Friday, September 16, 2011

Gnocchi Mac and Cheese

Gnocchi are soft dumplings made from potatoes, eggs, salt, flour, and sometimes a little cheese. These delightful little pillows are often served as a first course alternative to soup or pasta in Italian meals. Making gnocchi from scratch is a simple but a time consuming process. I made this recipe weeknight friendly by using fresh gnocchi from my local Italian market.

Gnocchi Mac and Cheese
recipe slightly adapted from Sugarcrafter

1 pound fresh or frozen gnocchi
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
½ cup shredded fontina cheese
½ cup shredded Parmigiano-Romano cheese

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Add the gnocchi a few at a time to
 a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring gently. Cook for about 3 minutes until the gnocchi float to the top of the water. Using a slotted spoon, move them to a  move them to a baking sheet and gently blot with a paper towel to remove the excess water. Set aside to cool while you make the cheese sauce.

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute then whisk in the milk. Continue to cook about 3 minutes until the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the cheeses. Mix the gnocchi in with the cheese sauce, and then sprinkle additional cheese on top, if desired.

Transfer the mixture to an 8” x 8” baking dish and bake in a 375ºF oven about 20 minutes until the cheese begins to brown.