I know this isn't the greatest picture but we have made this dish three times, in the past two months, and each time we got caught up in the moment of entertaining and forgot to take a picture.
It started when we had a holiday gathering at the beginning of December. We served the gnocchi gratin as an appetizer and it was a hit. I have dubbed it "adult gnocchi and cheese". It's better than your best macaroni and cheese. The gnocchi were light and the mixture of gorgonzola, cream, rosemary and fresh ginger bring a complexity to the dish that is truly delicious.
We decided to serve it as a first plate on Christmas Eve. We normally make stuffed shells but decided that the gnocchi gratin was so good we would make it for our family. Once again, people went crazy. Tangy Gorgonzola, hints of rosemary and ginger and the homemade gnocchi melted in your mouth. The dish is rich but it begs for seconds and sometimes thirds.
Finally, we celebrated our office holiday party in January and as people were helping themselves I remembered to take a picture. As you can tell, this was a roasting pan full of Gnocchi Gratin with Gorgonzola Dolce, a double recipe. Oh, just so good.
So, now for the hard part...yes, this does take time to make. You have to boil and rice the potatoes. Combine the potatoes with flour and eggs, then roll, cut and score the gnocchi with a fork. The cream needs to be heated and left for 30 minutes so it can absorb the rosemary and fresh ginger. The gnocchi are cooked in small batches, tossed with butter and when you are finished, it is mixed with the cream, gorgonzola, and a topping of butter, Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.
I would say, from boiling potatoes to taking the gratin out of the oven, probably 4 hours. But you must remember, it didn't stop us, we've made it three times. If we could we would make it for the Super Bowl game. The problem - everyone who is coming to our house has tried it! It definitely falls into the category of amazing comfort food. I do know we will make it again before the winter ends, probably a great appetizer for my "cousins gathering" in March. Just think...a new group of people who haven't tried this amazing dish.
(Adapated from Bon Appetit, December 2012, Gnocchi Gratin with Gorgonzola Dolce)
1 pound of russet potatoes
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
6 ounces of Parmesan, finely grated, divided
1 cup of all-purpose flour (plus more)
1 teaspoon of kosher salt (plus more)
1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup of heavy cream
1 sprig of rosemary
1 1/4"-thick slice of fresh ginger
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) of butter, room temperature, divided (plus more)
3 tablespoons of fine dried breadcrumbs
4 ounces of Gorgonzola or other mild blue cheese
1. Place potatoes in a large pot. Add water to cover by 1”; bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until tender, 25–30 minutes. Drain; set aside and let cool slightly.
2. Peel potatoes. Pass through ricer or a food mill or sieve, into a large bowl. Whisk egg and egg yolk in a small bowl to blend. Add egg mixture, 1/3 cup Parmesan, 1 cup flour, 1 tsp. salt, and nutmeg to potatoes. Using your hands, gently mix to form a soft but not sticky dough. Transfer dough to a floured surface. Gather into a ball, then divide into 4 pieces.
3. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; dust with flour. Working with 1 piece at a time (keep other pieces covered with a damp kitchen towel), roll dough into a 24”-long rope. Cut crosswise into 1” pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time, press lightly on gnocchi with the back of the tines of a fork and gently roll gnocchi to create ridges on 1 side. Place on prepared baking sheet and lightly dust with flour. DO AHEAD: Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Cover and chill remaining grated cheese.
4. Preheat oven to 375°. 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 1-2 tablespoons of butter.
Cream Sauce and Topping:
1. While the potatoes are boiling. Bring cream, rosemary, and ginger to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat; cover and let steep for 30 minutes. Set aside.
2. Mix 3 Tbsp. Parmesan, remaining 1 Tbsp. butter, and breadcrumbs in a small bowl.
Gnocchi, Cream and Gorgonzola:
1. 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.
2. Bake until the filling is bubbling and the topping is browned, 25–30 minutes.