This dish was a bit disappointing for me. I’m not a huge fan of Italian gnocchi, so making a French version wasn’t too appealing. However, I gave it a shot because the reason for joining French Fridays with Dorie was to try and make new foods!
My major stumble was the béchamel sauce. Mine ended up extremely lumpy and never came to a pourable consistency. Upon further review, I think I didn’t let the butter and flour cook long enough to get smooth. Though the recipe doesn’t say to, I used a whisk instead of a wooden spoon to cook the flour and butter. I’m not sure if that made a difference. Anyway, because the sauce was lumpy, I was unable to “spoon” a thin layer into the pan and had to “spread” a thick layer instead. I even tried to microwave the bechamel to make it more spreadable. This did not work.
I suppose since my béchamel was not right, the dish didn’t come together as planned. Upon tasting the first bite, it was apparent that the wonderful flavors of the sauce failed to soak and meld with the gnocchi during the baking process. When I ate a bowl, I felt like I was eating three separate components (melted Parmesan cheese, lumpy béchamel sauce and flavorless dumplings) instead of one cohesive dish. One highlight of the sauce was that the warmth of the nutmeg really shone through, which I enjoyed.
For some reason, I thought béchamel sauce had cheese incorporated in there, but I must be mistaken. Also, the sauce seemed to require way more babysitting that I care to give a sauce. The gnocchi themselves were easy to make. I just used my measuring teaspoon to scoop out the dough. They puffed up to about one and a half times their original size after a turn in the simmering water. I probably won’t make this recipe again. However, my sister was a little more optimistic and suggested I make this dish next time with meat or pancetta. We’ll see…
By the way, you may notice that I served the gnocchi in new bowls! Here’s another look: This is because my friend (Codename: Radio Diva) took me on a spree of Sur La Table, a store I absolutely adore! It’s so fun just to look around there, and we found several new dishes and place mats that I could use for showing my food on the blog! So, thank you very much, Radio Diva! I’ll be featuring the rest of the serving dishes you bought me on the blog very soon!
Make sure to check out other bloggers’ thoughts on this dish at French Fridays with Dorie. As usual, the recipe for this dish can be found in Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours.