Killer GNOCCHI and cheese

The classic maccharoni and cheese with a new twist! A dish my family enjoys this weekend. It’s a simple pasta recipe, that comes fresh from the oven to your table.

I like it with a huge load of fresh baby leaves and tomato salad with balsamic cream and a few stripes of grano padano (or parmesan) on top!
Here’s the recipe if  you want to give it a try. It takes a little time.
You’ll need (serves 4)

1.2 kgs fresh gnocchi (supermarket fridge quality is fine)
1 litre whole organic milk
2 tablespoons plain flour
2-3 tablespoons butter (good quality)
250 grams parmesan or grano padano cheese (or other hard cheese)
1 whole fresh garlic – violet type if you can find it (I use half of it)
handful of fresh herbs, I mix half thyme, half oregano
(for the salad see end of recipe)

Let’s get started.
First you cut your garlic into little pieces – don’t be afraid to use too much, the long cooking process will soften the taste.
Heat a medium sized pot, add butter and garlic. Let the garlic caramelise o  medium heat. Then add the flour, stir well and add milk bit by bit.
Now put it on low temperature and season to taste with black pepper and salt.

Bring a big pot of water to boil and cook youf gnocchi according to the package instructions.  (Usually 2-4mins or until swimming on the surface).
The gnocchi can go straight into an oven dish (a big one to hold all of it or 4 little ones to make portions).

Preheat the oven (to about 180ºC).

Now use half of the cheese and mix with the milk sauce ( it will be runny but will get thicker in the oven). Cut the herbs. I add most of them to the sauce & keep some for serving. Pour the milk-cheese-mixture over the gnocchi slice the rest of the cheese on top.

Now pop in the oven until yellow-golden and creamy. (About 15mins)

Add a few herbs for serving on each plate & serve with a big salad!
My favourite goes with lots of fresh herbs, beetroot slices, tomatoes, fresh bell pepper and leafy salads as baby spinach, rocket and lambs lettuce. Add a simple olive oil and lemon seasoning with sea salt and black pepper. For a special taste I add balsamico cream and some extra hard cheese slices on top!
I love eating this kind of salad on his own with a little fresh bread a the side.