Morel Gnocchi Mac and Cheese
A true comfort food; the Morel Gnocchi Mac and Cheese is fabulous for those cool, rainy spring days. This isn’t a true mac and cheese because gnocchi is actually potato instead of a pasta, but I don’t believe you will never go back to pasta after having gnocchi. It has a great texture and density to it. It is perfect for a recipe like this. Today, we used mini gnocchi because it is closer to the size of traditional macaroni noodles and was better suited to a “mac and cheese.”
What are Morel Mushrooms?
Morels are a gourmet mushroom that grows wild in many parts of the country. We find them around Minnesota in April and May when the temperature rises above 50 degrees. They have a unique earthy, but delicate, flavor. The morel season is only a few weeks long. Field and Stream has a great beginners guide to finding morels. When it comes to mushrooms, don’t forget the rule: “If you aren’t sure it’s ok, throw it away.”
A gourmet comfort food with fresh wild mushrooms and rich, creamy sauce.
10 minPrep Time
40 minCook Time
50 minTotal Time
Yields 8-10 servings
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tbsp parsley
- 2 boxes gnocchi
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 1/4 cups whole milk
- 5/8 cup parmesan cheese (split in two)
- 1.5 cups swiss
- 1 cup white cheddar
- Detailed instructions with images on the blog.
- Boil Gnocchi until al dente. Set aside.
- In a large pot, slice Morels and fry them with the butter and garlic until melted.
- Add flour and whisk until browned.
- Add whole milk and stir on low until it thickens.
- Add the white cheddar, swiss and half of the parmesan cheese. Stir occasionally to melt and mix.
- In a separate bowl, make the crust by combining the other half of the parmesan cheese and parsley.
- Scoop the mac and cheese into small bakable dishes, sprinkle on the crust and broil until golden brown.
Cooking the Gnocchi
Gnocchi is cool to watch cook. You can buy it frozen or from the pasta aisle in your grocery store, or buy it on Amazon here: Gnocchi
It is best to cook the gnocchi al dente. Start by boiling a pot of water. When it becomes a rolling boil, dump in the gnocchi. After a couple of minutes, it will start to float to the surface. When it floats to the top, it is cooked.
Once you are satisfied that half or more of the gnocchi have floated to the top, strain them in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop it from cooking any further.
Making the Cheese:
While the gnocchi is cooking, melt the butter in a saucepan with the morels and garlic. This will pull out some of the flavors of the morels for the whole dish and will give the morels a nice texture.
When the butter is melted, add flour and whisk on low heat for a few minutes until it is combined. Don’t let it burn! But, do let it brown. Browned butter and flour creates an amazing taste.
Add the milk and stir over medium heat for five to ten minutes until the sauce starts to thicken. Then combine the white cheddar, swiss and half the parmesan cheeses. Reserve the other half of the parmesan for the crust. Stir continuously until all the cheese is melted and the mixture does not clump. Add the salt and white pepper as well.
Making the crust:
Combine parsley and the rest of the parmesan in a food processor. Once minced, it is ready and you can set it aside.
Making the Morel Gnocchi Mac and Cheese
Now that all the ingredients are made, it’s time to make the mac and cheese. Simply pour the gnocchi into the sauce, heat, and mix well.
When fully mixed, scoop out the mac and cheese into ramekin dishes or small cast iron pans. Sprinkle the crust on top and broil until the top is melted and browned. This will give the dish a great texture.