Winter hasn't arrived to Kentucky yet. Instead, we're having rainy dreary weather, with a slight chill in the air, and it is enough to drive anyone batty. Nothing but rain, rain, rain. Day after day. Car pool line at school in the rain, getting kids on and off the bus in rain, inside recess--day after day. Spending half the day wet. Not ideal. Not ideal at all. We've reached the point where teachers are praying for a snow day.
All hope was placed on tomorrow since the forecast showed a few inches of snow possible tonight. And yet, as I write this I can see the snow turning to rain midair and I know that the even if the snow makes it to the ground it won't stick. At this point the best we can hope for is black ice.
So we turn to comfort food to get through these rainy dreary days with no hope of snow in sight. Nigella's Gnocchi Gratin is rich and ultimately indulgent. Plump little potato dumplings in a creamy cheesy sauce with a crispy breadcrumb topping will certainly help cure all your woes. Served in my new find, a vintage enamelware casserole pan. I just love rustic look of the worn out edges and the character it adds to the overall dish.
I'd definitely recommend this if you're in the mood to try something different. The flavors of this dish are very reminiscent to a potato au gratin and for good reason. Similar ingredients. Different consistency. You really can't go wrong here. I think everyone is a sucker for those little plump potato dumplings, especially when tossed in a cheesy sauce. This would be wonderful served with a roast of some sort and also just as good served on it's own with a salad. Of course it would be even better served on a snowy day! One can only dream!
Adapted from Chatelaine.com
by Nigella Lawson
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper, to taste
454g pkg fresh or frozen gnocchi
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
Position oven racks in top third and center of oven. Preheat to 400F.
Whisk mascarpone with milk in a shallow oven safe saucepan (wide enough to hold gnocchi in a single layer) and set over medium. When mixture starts to bubble, 1 to 2 minutes, turn off heat. Add 1/4 cup parmesan and whisk until it melts.
Grind black pepper and nutmeg over cheese mixture. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.
Cook gnocchi in a medium pot according to pkg. directions, about 2 minutes for fresh or 12 minutes for frozen. Drain gnocchi and stir into cheese mixture until coated. Spread out into an even layer.
Stir remaining parmesan with bread crumbs and sprinkle over gnocchi.
Bake in center of oven until bubbly, about 15 minutes. Adjust heat to broil. Broil in top third of oven until top turns dark golden, about 2 minutes. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.
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