Gnocchi fail with roasted garlic béchamel and tomato sauce

Exhibit A - gnocchi mush.
Exhibit A – gnocchi mush.

Typically, our weekend is planned around “what’s for dinner”, and this weekend was no exception, even with the holiday mixed in. Inspired by my latest issue of Bon Appetit and the amazing tomato sauce I had left over from class, I figured why not make gnocchi!

Well, the culinary gods had other ideas. The sauce was not the issue, it was the gnocchi that foiled the plans. It started out easy enough, but I think I may have over cooked it because it turned in to a big mush ball. See exhibit A.

Time for plan B. This dish was always about the sauces to begin with, so all I had to do was get another pot of water going and boil whatever pasta I had in the house, which turned out to be about a cup of cavatapi and some lasagna. That’s not much but it would work.

The sauces allowed me to turn a mistake into a pretty decent meal, even if it was served with a mixture of mismatched pastas. I made a roasted garlic béchamel for Terry, of which a portion was incorporated to the tomato sauce for me.

I could eat either of these sauces straight out of the pan with nothing else. It matters not that the gnocchi turned into an unusable mush ball. I still found a way to get the sauce on a plate and make something fairly edible. (PS, this béchamel sauce would also be a great base for a white pizza.)

Looking back over the recipe again, I think I was not supposed to dump all the gnocchi into a strainer but instead, put the cooked gnocchi into a pan with the sauce. Oh well! Maybe you’ll have better luck!

Should you choose to try this on your own, here are the ingredients and instructions for each component.

Gnocchi recipe from Bon Appetit can be found here.

Roasted garlic béchamel

  • 1/8 onion piquet (1/8 of an onion with a bay leaf stuffed in between layers of onion)
  • 1 pint milk
  • 1 ounce flour
  • 1 ounce clarified butter
  • 1/2 head garlic, roasted
  • 1 oz parmesan cheese
  • Salt and white pepper to taste


  • Add the onion piquet to the milk in a heavy sauce pan and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • In a separate pot, make a white roux with the flour and the butter
  • Remove the onion piquet from the milk.
  • Add the roux a little at a time until the sauce reaches a thicker consistency.
  • Continue to cook until the sauce is reduced by about a third.
  • Transfer the sauce and garlic to a food processor and pulse until garlic is well incorporated.
  • Put the sauce back on low heat, add the parmesan and stir until incorporated.
  • Sauce can be served immediately.

Tomato sauce

  • 4 oz salt pork, small dice
  • 8 oz mirepoix, medium dice
  • 16 oz crushed tomato
  • 16 oz pureed tomato
  • Sachet
  • 4 oz white stock
  • 12 oz bones
  • Salt and pepper


  • Sauté pork until fat is rendered.
  • Add mirepoix and sweat.
  • Add tomato products.
  • Add sachet, stock and bones.
  • Allow sauce to simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Sauce will naturally reduce and can be pureed and strained or served as-is.
Sad pasta with yummy roasted garlic bechamel!
Sad pasta with yummy roasted garlic bechamel!


Sad pasta with yummy tomato sauce!
Sad pasta with yummy tomato sauce!

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