Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi Baked in Gorgonzola Sauce


Watch this bubble around the edges as you take it out of your oven for dinner tonight. Homemade ricotta gnocchi smothered in a rich, creamy gorgonzola sauce and topped with ooey gooey mozzarella cheese. Oh ... and did I mention that it only took me 30 minutes to prepare? :-)

We've been having such a beautiful spring for the last few weeks, that we've been taking advantage of it and grilling almost every evening. Last Thursday, my husband left work early and picked up some pork chops and sausages. I usually make a creamy potato salad to go with the grilled meat, but this time I felt that the weather was still cool enough to turn on the oven. I looked in the fridge, pulled out some ingredients, and came up with this simple, yet delectable side dish.

Ooooohhhhh ... was it ever yummy!

I had been wanting to make this for quite some time and it just seemed perfect to pair it up with those grilled pork chops. The gnocchi were easy to make but I wasn't sure whether to add mascarpone or cream cheese to the creamy Gorgonzola. I still had some time to think about it while I made the gnocchi. 

The dough came together very quickly. I did a 1:1 volume ratio of ricotta to flour and the dough was very easy to work with. I didn't need to use extra flour for dusting. The dough didn't stick to my fingers or the working surface, as I rolled it out and cut into pieces.

You can leave the gnocchi as is (which look like tiny pillows) or you can roll them on a fork, like I did above. However, this step can be skipped because the sauce will automatically cling to the gnocchi as it bakes for several minutes in the oven. 

One thing I would like to point out is that the gnocchi had more of a bite to them because of the higher amount of flour. To make them tender, I boiled them an extra 2-3 minutes after they floated to the top of the water, and waited till they were cooked through (the doughy look was gone). This made for a much lighter and softer dumpling.

As I heated a pot of water to a boil, it was time to make the Gorgonzola sauce. Since I was already using a creamy Gorgonzola, I decided to go with the cream cheese instead of the mascarpone. There are times that I make this sauce with garlic, white wine and/or lemon juice, but here I opted for the pure taste of Gorgonzola. The addition of cream cheese gave the sauce a nice tanginess and married well with the Gorgonzola.  

And now the fun part begins! Layer on top of layer of yummy goodness!

Spread the gnocchi in a single layer in a glass or ceramic baking dish, then add the luscious gorgonzola sauce, and top with shredded mozzarella. Broil until the cheese is melted and it is bubbly around the edges. Let it stand for a few minutes till the bubbling subsides and then gorge, devour, enjoy. :-) 

I tell ya ... this is pure heaven for Gorgonzola lovers! Simple ingredients, yet elegant enough to impress. 

PS: My husband's Canon SLR camera broke about a month ago, so I have been using my Nikon point-and-shoot camera for food photography. It doesn't take the best pictures under low lighting, but you can still visualize the "deliciousness" of this wonderful dish! Please give it a try and let me how it turns out by leaving a comment below. :-)

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HOMEMADE RICOTTA GNOCCHI BAKED IN GORGONZOLA SAUCE
(From the Kitchen of For the Love of Italian Cooking)

Gnocchi:
  • 1 cup (250 g) ricotta (any liquid should be strained)
  • 1 cup (140 g) all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
Sauce:
  • 5 oz (150 g) soft, creamy Gorgonzola
  • 6 oz (175 g) cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) cream
  • dash of nutmeg
  • small pinch of salt
Topping:
  • 3.5 oz (100 g) shredded mozzarella
Instructions:
  1. In a medium bowl, mix the first three ingredients for gnocchi with a fork until dough comes together. Transfer to an unfloured surface and knead until smooth, about 1 or 2 minutes (don't worry about over kneading ... the dough won't turn rubbery). Roll into a 6" or 8" (15-20 cm) log and slice into 4 equal pieces. Keep one piece out and cover the rest under the bowl that you used to mix. Roll dough into a thin rope, about 1/2" (1 cm) to 3/4" (2 cm) thick in diameter (length is not important), and cut into 1" (2.5 cm) pieces. You can leave the gnocchi as is (which look like tiny pillows), or you can press each one with your thumb onto the tongs of a fork, and roll down to create the groove in the back. Repeat this procedure for the remainder 3 pieces of dough under the bowl. You can put the finished gnocchi on one or two dinner plates without flouring. They won't stick together. Set aside while heating the oven and making the sauce.
  2. Set oven to broil setting and move the rack to just below the broiler. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. In the meantime, make the sauce.
  3. In a small or medium pot, heat Gorgonzola, cream cheese, and cream over medium heat until well blended and heated through (don't bring to a boil and make sure to stir occasionally). Season with a dash of nutmeg (no more ... it shouldn't overpower the Gorgonzola) and a small pinch of salt. Set aside.
  4. Once water is boiling, add half the gnocchi. Wait till they float to the top and let them cook for another 2-3 minutes until they look puffy and don't have the doughy look anymore. Remove with a slotted spoon into a bowl and cook the second batch of gnocchi.
  5. In a ceramic baking or quiche dish, spread 1 tablespoon of olive oil at the bottom so the gnocchi don't stick when they are broiled in the oven. Tip gnocchi into prepared dish and gently shake back and forth until gnocchi are in a single layer. Spoon Gorgonzola sauce over the top making sure to cover every gnoccho and tip with shredded mozzarella. Broil in oven until cheese is melted, golden brown and bubbly. Serve immediately.
SERVES 2 HUNGRY PEOPLE OR MAKES 4 SIDE DISHES

(Recipe developed by me)



In cucina con amore,
Rosa

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Rosa G.
Hamburg, Germany
Hi! My name is Rosa and welcome to my blog! I'm a fun loving, most-of-the-time stressed mother of three small boys, and a former cubicle dweller turned pastry chef. I am an amateur blogger and food photographer and lover of good Italian food. My food is simple, fresh, and seasonal (with an occasional frozen pizza).