Gnocchi is one of them ‘tings where you when you crave them, you REALLY crave them however after you have say more than 3 bites you’re stuffed. How can something so beautiful and innocent just fill you up in an instant? Gnocchi is one of those foods that I don’t make often, not because I don’t love them as I do, but because they last me for days because they fill me up so fast. I’m not complaining as it’s total comfort food. But for me, gnocchi I see as a side dish; like a prequel to dinner. Gnocchi is one of those dishes that I love to see at a pot-luck dinner as it’s a great way to have just a bite or two and be totally content.
So the other day I got in one of those moods … I NEEDED gnocchi. Like bad! Now normally I’d make my own but for the life of me I can’t find my gnocchi board. Yes I know you can use the tines of a fork but it’s not the same. Plus also I wasn’t feeling too hot (Mr. Fantabulous was oh-so-generous in sharing his cold/bronchitis with me) that I really wasn’t up for cooking. However we need to eat. Now if I left it up to him I’d get Ramen noodles and pasta… at the same time. Um yeah, no. I’m not in college any more and I can’t do pasta every day. This came together pretty quickly and the end result was something totally comforting that lasted us a few days which meant I could rest a spell.
This dish was uber creamy and just so comforting. It was one of those dishes where it filled you up and just hugged from the inside. I needed cheesy, creamy, comforting, meaty and just well, filling. Plus I wanted something that I didn’t have to worry about making another dish later on since we were both under the weather. This is definitely enough for a family of 4 with a nice salad and maybe some bread but for just the 2 of us, this was great as lunch leftovers for me for a few days.
Now people are finicky when it comes to arugula. I think in general most people like it however if you’ve ever had ‘bitter’ arugula then you may shy away. The trick to buying arugula is to buy the baby arugula. It’s more sweet and tender. It still has that pepper taste (that I love) but it’s milder, less bitter.
Trust me if you’re not sure if you’ve had bitter arugula then you probably haven’t as, like bitter beer, you’d remember.
So since Mother Nature is still pretty ticked off with the East Coast as of late, why not just enjoy some creamy cheesy yummy stick to your ribs comfort food! I’m thinking this, nice glass of wine, some jazz in the background. Ohhhhhhhh…. some warm crusty french bread too!
And just so you know, this reheats beautifully! This also freezes great! Just allow to cool, double wrap with plastic wrap, then foil. When ready to eat, thaw, uncover and reheat in a 350F oven for 20-30 minutes. So you could easily make a double batch of this and have one for dinner and freeze the other.
One last thing… if you really, really, really don’t like arugula you could easily put in fresh spinach in its place. So if you wanna get your Popeye muscles on, go for the spinach *wink*.Print
- 1 pound gnocchi
- 2 Tbl butter
- 2 Tbl flour
- 1 1/2 cups half and half
- 2 cups grated parmesan
- 1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
- 1 cup ricotta
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1 cup sliced provolone
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp parsley
- 4 pre-cooked chicken sausages, sliced into 1/2” pieces
- 3 cups baby arugula
- Cook the gnocchi according to package directions.
- Drain and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Butter a 4qt casserole pan.
- To make the sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until bubbling.
- Whisk in the flour until combined and cook for 1 minute.
- Slowly add in the half and half whisking constantly to avoid getting lumps.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes whisking often.
- Add in 1 cup of the parmesan cheese, nutmeg, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 pepper.
- Reduce the heat to low and continue whisking, until smooth.
- Once the sauce reaches your desired thickness, remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl mix together the ricotta, mozzarella, 1/2 cup parmesan, salt, pepper and parsley.
- Add in the hot gnocchi, sausage slices, arugula and mix.
- Add in the cream sauce and gently combine.
- Place the casserole dish on a pan to catch any dripping.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- Uncover, top with the sliced provolone and remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan and bake for another 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.