15 Minute Trader Joe’s Gnocchi Boscaiola

Gnocchi Boscaiola, inspired by the rustic style of a woodsman pasta, combines the hearty flavors of mushrooms and pancetta with gnocchi, all enrobed in a smooth sauce of garlic, herbs, and cream. This dish offers an irresistible mix of earthy, smoky, and creamy tastes that’s simply unparalleled in deliciousness!

Pan Fried Gnocchi Boscaiola
Pan Fried Gnocchi Boscaiola

Several years ago we were traveling through Italy and we went to a small restaurant and they had a dish called Boscaiola I whipped out my phone and did an instant translation to figure out what it was because I had never heard of it. I found out what it was and I was instantly hooked on this variation of pasta (or gnocchi in this case). I love mushrooms in almost every dish I have had and this is a way to showcase a variety of mushrooms in a rich creamy dish.

Shiitake Mushrooms
Shiitake Mushrooms

The name “Boscaiola” hails from the Italian word for a forester, and a single spoonful of its sauce takes you away deep into the forest where mushrooms’ earthy tones reign. Picture a Woodsman, pockets filled with these woodland treasures as he roams the forest. Amidst this earthy bouquet, you’ll detect the smoky whispers of pancetta, echoing the glow of a wood-burning hearth, where logs crackle and pop. This sauce is a symphony of flavors, with onions, a dash of white wine, maybe a touch of garlic, and a lavish swirl of cream that rounds out the taste.

There’s a wealth of variation in the realm of Italian culinary traditions. Some versions skip the cream, some omit the tomato, and others both. Peas often make an appearance. In my version, I celebrate the fusion of cream, peas, spinach, and asparagus, conjuring a dish that’s a warm embrace in the brisk air of the cooler spring season. I’ve omitted the tomatoes in this version, but feel free to add some tomato paste or a cup of tomato sauce with the cream. Even better, use the Trader Joe’s Sundried Tomato Pesto!

Trader Joe's Fresh Peas
Trader Joe’s Fresh Peas

I also opted for Trader Joe’s cubed Pancetta instead of smoked bacon as I didn’t want to overwhelm the flavors of the peans and asparagus which are a tribute to spring flavors. The Shiitake mushrooms are perfect for this dish because they are packed with flavor and keep their shape when you cook them, unlike white button mushrooms which turn to mush. Trader Joe’s sells a variety of “wild” mushrooms, other than the regular crimini or button mushrooms so pick something interesting! This recipe has become a family favorite and quick and easy weeknight meal in itself but we love to always serve with a side salad.

Trader Joe's Fresh Asparagus
Trader Joe’s Fresh Asparagus

The other thing I added was the wonderful Aglio Olio Italian seasoning blend that Trader Joe’s had recently released and became a viral sensation overnight. If you haven’t gotten a bottle, I highly suggest you run out and buy some right now. It is a wonderful addition to almost all Italian recipes I’ve been making lately. It contains garlic, red bell and hot pepper flakes, salt, parsley. Pretty simple but it’s an easy sprinkle to lift your dish or pizza into a different realm.

Pan Fried Gnocchi Boscaiola Ingredients

Before we get to the meat of the recipes, let’s go over each ingredient from this recipe. Everything in this recipes (and in all these recipes that I post),

  • Trader Joe’s Potato Gnocchi – Gnocchi is as Italian as pasta and is a filling and actually more nutritious than pasta because potatoes contain more of the vitamins and minerals you need than wheat pasta, but they lack protein. But, they do fill you up and are cheap! They happen to save you several minutes in prep time too since they only take a couple minutes to cook.
  • Trader Joe’s Shiitake Mushrooms – You can use any mushrooms you want but these have more flavor and keep their shape better than white button or even crimini mushrooms. Substitute whatever mushrooms you want.
  • Diced Pancetta – Trader Joe’s sells a convenient 3 oz package of already diced pancetta. It couldn’t be easier. Just cut it open and throw it in your pan! You can use bacon here if you want for a more smoky flavor. Either is traditional.
  • Trader Joe’s Fresh Peas – Trader Joe’s sells fresh peas in the vegetable section in a bag that you can throw in the microwave. You will need to cook these before you throw them in the dish because the peas need to cook longer than we want. Just put them in a microwave safe bowl and nuke them for a minute to pre-cook. Or you can just substitute frozen peas. Either works!
  • Trader Joe’s Baby Spinach – Keeping with the spring flavors, we add a whole bag of Trader Joe’s baby spinach but don’t worry, this bag will cook down and you won’t believe how little there is in the pan but you can definitely taste it!
  • Asparagus – Rounding out the spring vegetables you have some asparagus. Trader Joe’s sells a couple of different kinds. I just usually grab a bag of organic asparagus. Make sure to trim the stems if they feel woody and hard.
  • Trader Joe’s Aglio Olio – I made this dish with this new seasoning from Trader Joe’s. Who knows how long it will be around but it seems like a winner for them so I would expect it to stick around for a long time. If you can’t find it use a little garlic powder, hot pepper flakes and dried parsley.
  • Cream – I call for using heavy cream here. You really can’t substitute it with anything else. We don’t use a lot in the recipe, so it doesn’t add a lot of calories but it makes a great sauce and brings everything together. Don’t use half and half because it will break and give you a grainy sauce.
  • Parmesan Cheese – Use parmesan Reggiano if you can! But you can substitute pecorino or Grana Padano hard cheese for the final flavor punch!


There is an endless amount of variations you can make here. You can add almost any soft vegetable or even substitute the gnocchi for pasta. You can do whatever you like, but keep the mushrooms otherwise, it’s just another pasta dish!

Trader Joe's Aglio Olio Seasoning
Trader Joe’s Aglio Olio Seasoning
  • Tomatoes – You can add tomatoes to this, which is also traditional. For me, I would add Trader Joe’s Rosso Pesto which is their sundried tomato pesto. A little goes a long way so maybe two heaping tablespoons when you the cream.
  • Different meats – I would keep it in the pork family but you could add sausage or ground pork or diced bacon or even cubed chicken but the bacon and the pancetta work well with the mushrooms for a reason!
  • Vegetables – Peas are definitely traditional but the asparagus and spinach aren’t. You could easily add other greens like kale or Swiss chard. Green beans might be a nice addition.
  • Pasta – The gnocchi is quick and easy but if you want to sub a pasta go for it. I would use something like ziti, penne, or fusilli that is small and round that is easy to toss with the other ingredients.
Pan Fried Gnocchi Boscaiola

15 Minute Trader Joe’s Gnocchi Boscaiola

Gnocchi Boscaiola, inspired by the rustic style of a woodsman pasta, combines the hearty flavors of mushrooms and pancetta with gnocchi, all enrobed in a smooth sauce of garlic, herbs, and cream. This dish offers an irresistible mix of earthy, smoky, and creamy tastes that's simply unparalleled in deliciousness!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4


  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 oz Diced Pancetta
  • 4 oz Sliced Shiitake Mushrooms
  • 1 medium Shallot
  • 2 cloves finely diced garlic or use the frozen cubes
  • 1 tsp Trader Joe's Aglio Olio Seasoning
  • 500 gram Potato Gnocchi 1 package
  • 1 cup Peas Frozen or fresh but cook the fresh ones first
  • 1 bunch Asparagus trimmed and cut into 1" lengths
  • 1 bag Trader Joe's Baby Spinach
  • cup Heavy Cream
  • cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • chopped herbs basil, parsley or chives. Optional


  • Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil over high heat
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook pancetta, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add mushroom. Cook, stirring for 3 minutes or until golden. Add shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Return pan to heat. Add a splash of oil
  • Cook gnocchi in boiling water for a couple of minutes or until gnocchi float to the surface of water. Using a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to empty frying pan. Cook, shaking pan occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes or until gnocchi are golden.
  • Return pancetta mixture to pan. Add peas and asparagus. Cook for five minutes stiring.
  • Add cream, parmesan and spinach. Season with salt and pepper and Aglio Olio.
  • Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or unti the spinach is wilted and sauce is heated through.
  • Serve topped with extra parmesan and optional herbs and more Aglio Olio.
Keyword boscaiola, gnocchi, mushroom, pasta

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