When it comes to entertaining, I tend to overcommit, inviting people over at the start of the week for a Friday night, several course dinner party, and by Friday at 5 PM, I'm always on the brink of canceling. I love hanging out with my friends, but sometimes the pressure to entertain to a certain standard can leave me so stressed that it overrides the joy I feel hosting my friends. *Enter, this recipe.*
In a recent effort to read more biographies, I picked up The Apprentice, the biography of French chef Jacques Pépin's life. Considered to be "the greatest chef in America" by Julia Child, Jacques Pépin changed the culinary world time and time again. Between stories, the book shares some of his go-to recipes and meals from years spent in both France and the States. When I came across his Gnocchi à la Romaine, a dish he used to make at the Plaza Athénée, I immediately rushed to the store to buy the ingredients to make it.
French gnocchi, unlike most others, doesn't use a stovetop at all. Instead, it's baked and broiled to a rich, creamy dish that will taste nothing like the pasta served at an Italian restaurant. While I mostly make this as a main dish, you can also use this as a starter before a poultry or meat main.
To make, you only have to buy three ingredients: gnocchi (he makes his own, but this isn't necessary), comté or gruyere cheese (or both, tbh), and heavy cream. That's it.
Start by preheating the oven to 425° F and assemble all your gnocchi into a dish, close together. Sprinkle grated cheese on top and add salt and pepper, to taste. Bake for 15 minutes until lightly browned and then pour 1/2 cup of heavy cream on top before switching the oven over to broil. The dish stays in for a final 5 minutes.
I know you probably are thinking how is this a recipe, but trust me: It's delicious! And, bon appetit!