If you don’t like gorgonzola, just stop reading now. I won’t take it personally. If you do like gorgonzola, this might be one of the best things you have ever tried. When I was living in Florence, my favorite hole in the wall neighborhood restaurant made the best gnocchi I have ever had. Every time we went to dinner there, I already knew I was going to have the gnocchi, but I was always faced with an impossible decision; gnocchi with walnut pesto or gnocchi with gorgonzola. It was like the Sophie’s Choice of pasta sauces. One evening I was expressing my dilemma to my favorite waiter, he walked away with our order before I had made my decision and when he returned with our meal, my gnocchi had both walnut and gorgonzola sauce. My mind just could not comprehend what it was seeing on my plate. Then I took my first bite and all was right with the world.
For some reason I remembered this magical gnocchi the other day and decided I must attempt to make it. This is not an exact replica of the recipe, but pretty close. In the original, the walnut part of the sauce was more of a pesto, blended and smooth. I was in a hurry to watch The Real Housewives of Orange County, so making pesto just wasn’t going to happen. Priorities, I have them. The chopped walnuts did give a nice texture to the whole meal though. Gnocchi with a cheese/pesto sauce could be kinda boring texture-wise, especially since the gnocchi was kinda chewy. My onions kinda, sorta got a little browner than they should have, so the sauce is a bit darker, but it had no impact on the taste.
Now, true confessions time. I totally didn’t make this gnocchi, just the sauce. The other day while I was walking about Whole Foods, I saw a gluten-free sign on their fresh pasta case. Gnocchi is pretty much the only pasta I like, since it usually potato/not wheat based, so this definitely caught my interest. Pre-made gnocchi also helped make a quick meal. From onion chopping to plating, all this took about 15 minutes. Unfortunately, the gnocchi wasn’t amazing. It was pretty good, but kinda sticky and chewy. I definitely preferred my homemade attempts, but in a pinch this could do.
Gnocchi with Gorgonzola and Walnut Sauce
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- ⅓ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 4½ ounces (125 g) Gorgonzola cheese
- 1 package fresh or frozen gnocchi
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the onion, and cook gently for about 5 minutes until soft. Now add the walnuts, and cook for another couple of minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in the flour, then add a little milk. Return to the heat, and add the remaining milk, stirring constantly for 4-6 minutes until the sauce thickens.
- Remove from the heat again, and stir in the Gorgonzola. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a separate saucepan, cook the gnocchi as the package directs. Drain well. Add to the sauce, stirring gently to coat.