Thursday, September 13, 2012

Gnocchi Mac & Cheese

I was FULL of wins tonight in the kitchen - I made Eggplant Parmesan sticks with a quick, homemade marinara, Apple Pie bread and, the star of the show - Gnocchi Mac & Cheese.  Seriously, this stuff was ah-mazing!  I fell in love with gnocchi when Jason and I went to Italy back in 2008.  I don't make it too often because, well, it's not the healthiest pasta option, but it sure is yummy.  This takes its yumminess to a whole new level!

I do think that there was a little too much cheese sauce - I used a cup of milk and a cup of cheese.  I think knocking both back by a quarter cup will be perfect, so that's how I'm going to write the recipe.  Also, you can use any cheese (or combo of cheese) that your heart desires (or that is sitting in your fridge!) - Gruyere would be really good in this!

Gnocchi Mac & Cheese
Serves 2-4

1lb gnocchi
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp flour
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp Cayenne (optional)
S & P
1/2 cup Fontina cheese, grated
1/4 cup Smoked Gouda, grated
1/4 cup fresh Parmesan, grated

1.  Preheat the oven to 375°, spray a 1 1/2 - 2 qt baking dish with cooking spray.  Prepare the gnocchi as directed on the package; drain and set aside.  In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and saute the garlic until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.  Whisk in the flour and cook until well combined and mixture begins to turn a slight brown.  Slowly whisk in the milk, ensuring there are no lumps. 

2.  Once smooth, add in the Dijon, cayenne (if using) and salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a low simmer and whisk occasionally until sauce begins to thicken.  Once thickened, add in the Fontina and Gouda, stirring until melted.  Add in the gnocchi and coat with the cheese sauce.

3.  Transfer the gnocchi to the prepared baking dish and top with grated Parmesan.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbly.  Broil for an additional 5 minutes if you want a nice brown crust on top.  Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!

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