GNOCCHI WITH CHEESE SAUCE
2 ½ pounds (about 4) russet baking potatoes
1 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of baking powder
1 egg, beaten
1 ¼ – 1 ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoon flour
¾ cup white wine
2 cups milk
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
4 ounce cream cheese, softened
3 cups cheese, shredded or crumbled (any combination – cheddar, jack, swiss, gorgonzola, brie, American, etc…)
Parsley and parmesan for garnish
To make the gnocchi:
Pierce the potatoes several times so that the moisture can escape during baking. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 1 hour until fork tender. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop our the flesh, while they are still hot, and press them through a potato ricer. (Save the skins and top with cheese and bacon for a yummy app – don’t forget the sour cream and chives after baking!!)
Put riced potatoes in a large bowl with salt, baking powder, and egg. Add 1 cup of the flour and mix gently with a fork, folding, until the mixture begins to come together. Dust your hands with flour and turn the dough onto a floured counter. Sprinkle another ¼ cup of dough over the top and gently knead, slowly adding the remaining ¼ cup as needed until the dough forms a ball. Do not over work the dough.
Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces. Form each piece into a log and roll back and forth into a rope, about 14-15″ long. Cut each rope into 1 inch pieces.
Gently roll each 1″ piece, pressing down lightly, with a fork creating indentations that will hold the sauce. Have fun with this, they don’t have to be perfect but once you get the hang of it they will start looking more uniform.
Spread the gnocchi out on a cookie sheet, dusted with flour and separated. If you are cooking later put the tray in the freezer and then when frozen place frozen gnocchi in a plastic bag to store.
Cook in rapidly boiling salted water for about 2 or 3 minutes. They will float to the top when done. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain and place on a serving platter.
While the potatoes cook in the oven, prepare your cheese sauce. This is a great way to use up leftover cheeses in your fridge!
Melt the butter in a large sauce pan. Add the flour and whisk until bubbly. Add the white wine, milk, salt, and pepper to the pan and whisk over medium high heat until a thick sauce forms, about 3-4 minutes. Add the cream cheese and whisk until smooth. Add the remaining cheeses and continue whisking until the sauce is thick and smooth. Set aside and keep warm until gnocchi is ready.
Top gnocchi with cheese sauce and lightly toss to coat. Garnish with parsley and top with parmesan cheese.