Decadent cheese sauce for pasta or gnocchi

11:25 am on 14 December 2015

We have sometimes found the classic roux-based cheese sauce a challenge when tramping: the flour and butter mix often catches in the thin pots and the powdered milk can be tricky. Another option, which also adds plenty of delicious calories, is to use a cultured dairy product such as mascarpone or crème fraîche as a base as these are very stable under heat. We love this with gnocchi (vacuum-packed versions have a long shelf life), but pasta is great too.

Ingredients

  • 200 g mascarpone or crème fraîche
  • ½ cup milk (made up from powdered milk)
  • 200 g cheese, grated or finely chopped

Method

Mix the mascarpone or crème fraîche with the milk and heatgently.
When bubbling, take off the heat and add the cheese, stirring until melted. You may need to return it to the heat to melt all the cheese, depending on the type used.
Mix with cooked pasta or gnocchi and tuck in!
 
VARIATIONS

Quattro formaggi: In this classic four-cheese sauce, one cheese is the mascarpone, and the others are 100g creamy blue cheese, grated Parmesan and Pecorino; perfect with gnocchi
Cheddar: This classic is best with half a gutsy aged Cheddar and half an easy-melting Cheddar; perfect for macaroni
Taleggio: This is a strong washed-rind Italian cheese - use only 100g cubed with 50g of grated Parmesan
Goat's cheese: Use 100g fresh goat's-curd-style cheese and 50g Parmesan  Alfredo: use 150g grated Parmesan, . clove crushed garlic and . tsp black pepper
Swiss: Use Gruyere or Emmental and serve over spätzle (gnocchi-like dumplings). This can also be used like a fondue, with pieces of sturdy stale bread dipped into the sauce

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