Remember how I got a ricer for Christmas and was giddily happy? I managed to make gnocchi three times in January. Three. Even for the biggest lover of fluffy balls of potatoes that make you want to eat until you think you might pass out and then you just continue eating, three gnocchi dinners, combined with three leftover nights is a lot of gnocchi for one month.
Or so you might think, my friends. But hopefully you don’t think that. No, hopefully, you’re like me, and you’re kind of okay with the sick happiness of overindulging in deliciousness. That’s why I feel I can confess this recipe to you.
Gnocchi Gratin with White Cheddar. Yep. Gnocchi covered in cheese. This is no run of the mill, throw in your picnic basket, potato salad with bleu cheese dressing concoction. This is fancy indulgence. This is gnocchi, smothered in rosemary-ginger cream, topped with breadcrumbs and Parmesan and Gorgonzola, and baked until your whole kitchen smells like an Italian grandmother’s house on a Sunday afternoon. This is heavenly.
Gnocchi Gratin with White Cheddar
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Serves 6 as a side
1 lb. Russet potatoes
1 cup heavy cream
1 sprig rosemary
1 ¼” thick slice fresh ginger
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
6 oz. Parmesan, finely grated and divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp grated nutmeg
2 tbs unsalted butter, room temperature
3 tbs fine dried breadcrumbs
4 oz. Sharp Cheddar, cubed
Place potatoes in a large pot. Fill pot with water to cover potatoes by 1”. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
While the potatoes boil, prepare the cream sauce. Combine cream, rosemary, and ginger in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 30 minutes.
Returning to the potatoes, drain water and let potatoes cool slightly. Peel potatoes and pass through ricer into a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk egg and egg yolk to blend. Add blended eggs, ⅓ cup Parmesan, 1 cup flour, 1 tsp salt, and nutmeg to the potatoes. Gently mix ingredients together with your hands, forming a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a ball, and divide into 4 pieces.
Line a large rimmed pan with parchment paper and lightly cover in flour. Start with one piece of dough and roll into a long rope, about 2 feet long. Cut crosswise into 1” pieces. If you want to make ridges on the gnocchi, press back of fork tines into one piece at a time, and roll it; this helps the gnocchi hold sauce better, but is not necessary. Place finished gnocchi onto baking sheet.
Preheat oven to 375°. Coat a baking dish with 1 tbs of butter. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Working in batches, add gnocchi to boiling water. When the gnocchi rise to the top, let cook about 2 minutes longer, then remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to the prepared baking dish.
Mix 3 tbs Parmesan, 1 tbs butter, and breadcrumbs in a small bowl. Strain reserved cream mixture into dish to cover the gnocchi. Dot the mixture with the cheddar, then the breadcrumb mixture.
Bake until top is browned, about 25-30 minutes.