300g sliced pancetta, roughly chopped
Sauce1 litre milk
1 Place milk, butter and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to boil over a medium heat. Remove. Stir in flour until smooth. Return pan to a low heat. Stir vigorously for a few minutes to remove any excess moisture. Remove from heat. Add eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition until a smooth dough forms. Stir in parmesan and nutmeg. Place dough into a piping bag with a plain 1.5cm piping nozzle.
2 Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Hold piping bag over pan and squeeze gently. As the dough is extruded, cut into 3cm-long gnocchi and let them drop into the pan. Cook, in batches, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until they rise to the surface.
3 Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of iced water to stop cooking immediately. Drain and divide into four x 500ml (2-cup capacity) gratin dishes.
4 Heat oil in a small frying pan. Fry off the pancetta for 3 minutes. Divide over gnocchi.
5 To make sauce, place milk, eschalot, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf and thyme in a pan. Bring to boil. Remove to infuse for 20 minutes. Strain into a jug, discarding solids.
6 Melt butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir in flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the infused milk until sauce is smooth. Cook, stirring continuously, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat. Cool. Stir in 80g of the cheese and yolks. Season.7 Spoon sauce over gnocchi and top with the remaining cheese. Bake in a preheated 200C oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve.
Manu says: The French version of gnocchi is made with choux pastry rather than potato, so they are much lighter than the Italian counterpart. If you’ve made gnocchi before, you’ll notice the French method is different – you pipe then cut the gnocchi directly into the boiling water instead of rolling. This method is much quicker and the gnocchi are lighter in texture. Enjoy!
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