Gnocchi with Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce

By Kathleen

Gnocchi with Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce

Paul discovered a heretofore unknown passion for gnocchi a year ago at dinner with friends. Ever since, he’s always on the hunt for perfect potato gnocchi. I can take or leave gnocchi. Growing up, my mother called them “belly bombs” and they weren’t a food any of my Italian family cooked. My memories of eating most restaurant gnocchi conjure an abdominal sensation similar to stuffing a sock full of ball bearings.

But knowing Paul’s fondness for gnocchi, we continue to search for quality store bought options, until the day I try my hand at making it on my own. On a stop to D.C.’s quintessential Italian market, A. Literri, we loaded our basket with various brands of gnocchi, curious to see which ones would prove to be light, pillowy sauce conveyances and which would be thick, gummy leaden lumps.

Whether good gnocchi or bad, this cream sauce hides a multitude of sins, as it wraps itself silkily around each piece with its cheesy, garlicky embrace. This cream sauce would hold up equally well over tortellini or other pasta, and we’ve found wilting baby spinach in the extra sauce is a perfect side dish.

Gnocchi with Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce

  • Servings: 4 normal people or 2 of us
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A hearty, creamy, and slightly spicy gnocchi dish.


  • 1 lb gnocchi
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 3/4-1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4-1 cup half and half
  • Salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste


  1. Boil water and time your gnocchi cook time to coincide with the 15-20 minutes it will take to make the cream sauce.
  2. In a large sauce pan, melt butter and sauté minced garlic till fragrant over medium high heat.
  3. Add flour and cook 2-4 minutes until incorporated and the flour taste has been cooked out. Stir occasionally and make sure not to let the roux become darker than a light blonde.
  4. Add dried herbs and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Add chicken stock and cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Add Parmesan cheese, stir until blended.
  7. Add half and half, season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste.
  8. Cook until creamy and thickened. If too thick, add more stock or half and half.
  9. Drain gnocchi and add to sauce, coat thoroughly.
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