This delicious vegetarian recipe is inspired by our giant gorgonzola & walnut stuffed gnocchi, served with sage butter and walnuts. Here, we translate filling and garnish into a wickedly creamy and indulgent sauce, that is conveniently suitable for vegetarian diners, and all others on the hunt for a sumptuous, velvety gnocchi dish. This recipe pays homage to the classic Italian pairing of formaggio blu e noci (blue cheese and walnuts), which take centre stage in this dish, complemented by crispy, earthy sage leaves and sweet nutmeg. This indulgent sauce then enrobes soft, chewy gnocchi dumplings, ensuring the perfect comforting yet sophisticated vegetarian pasta recipe.
While Gorgonzola is perhaps the first blue cheese of Italian origin that springs to mind, the DOC listed cheese contains rennet, and is therefore not vegetarian friendly. Enter the creamy and slightly sweet dolcelatte, of the Lombardy region in Italy's north. Though this milder blue is readily available in the UK, feel free to opt for a different, perhaps slightly punchier vegetarian formaggio blu to make this delicious blue cheese and walnut gnocchi recipe.
Our creamy blue cheese and walnut gnocchi recipe
Prep time: 60-90 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Calories per serving: 650 kcal
- 300g fresh gnocchi - for all you need to know, see our guide to fresh, homemade gnocchi here
- 150ml single cream
- 60g dolcelatte cheese, or any vegetarian blue cheese of your choice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 30g walnuts, roughly chopped
- A handful of sage leaves
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Nutmeg, to taste
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Prepare your gnocchi by following our guide to making homemade gnocchi. You can also follow along as Roberta makes gnocchi in the video below.
- Once shaped, begin preparing your sauce. Start by heating your olive oil in a pan, over medium heat. Add your shallots, and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and gently fry until fragrant and browned, being careful not to burn the mixture.
- Roughly chop your sage leaves, and throw these in the pan. Ideally, we want our sage to be crispy and aromatic, so allow to fry for a couple of minutes.
Chefs tip: Once crisp, reserve a couple of sage morsels from the pan - these are delightful as a garnish.
- Reduce the heat slightly, and add your cream. Once the cream is hot, stir in your cheese. Allow this to incorporate over the heat, then add a dash of nutmeg, as well as salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over a gentle heat for a couple of minutes, while you prepare your walnuts.
- Place a shallow frying pan over medium heat. Toss in your chopped walnuts, and dry fry until toasted and golden.
- Now is the time to cook your gnocchi. To do so, simply bring a pan of salted water to the boil, and add the gnocchi. Boil for 2-3 minutes, or until each of your gnocchi has risen to the water’s surface.
- Once cooked, drain your gnocchi, and add to the cream mixture. Stir to combine, until each gnocchi dumpling is completely coated in the velvety sauce.
- To serve, garnish with your toasted walnuts, a couple of crispy-fried sage leaves and a sprinkling of vegetarian Italian hard cheese, and enjoy!
Blue cheese gnocchi wine pairing recommendation
Whether you’re using gorgonzola or dolcelatte cheese, a sauce this creamy and indulgent calls for a white wine with bright acidity. Although less well known than Pinot Grigio, northern Italy’s Pinot Bianco is a winning choice. This wine glows with zesty acidity, but also has a characteristic creaminess and strong minerality, perfect for cutting through the complex richness of this blue cheese sauce.