This post should really be entitled “Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Sauce,” but since I didn’t make the gnocchi myself, I’m just making this post about the sauce. Which, if you love any form of good blue cheese, you will love. I promise.
This Italian-inspired sauce is pretty rich, but you don’t make much of it by following this recipe. A little goes a long way.
The flavor profile is lovely, with the combination of the blue cheese, a little bit of bacon, and everything topped off with toasted pine nuts.
Keep in mind that if you don’t love blue cheese, any cheese can be substituted. Goat cheese would be incredible in this sauce. And you can always omit the bacon, although that would be a shame.
Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Sauce
4 slices, about 4 ounces, bacon, diced
1 teaspoon oil
2 small shallots, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
2/3 cup cream of choice – I used evaporated milk
Crumbled blue cheese*, about 4 ounces or less if desired
1 – 16 ounce package fresh gnocchi – these are actually mini gnocchi
Toasted pine nuts
Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the diced bacon and the oil; I used olive oil.
Turn the skillet’s heat down to medium, and cook the bacon until mostly all done. You’re not going for crispy bacon, you’re just cooking it and rendering some fat in the process. Add the shallots and garlic.
(If you prefer to sauté the shallots and garlic in olive oil and omit the bacon step, you can always throw in some prosciutto at the end, before sprinkling the gnocchi with pine nuts.)
Cook them for about a minute, then pour in the cream or milk you have chosen to use in the sauce.
Keep the heat at about medium, and cook the cream mixture for at least 5 minutes at a nice simmer.
After the liquid has reduced a little, stir in the blue cheese crumbles.
Give them a gentle stir, then remove the skillet from the heat.
Cook the gnocchi according to package directions. Mine suggested a cooking time of 1 – 2 minutes. I stopped cooking at 1 minute, because I want the gnocchi to absorb the sauce. If necessary, more cream or milk can be added if necessary.
See how beautiful these gnocchi are? They really hold their shape.
After cooking, drain the gnocchi well.
Then add the drained gnocchi to the prepared sauce.
Give everything a gentle stir, and then set the skillet aside. Have your toasted pine nuts handy.
If desired, sprinkle the gnocchi with the toasted pine nuts. The crunch is delicious with the soft gnocchi.
note: This package of mini gnocchi, which I highly recommend if you don’t make your own gnocchi, makes 4 servings as side dishes, or two generous servings as entrées. I served the gnocchi along with steak and broccoli for dinner, but they would be just as fabulous as a vegetarian meal served along side a green or tomato salad.
* I happened to have some leftover Gorgonzola on hand from Christmas, but any good Stilton or a Cambazola would work just as well. If you’re not fond of a strong blue cheese flavor, you can cut it in half with a mild cheese like a Fontina, a Chèvre, or even some cream cheese.