditional gnocchi ala Romana was so, so good. I was worried that without the egg it would turn into a crumbly mass but after I played around with the measurements it worked really well, and has become an instant family favourite.


  • 3 cups of milk (I used whole milk)
  • 100g of butter
  • 1 cup of fine semolina (inexpensive and super easy to find at the supermarket)
  • 100g of parmesan
  • a tiny pinch of grated nutmeg
  • Bring the milk and butter to the boil in a large saucepan.
  • Pour the semolina in slowly, stirring with a wooden spoon the whole time to avoid lumps.
  • Keep stirring for another 5 minutes, stir in half of the parmesan.
  • Line an oven tray with oven bake paper, and pour on the semolina. Smooth it out to about 2cm thick.
  • Refrigerate until cool (maybe an hour?) then use a small cookie cutter to make as many circles as you can. I ended up using a champagne flute because I didn’t have anything else small enough, and this worked really well.
  • Lay the gnocchi down in an oven proof dish, overlapping a little so they cook evenly and look pretty. Sprinkle with the tiniest grate of nutmeg, and the rest of the parmesan. 
  • Bake approx 20 mins in a hot oven until melty and delicious looking.
NB: Do not throw away the leftover scraps, for they are delicious too! Save them for lunch the next day.

Pork Loin with Bacon and Fresh Bay

I was very lucky to have Murray Valley Pork send me a beautiful pork loin recently. As a pork loin is already a gorgeously tender morsel, I didn’t want to ruin it with too much fanciness so I treated it very simply to allow the natural flavour and texture to shine through.


  • 1 pork loin
  • about 2 or 3 long rashers of streaky bacon
  • Fresh bay leaves. These grow very easily in a pot in the garden, or you can buy them from the supermarket. I think the taste is superior than dried bay leaves. Fennel or Rosemary would also be fantastic in this recipe. (Look, if you get really desperate head to your local nursery and maybe pinch a few leaves, but don’t mention my name.)
  • Oven string.
  • Olive Oil
  • Lay out the bacon vertically side by side to make a little blanket. 
  • Place bay leaves down the centre, so that they make a horizontal line through the middle.
  • place the pork loin along the bay leaves, and gently roll it up in the bacon, overlapping as needed so that your pork loin is snug as a bug.
  • Tie up with oven string. I’ve found a handy tutorial for you here
  • Flash fry the wrapped up loin for a few minutes to get it started, you want the outside to be crispy and brown but it won’t be in the oven long enough to achieve this. Use a tiny amount of olive oil in a very hot fry pan, or do as I did and put the roasting pan directly over the element.
  • After the bacon is browned nicely, put the loin in the oven at 200 degrees  for about 17 minutes. If it feels reasonably firm when you press it, it is ready.
  • Rest the pork loin for at least 5 minutes, then slice with a sharp knife to make attractive slices. 

Here are the gnocchi and pork loin ready for the oven. They where served with some simple pasta tossed in garlic butter (for the small child who wouldn’t have eaten any gnocchi), spinach and zucchini fritatta, and salted eggplant cooked with olive oil and garlic.

Sometimes simple is just the best.


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10 thoughts on “Gnocchi ala Romana with Bacon wrapped Pork Loin

    • 06/17/2014 at 2:20 AM

      And so easy, my favourite!

  • 06/12/2014 at 11:06 AM

    Yummo! That all looks so nice. I love pork I think I'd rather it over beef. I haven't tried the Murray valley one though I'll have to source it and give it a go. I'll give the gnocchi a go too and see if the kids notice something different. Yum yum!

    • 06/17/2014 at 2:21 AM

      Click the link to the Murray Valley Pork website and there is a search function to find a butcher near you that stocks it. It is such a great quality product!

    • 06/17/2014 at 2:22 AM

      It was so amazingly easy!

  • 06/14/2014 at 10:15 PM

    They both look amazing! I have never tried making gnocchi, you make it sound easy! Here via Fabulous Foodie Fridays

    • 06/17/2014 at 2:23 AM

      Give it a go, you will see that it is 🙂

  • 06/16/2014 at 11:09 AM

    I've heard such great things about Murray Valley Pork and your creations look amazing! Thank you for linking up with us for Fabulous Foodie Fridays, hope to see you again next week 🙂

    • 06/17/2014 at 2:24 AM

      Happy pigs make for delicious pork! Thanks for having me at Fabulous Foodie Fridays

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