Gnocchi with Creamy Blue Cheese a Recipe of Love

Homemade Gnocchi is delicious, satisfying, inexpensive and it’s relatively easy to make, but that’s not the reason I love it. Rolling out Gnocchi reminds me of two beautiful, intelligent, highly capable, caring, warm hearted women, I respect and love greatly, my Moms.

In 2012, my now Husband brought me home to Italy for the first time. During this trip Bello’s Mom, the women I now call Mamma, taught me how to make the lightest, fluffiest Gnocchi I had ever had.

At the time we could barely speak to each other due to a language barrier. Darn you Tower of Babel! Thankfully, food and love translate all languages and Mamma patiently demonstrated how she made the best Gnocchi on the planet. After boiling the potatoes, running them through a potato ricer and adding just the right amount of flour, Mamma began rolling out the Gnocchi into rope like lines.

At that moment I smiled, because this part, the rolling of the dough into a rope, this part was familiar to me, from of all places, MY Mom a proud Norwegian American. I grew up making a traditional Norwegian pastry called Kringla that requires rolling spoonfuls of dough into a rope, then twisting it into the shape of a pretzel.  Oh lord, I need to share that recipe, it’s addictive! Anyway, back to the tale of Gnocchi at hand.

When it came time for me to help Mamma roll out the Gnocchi, I was ready. I stepped over and expertly rolled out a perfect rope and Mamma said… well something in Italian, and started excitedly pointing out my handy work to Papà and Bello. I didn’t have to speak Italian to get the gist of her excitement. It takes a lot of Kringla or in Mamma’s case Gnocchi practice to make rolling dough into a rope look so effortless.

Thankfully this was a gift my Mom gave me young and so from that day forth, each time I make Gnocchi, it reminds me of my Moms, both of them, and all the great times we’ve shared in the kitchen together.

Gnocchi with Creamy Blue Cheese

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Gnocchi Ingredients:

  • 1 Pound of Gold Potatoes
  • 3/4 to 1 Cup of Flour (plus a little more for your rolling surface and hands). If you have Cake Flour it makes the dough even lighter but good old all purpose works just fine.

Uhmm… yeah that’s it’s for your Gnocchi. Really!

Blue Cheese Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons of Butter
  • 2 Cups of a GOOD Buttermilk Blue Cheese or Gorgonzola crumbled (don’t skimp here, cheap Blue Cheeses do not melt well.)
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream

Instructions:

  1. Boil potatoes till done (slide off fork easily.)
  2. Drain and let cool enough to handle
  3. While cooling, prepare a baking sheet with a little extra flour to hold your Gnocchi once it’s rolled and cut
  4. Run boiled potatoes through a Ricer, discard skins

    Potatoes Riced for Gnocchi
    Potatoes Riced for Gnocchi
  5. Add half your flour and stir with a fork
  6. Mix in as much of the remaining flour in large spoonfuls as necessary by hand (this allows you to feel the dough and add just enough flour till it stops sticking to your hand.)
  7. Roll into a ball and section into 3 or 4 segments
  8. Using light pressure begin rolling one portion of dough back and forth with both hands on a lightly floured surface. Slowly increase your pressure and move both hands out from each other. With a little patience and some more rolling your dough will begin to form a rope and lengthen. Roll until the rope is about 1 inch thick.

    Hand Rolling Gnocchi
    Hand Rolling Gnocchi
  9. Cut the rope of dough into 1 inch segments
  10. If you’re in a hurry, toss cut segments carefully onto your floured baking sheet so you can move on to the rest of the dough. I recommend, if you’re not in a rush to roll each segment down a fork across the tines to get those classic Gnocchi grooves that give your sauce something to stick in. Sure there are fancy boards at cookery stores for this, but really, why? A fork does just fine.

    How Gnocchi Gets Its Grooves
    How Gnocchi Gets Its Grooves
  11. Once you get all the Gnocchi rolled, sliced and grooved, it’s time to get a large pot of salted water boiling
  12. Start your sauce: Melt butter over a low heat
  13. Add the crumbled or cut up Blue Cheese

    Blue Cheese Sauce Started
    Blue Cheese Sauce Started
  14. Add 1/4 cup of heavy cream and allow the cheese to SLOWLY melt over a low heat.
  15. As the cheese melts, slowly add in each remaining 1/4 cup of heavy cream. Cheeses vary so much that it’s nice to prep this one slow enough to allow your own preference in creamy vs a thick sauce.

    I'm Melting Blue Cheese!
    I’m Melting Blue Cheese!
  16. When nearly all of the cheese has melted turn the burner down on both the sauce and your boiling water. Fresh Gnocchi needs a low boil, too high and it will fall apart.
  17. Carefully add your Gnocchi to the boiling salted water, ensuring you leave extra flour behind on your baking dish.
  18. Once the Gnocchi float to the top of the water, they are done. Remove with a slotted spoon draining as you go and place into your sauce to incorporate.

    Hello Gnocchi, Meet Blue Cheese
    Hello Gnocchi, Meet Blue Cheese
  19. Salt and Pepper to taste and if you like, for color add a little garnish of basil or parsley after plating.
    Gnocchi With Creamy Blue Cheese
    Gnocchi With Creamy Blue Cheese

TIPS:

The secret to making Gnocchi light, is skipping the eggs and handling the dough as little as possible, both of which weigh Gnocchi down. Most recipes call for starchy potatoes like russets but I follow my Mamma and use golden because they just taste so good.  Get a feel for the dough, mix in just enough flour to where it’s no longer clinging to your hands as you work with it. Make sure to use a low boil and have fun with how you use your Gnocchi, from Brown Butter Sage to In-Season Tomatoes sautéed with olive oil and Basil, you can hardly go wrong.

It might take a few trials but I promise it’s worth it in the long run. Just think how inexpensive the ingredients are and how often you have them in your pantry!

There is a bonding that happens with women in the kitchen and it’s a tradition as old as man. Even if you can’t speak the same language, you can share the work and feel good knowing you love, care and provide for your family in a way no restaurant can, that’s homemade.

Mom and Mamma
Mom and Mamma with my Nephew Shawn

 

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11 Comments Add yours

  1. Made in Rome says:

    Nothing like homemade gnocchi! I make a similar gnocchi with sage and gorgonzola. Can’t wait until summer so that I can hit gnocchi with fresh tomato sauce! Great post!

    Like

    1. Thank you, checked out your blog and it’s beautiful! Inspired by your Shakshuka post, excited to try it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Amber Theriault says:

    This just brought a tear to my eye and filled my heart with joy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what support from a loving Big Sis looks like, thanks Bud. Love you

      Like

    2. That’s what Homemade does right! Sharing the love.

      Like

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