Simple Saturday// Gnocchi Mac'n'Cheese

First off, food photography (or I guess photography period, gosh). Not my strong suit. I'm workin' on it. Barring my lack of awesome photography skillz, this is delicious. Baked gnocchi mac'n'cheese. I'm all about it. Mac'n'cheese is my go to comfort food and this just kicks it up a couple notches into decadent. Perfect for special days, or like if you want to have a really rad Tuesday. Zach and I made this for our Valentine's Day dinner. It was awesome.

You will need:
2-3 slices of slab bacon
1 small onion
1-2 tablespoons of butter
a few tablespoons of flour
cheese of your choice (I used smoked gouda and colby jack)
some milk
a bag or package of gnocchi (fresh or frozen, doesn't matter)
bread crumbs (optional)

1. Fill a medium sized sauce pan about half full with water and put it on to boil.

2. Shred your cheese(s). Smoked gouda is one of my favorites and colby jack melts well, but you do you.

3. Chop your bacon into bite size pieces. Place them in a dry saucepan over medium heat. As the bacon starts to render, chop your onion into bite size pieces. Add to the bacon and stir.

4. At some point during all this your water should reach a boil. When it does, dump your gnocchi in. Check the package for cooking instructions.

5.When the bacon is basically done, observe how much fat rendered in the pan. If it seems too dry, add a few tablespoons of butter. Lower the heat. Once the butter is melted, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time. Stir it into the bacon onion mixture until it disappears. Add flour until the bacon and onions stick together in a little ball. This is called a roux. It will help thicken the cheese sauce for the gnocchi. There aren't exact measurements here, you just have to go by sight.

6. Now that your roux is set, stir in a bit of milk using a wooden spoon to smooth out the roux. Again, this isn't an exact science, but you should have enough liquid to completely dissolve any clumps. It's always a better idea to start with less and add more as needed.

7. Let the milk mixture heat up for a few minutes then start to add in your shredded cheese a handful at a time. Stir to combine as you go, letting it melt pretty thoroughly between handfuls. Keep adding cheese until you're pleased with the consistency of the sauce. It should be creamy and fairly thick. (I know, I know. That's what she said. Real mature guys.)

8. Drain your gnocchi and toss in the cheese sauce. Optional: Put mixture in an oven safe glass pan, dust with breadcrumbs on top, and put it under the broiler on low for a few minutes to get a little crusty.

9. Enjoy the party your taste buds are about to have.

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