8 cups potato gnocchi, frozen or shelf-stable
½ cup Cabot Extra Creamy Premium Unsalted Butter
⅔ cup all-purpose flour
6 cups whole milk
16 ounces Cabot Sharp or Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded (about 4 cups), plus more for topping, or use 4 cups Cabot Shredded Cheddar
1 teaspoon kosher salt, less if using fine table salt
Freshly ground pepper
¼ cup green onion, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
⅔ cup Cabot Sour Cream, *see directions
½ teaspoon paprika
Cooked bacon crumbles
Get the ingredients you need at a convenient nearby location.
PREHEAT oven to 350F (175C) with rack in the center of the oven. Oil or butter 12 individual baking dishes.
ADD water and a bit of salt to a large pot and place over high heat for cooking the gnocchi. While water is heating, prepare the cheese sauce.
For the cheese sauce:
MELT the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and continue to whisk and cook for about 2 minutes. Very slowly add the milk, a little at a time, whisking constantly. Once all the milk has been added, cook, stirring frequently until the sauce thickens, about 8-10 minutes. (Don’t rush this step. The mixture will not be thick, but will noticeably thicken after 8-10 minutes of cooking).
REMOVE the saucepan from the heat. Add the grated cheese, salt, pepper, green onion and garlic powder. Stir until the cheese is melted and all the ingredients are incorporated, about 3 minutes. (If the cheese isn’t melted completely after about 3 minutes, you can put the pan back on low heat and stir until it is melted). *Stir in sour cream or alternatively, leave out of the sauce and serve on top with the garnishes.
ADD gnocchi to boiling, salted water and cook according to the package instructions. Do not over-cook. Drain gnocchi well and stir into cheese sauce until well coated. Transfer to individual baking dishes and sprinkle with paprika. (Can be prepared up to this point, covered and refrigerated until ready to bake. If baking cold from the refrigerator, allow a few extra minutes in the oven to warm through.)
BAKE in preheated oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes cover top with a thin layer of shredded cheese. Cook under the broiler for 5 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Serve warm garnished with diced green onion, cooked bacon crumbles and chopped chives and parsley if using.
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