Meatless Monday: Macaroni and Cheese Part V

Nagging chest congestion seems to be the biggest symptom of whatever condition I am in. I think it’s just a cold, but given my track record with respiratory ailments, I fully expect it to advance to pleurisy or sarcoidosis. Not that I’m dramatic or anything.

This is a cooking blog, so let’s talk about tonight’s dinner. It started with a recipe from Bon Appetit. Now, Bon Appetit loves to have you make your own potato gnocchi. I’ve never done this and, frankly, I have no intention of ever doing so. I love fresh pasta and nothing beats homemade, but after a childhood spent cranking cavatelli, cutting ravioli and missing dialogue of my favorite television shows because of a pasta machine motor, I have no desire to ever embark on this journey. Plus, Cora-brand gnocchi is about as good as it gets. And it’s local.

I adapted this recipe liberally, gnocchi aside. Gorgonzola dolce is not available at Lombardi’s Imports or Wegmans Fairmount (I managed to confuse the cheese chick when I asked for it.). So, I went with the mildest blue in the cooler. I was also skeptical of the ginger. Not of its inclusion necessarily, but the condition of the product at the store. Ginger should be firm; Wegmans’ offering was a little soft. So, I passed.

WHAT WORKED: Infusing the cream with rosemary and nutmeg. You can never go wrong with either ingredient and they complement each quite well.

WHAT DIDN’T: The parmesan cheese. The gorgonzola is salty enough and the earthy flavor of the parm was outweighed by the extra salty flavor.

WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: “This is good. Salty, but good.” The Wife is a woman of few words.

WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: I never say never. Actually, I do say never a lot. I would make this as a side, but it is way too rich for a weeknight dinner, in hindsight.

Gnocchi Gratin with Gorgonzola Dolce
Adapted heavily from Bon Appetit

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/4″-thick slice fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp. (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
  • 3 tbsp. fine dried breadcrumbs
  • 4 oz. gorgonzola dolce or other mild blue cheese
  • 1 lb. gnocchi, frozen, fresh or otherwise

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Working in batches of about 12 at a time, cook gnocchi until they float to the surface, 2–3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to a baking dish coated with 1 Tbsp. butter.

Mix 3 Tbsp. parmesan, remaining 1 Tbsp. butter, and breadcrumbs in a small bowl. Strain reserved cream mixture into dish all over gnocchi. Break off small pieces of Gorgonzola; scatter over. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over, then the breadcrumb mixture. Bake until the filling is bubbling and the topping is browned, 25–30 minutes.

From the archives:

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