It's easy enough to make pasta, as demonstrated (hopefully) in my first set of posts. And the great thing about pasta is that you can experiment to your heart's content with the sauce. You can go from something light like an oil and garlic sauce to the decadent richness of an Alfredo or vodka sauce. But what we have here is the pinnacle of decadent. So decadent, in fact, that we're going beyond pasta into the lovely terrain of gnocchi.
Gnocchi is a potato dumpling of sorts, about 1 inch long. You can find it in supermarkets in the pasta section. It cooks in mere minutes and is about as substantial a base for sauce as you can find. You can also make it at home with different ingredients than potatoes (Me or my girlfriend are going to make sweet potato gnocchi at some point).
Here's what it looks like:
Gnocchi is the kind of stick-to-ribs food that would be great after a day in the snow (or an hour shovelling the driveway), especially when you top it with a Gorgonzola-cream sauce. Be warned, this is the opposite of diet food!
Potato Gnocchi w/Gorgonzola-Cream Sauce
1 package potato gnocchi (about 500 grams)
1 tbsp unsalted butter or olive oil
1 small onion, cut in half and sliced thin
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup whipping or table cream
1/2 cup 2%, 1% or skim milk
100 g (approx) Gorgonzola or other blue cheese (the original recipe calls for Stilton, but that can overpower the palette)
2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
In a fairly large pot, bring salted water to boil.
While water is heating to a boil, in a saucepan, melt butter/heat oil (you're using the butter/oil to sauté the garlic and onions, so it's up to you which one you want to use, both are tasty, olive oil is probably better for you).
Sauté onions and garlic until they start to turn golden brown, about 6-8 minutes on medium-high heat.
Add cream and milk and bring to a boil. Be careful when bringing to a boil as the cream/milk mixture will bubble over very quickly making a total mess. Reduce heat to low (2-3) as soon as it boils. Let sauce simmer and reduce a bit (3 minutes or so)
Add cheese a little at a time, stirring constantly, until all cheese has melted into sauce.
Add thyme, rosemary and pepper. Reduce heat to minimum.
Back to the water: once boiling, add gnocchi, stirring to separate each piece. Boil for about 3 minutes. Gnocchi will be ready when it floats to to the top of the pot.
Empty gnocchi into a strainer and drain water. Put gnocchi back into pot.
Pour sauce into pot with gnocchi and mix well.
Serve in bowls with good bread to soak up sauce, a salad, and your favourite wine.