Gnocchi Mac and Cheese
It’s been quite a while since I posted my recipe for sweet potato gnocchi with brown butter sauce, so I decided that it was high time to post my go-to gnocchi recipe that this sweet, autumn version is based on. This is what I make when I want comfort food and have a little extra time on my hands, since the recipe makes a ton of gnocchi. It’s worth the effort though since they freeze wonderfully, and it’s nice to have on hand both for company and for when I want a quick freezer meal during the week but still want something homemade. This time though, rather than frying up the finished gnocchi with butter like I usually do, I decided to make gnocchi mac and cheese. It’s easy to whip up a simple roux using pantry staples to give this classic dish a new twist. Give it a try this weekend!
For the gnocchi:
- 6 baking potatoes
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- 2-3 cups flour
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan-Romano cheese
For the gnocchi mac and cheese (serves 1-2):
- 1/2 lb gnocchi
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/8 cup shredded fontina cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmigiano-Romano cheese
To make the gnocchi, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Pierce the potatoes all over with a fork, and then bake, covered, in an 9×13″ baking dish about an hour.
Cool the potatoes before peeling. Once peeled, put the potatoes through a potato ricer.
In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, and salt. Then, put a large pot of salted water on the stove and bring it to a rolling boil. Make a well in the center of the potatoes and pour in the egg mixture. Knead into the potatoes. Add in the cheese and 2 cups flour, adding additional flour as necessary.
Turn out on to a floured surface and knead lightly just until smooth.
Divide the dough into 12 pieces.
Roll each piece to about 1/2″ thick, and then cut each piece into 1/2 to 1″ pieces.
Use the back of a fork to press against each piece to form ridges on the gnocchi.
Move to baking sheets covered with parchment paper to get ready for boiling.
Add the gnocchi a few at a time to the pot of boiling water, stirring occasionally. Cook for about 3 minutes until they float. Using a slotted spoon, move them to a paper towel to dry, and then move them back to the baking sheets. At this point, you can freeze the gnocchi (first in one layer on the baking sheet; then you can transfer them to a resealable bag). Do not thaw before cooking.
To make the roux for the gnocchi mac and cheese, melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant. Then, stir in the flour until the mixture begins to thicken. Add in the milk. Continue to cook about 3 minutes longer or until thickened. Remove from heat and add in the cheeses. Mix the gnocchi in with the cheese sauce, and then sprinkle additional cheese on top. Transfer the mixture to a small baking dish and bake about 20 minutes or until the cheese begins to brown.