Pillow-like gnocchi made with sweet potatoes was a great foundation for some favourite tastes – the salty intensity of gorgonzola, the tang of sun-dried tomatoes, and the fresh fragrance of basil. This pan-seared gnocchi gorgonzola was a symphony of bold flavours.
If you have the time, make your own gnocchi. It’s not that difficult, and really quite fun. The results are certainly better than the bought stuff. But if time is a constraint, buy some pre-prepared refrigerated gnocchi. It is not as pillow-like, but it is still a wonderful base for some defining flavours like the gorgonzola, sun-dried tomatoes, and basil.
As the title indicates, this is pan-seared gnocchi gorgonzola. The gnocchi, after being cooked in boiling water and drained, are seared in butter and olive oil until the surface it just starting to get crisp. Biting into these, with the crisp surface and pillow like interior, is food bliss.
Update: After developing this recipe, I learned about skipping the boiling part and going straight to the searing step. It works particularly well with store-bought refrigerated gnocchi, as demonstrated in this Pan-fried gnocchi with gochujang sauce (coming soon).
The blue cheese
The blue cheese in this gnocchi with blue cheese dish is gorgonzola from Italy. Intense flavour, a little crumbly, and not too salty. Another blue cheese that works great in this context is Roquefort, probably my favourite blue cheese.
However, this dish is not just about the individual components. It is about how well they work together. The funky salty, creamy blue cheese is balanced by the slightly acidic sun-dried tomatoes and heightened by fragrant, herbaceous basil. Underlying these distinctive yet complimentary flavours is the balancing and integrating function of the gnocchi.
If gnocchi is up there on your preferred food list, highly recommended is this Gnocchi Al Forno. While sage is usually the aromatic of choice, this version uses earthy shiitake mushrooms.
Pan-seared gnocchi, gorgonzola, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and walnuts
- Prepare the gnocchi as per these instructions.
- Drain well after cooking.
- Drain the sun dried tomatoes and dice.
- Crumble the roquefort cheese.
- Finely dice the garlic.
- In a heavy pan, add the olive oil, thyme, parsley, and basil stalks.
- Sauté until fragrant. The intent is to infuse the herb flavours into the oil.
- Remove the herbs from the oil before they get crispy.
- Add the butter and diced garlic and sauté for a minute.
- Add the gnocchi and sauté for a few minutes until starting to brown.
- Add the sun dried tomatoes, walnuts, and basil, and gently combine.
- Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool a little.
- Stir in the crumbled roquefort serve with a salad.