Gnocchi Mac and Cheese

This is a great side dish for steak or grilled pork chops.


2-16 oz. packages potato gnocchi
1/4 cup plus 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 Tablespoons butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
2 1/2 cups milk
2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
4 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz. extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese, grated

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan.  Add both packages of gnocchi and 1/4 cup salt.  Boil for 3 minutes or until gnocchi float.  Drain.  Melt butter in the large saucepan over medium heat.  Add shallots, and sauté for 30 seconds or until fragrant.  Add flour and chopped thyme, and cook, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture is golden brown and smooth.  Gradually whisk in milk, increase heat to high.  Bring mixture to a boil, whisking occasionally.  Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until slightly thickened and mixture coats back of spoon.  Stir in mustard and hot sauce.  Remove from heat.  Add cheeses, and stir until melted.  Stir in gnocchi and remaining 2 1/2 teaspoon salt, and transfer to a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 11″ x 7″ baking dish.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until gnocchi is puffed and sauce is golden and bubbly.  Increase oven temperate to broil and bake for 2 minutes more or until slightly browned.  Let stand for 5 minutes and serve.

Yield:  8 servings

Recipe from Southern Living Magazine