I grew up in a town full of amazing italian food! My favorite dish was gnocchi in a hearty marinara sauce. I moved to AZ and anytime I would go to an italian restaurant that served gnocchi, it came in a alfredo or pink sauce. At first it was weird and I wasn't sure I liked it, but it grew on me. I now make gnocchi at home in a pink sauce with cheese! This is semi homemade since I buy the gnocchi (it's important to buy a good brand) and I use preggo sauce... shhhh!! :) I have made red sauce home made in the past, but for this dish, you use so little, it just isn't worth it to me. The white sauce I make homemade though and the cheese just makes it EXTRA special:)
*1 bag (15-20oz) of FROZEN gnocchi (I like Tony's brand found in some grocery stores here in AZ. Back home in WI I would get mine at Tenuta's!!)
*4 T Butter
*2 T flour
*seasonings (your choice... i use black pepper, italian seasonings and garlic salt)
*1 pt heavy whipping cream
*Fresh grated parmesan cheese (i don't measure... i just grate) :) (Optional)
*1/3 cup of your favorite red sauce (I use Preggo Traditional)
*2 sticks of Mozz string cheese (pulled apart into strings)
1. I start by putting my pan of water on the stove top on high heat (this will be for the gnocchi once it comes to a boil.) At same time, i put my butter in another pan and on medium melt the butter. I also preheat oven to 250.
2. Once butter is melted, slowly add flour and whisk together. This should start to get thicker. I also add some seasoning at this point (black pepper, garlic salt, italian seasonings about a generous pinch of each)
3. Slowly add heavy whipping cream, stirring the whole time. I like to add half, stir and cook on medium till thickens (about 3-5 minutes) and then add the other half, again stirring and cook another 3-5 mins till thickens. I sometimes add about a handfull of fresh grated parmesan cheese if I have it on hand.
4. Place half of the cheese strings in the bottom of a baking pan (as shown below). At this time your water should also be boiling. Pour gnocchi into the boiling water. (It's important to wait to add gnocchi until water is at a rapid boil). You will only cook gnocchi for about 2 minutes tops... They should start to float. After 2 minutes (or less if they are all floating)- drain water.
5. Pour 1/3 of the white sauce into the bottom of the glass pan on top of the cheese. Next, pour your drained gnocchi on top of the white sauce- spreading them out in pan (again, see below).
6. Add your red sauce to the remaining white sauce still in the pan. Stir well. Sauce should be pink. Pour this sauce on top of the gnocchi in the pan. Top with the remaining cheese strings.
7. Place in oven for 5-7 minutes (or until cheese looks melted)
Serve hot! YUM We serve ours with a side of garlic bread or cheesy rolls and a side salad!
|Add butter to hot pan. Melt|
|Slowly add flour and mix well|
|Add your cream and keep cooking, stirring occasionally till thickens.|
|Add half of cheese strings to bottom of pan|
|Thickened white sauce, i sometimes add parmesan cheese here too|
|This is the gnocchi I buy in my store|
|Pour about 1/3 of the white sauce into the pan over the cheese.|
|Add your cooked gnocchi|
|Add a little red sauce and stir to make your pink sauce|
|Pour pink sauce over top of gnocchi|
|Top with rest of cheese strings (and more parmesan cheese if you wish)|
|After cooking for about 7 minutes|