Try mac and cheese, gnocchi style

The recipe looks detailed but making gnocchi mac and cheese as a meal or a side dish is relatively uncomplicated.

If anyone knows me and my food habits, they know I love pasta and cheese. The duo is pure delight.

When I found a recipe for gnocchi mac and cheese I just had to try it. Technically, gnocchi is more of a potato dumpling but it kind of counts as pasta.

The first time I tried gnocchi it was at a Buca di Beppo’s restaurant. I instantly fell in love with the dish, later learning to make it myself. But there isn’t always time to make it fresh and the grocery store version works fine.

To turn gnocchi into mac and cheese, you basically make a cheese sauce, mix in the gnocchi and bake.

It starts with the sauce. The recipe suggests baking in a cast iron skillet. If you don’t have one, make the dish in a regular skillet and transfer it to a baking dish.

The amount in the recipe makes a lot of gnocchi. If you are making it for three or fewer people I’d advise cutting the recipe in half or you’ll be eating gnocchi mac and cheese for days.

After making the cheese mixture, I thought it was a little thick. I added additional milk until it got to a thinner consistency.

It looks like a lot of ingredients and things to do but it really is easy. You just have to make sure you don’t overcook it or use too high heat because the dairy items may burn in the skillet.

After mixing it all together and topping with breadcrumbs, put the dish in the oven, skillet and all. When you pull it out of the oven, the cheese still is bubbling and the top has a golden hue.

I’ve seen gnocchi served as a side dish or the main dish. How you serve it is up to you. Since it’s mac and cheese, it would pair nicely as a side to a main dish.

I used mine as the centerpiece to the meal paired with a salad and the gnocchi was a main dish in itself.

You can change up the cheese used and spices for a different taste. I added some Italian seasoning and used an Italian cheese mix rather than straight mozzarella.

If you never have tried gnocchi before, this dish will help you appreciate it. If you have tried it, making it this way will help you like it even more.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

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