Monday, September 03, 2012

Cuisine at Home: Gnocchi Mac and Cheese

Are you feeling really evil?  Do you want to put something in front of someone that they literally cannot stop eating?  Do you honestly think you can restrain YOURSELF?  The answers are: yes, you are that evil; yes, you want to watch as your significant other wolfs down a whole bowl of naughty; and no, you can't stop yourself either.

We all thought that macaroni and cheese was the pinnacle of side dish lusciousness.  Well, we were wrong.  Because if you want something even more awesome and horribly bad for you, you should use gnocchi instead.  Those little pillows of potato love are just perfect for a creamy cheese sauce, and that resulting casserole is just perfect for your mouth.

Gnocchi Mac and Cheese
From Cuisine at Home magazine, October 2010

1 pound purchased or homemade gnocchi
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
¾ cup milk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup shredded Gruyère cheese
¼ cup shredded Fontina cheese
Salt and ground white pepper
⅓ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Basil leaves for garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Prepare the gnocchi according to the package directions.  Drain and place gnocchi in a single layer in a 1½-quart shallow baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Whisk in the flour until it thickens and bubbles, then whisk in the milk and Dijon mustard.  Continue to whisk the mixture and cook until slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes.

Combine Gruyère and Fontina cheeses, then add by the handful to the milk mixture, stirring until melted before adding the next handful.  Once all of the cheese is melted, season the sauce with salt and white pepper.

Pour the sauce over the gnocchi and sprinkle the Parmigiano-Reggiano over the top.  Bake the gnocchi until they puff and the cheese is golden and bubbly, about 25 minutes.  Let the gnocchi rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 servings

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