Oh my gosh, this could be one of my most favorite Secret Recipe Club recipes ever! This lovely recipe comes courtesy of Nicola from the Lemon and Cheese blog. First of all, let's chat about this name. I love it! I'm really into lemon and as you all know, I'm about that cheese life. Well, it turns out that Nicola is also down to hang out with lemon and cheese, which is why she used them in her blog name! That's one smart lady (aka - I wish I had thought of that!). Nicola is also a librarian in London (where I'm going next month on vacation! Woohoo!) and I find it super interesting to see what people in other parts of the world are eating!
I perused several recipes on Nicola's site and was really keen on making the Salsa Verde Quinoa Bake, Squash Sausage and Chard Pasta, and the Crab Macaroni and Cheese (Let me tell you that this one was STRONG contender and I would have made it as well if this past month wasn't so busy!). However, I finally settled on the Squash Gnocchi, Sausage and Kale Bake. I've been trying to incorporate more vegetables into my food recently. I also haven't made anything with gnocchi in a while and I thought that now would be an excellent time to revisit this tasty treat.
Though I have made homemade gnocchi before, this time I went the store-bought route to save me a little time. I figured that was acceptable since we are basically making a CHEESE SAUCE -- yes, that needs to be said in capital letters -- to pour on top of the gnocchi and the other ingredients. This sauce was everything! I definitely recommend making it an drizzling it over everything within reach. It's truly that good. Whip everything together, top with even more cheese, and bake until you have the most perfect lunch or dinner combination. Nicola, you have outdone yourself!
Gnocchi, Sausage & Kale Bake
slightly adapted from Lemon and Cheese
- 1 cup gnocchi or squash gnocchi
- 3 andouille sausage links, sliced (6 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, for sauteing kale
- 1/2 bunch kale, tough stems removed and leaves chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons pesto
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an ovenproof dish with butter or cooking spray. Set aside.
2) Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the gnocchi according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
3) Drizzle the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the kale and cook for 5 minutes, or until wilted.
4) Add the sausage into the frying pan and allow to cook until warmed through.
5) In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and stir in the garlic. Allow to cook for about 1 minute, or until lightly golden.
6) Whisk in the flour until the mixture thickens.
7) Gradually pour in the milk while continuing to whisk.
8) Stir in the pesto and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Stir until the cheese mixture is smooth. Add in the salt and black pepper, to taste.
9) Add the gnocchi, sausage, and kale to the cheese sauce and stir everything together to combine.
10) Pour the gnocchi into the prepared dish sprinkle with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle black pepper on top of the cheese.
11) Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
12) Remove the foil and bake for 5 minutes longer or until the cheese is lightly golden brown. Serve warm.