Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gnocchi Mac 'n Cheese

This is another fun recipe courtesy of my good friend Katie. I've encouraged you to go to her blog many times, so if you haven't by now you're really missing out. Katie and I met when we taught 2nd grade at an inner city charter school in Chicago. The school was difficult, and I was so grateful when Katie started working there and we developed our friendship. Even though we don't live in the same city anymore, I know she's a friend I will always keep in touch with.

Now part of this recipe calls for Gruyere cheese, which I thought I had. Turns out, I didn't. I decided to double the white cheddar and add some creamy goat cheese. Let me tell you, the goat cheese totally made this dish. I tried the sauce before I added it, and I thought it was good, but not great. However, once I added that goat cheese (I used Chavrie brand), it transformed into creamy goodness. I highly suggest you use it when making this.

Overall this was an easy dish. About 10 minutes of prep/work time and the rest was spent with the dish in the oven. Gnocchi cooks amazingly fast, and besides a few minutes of whisking the cheese (and grating it - thanks John!) this was fast and so simple. Also, John loved this. He yelled "awesome" several times, and loved how interesting and tasty it was. He said the gnocchi melted in his mouth (I agree) and overall it was perfect as the weather gets chillier. Yum!

Gnocchi Mac 'n Cheese
Recipe adapted from Katie, which was adapted from The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
Serves 2-4, depending on portions
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*1 pound (average package) gnocchi (I used whole wheat gnocchi)
*2 tablespoons butter
*2 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped
*1 tablespoon flour
*3/4 cup milk (I used skim)
*1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
*1/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
*1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, mixed with the Gruyere cheese (I didn't have any Gruyere so I used 1/2 cup white cheddar)
*1 tbsp. (or more!) of goat cheese (I used Chavrie) This was my addition and it was fabulous!
*salt and pepper to taste
*1/3 cup shredded Parmesan

*Preheat oven to 375 and spray a baking or casserole dish with nonstick spray.

*Prepare the gnocchi according to the package directions. Drain well, and place as one layer in whatever dish you're using.

*Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. As soon as it is all melted, add in your garlic. Whisk continuously for about 30 seconds, or until the garlic starts smelling really good.

*Whisk in the flour, and continue whisking until it thickens and bubbles.

*Then whisk in the milk and the Dijon. Continue whisking occasionally for about 3-5 minutes--the sauce should be thickening at that point.

*While you are whisking, start adding clumps of your cheese mixture into the sauce. Every time it is fully melted into the sauce (while whisking, naturally), add another handful until you've gone through all your cheese. Add the goat cheese and allow to make it so much creamier. I ended up adding about another tablespoon to my sauce because it tasted so good. 

*Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste, then pour it over the gnocchi. Don't worry if it doesn't evenly coat. It may look like you don't have enough sauce, but trust me, it's fine.

*Sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese, then bake for about 25 minutes, or until it's all nice and bubbly and golden.

*Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.

garlic and butter
cheese is done!
in the oven - literally!
fresh out...look at that cheese
close up
one bowl...sorry for blurry picture
seconds anyone?


  1. You are too sweet, Lauren!
    And I'm so glad you loved it. Next time, I'll definitely have to try the goat cheese. The best time I've ever made it involved fontina...yummm! xo

  2. You must try it with the goat cheese! It was sooo creamy. I will definitely throw some fontina into the mix next time too. Yum!


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