A Yankee Chef version of home-cooked mac-n-cheese

We all love Mac and Cheese and there are many ways of preparing it so that it is more filling. Try adding gnocchi to the lot. A great alternative to traditional pasta and just a tad more filling. Combining the oceans harvest elevates this dish to a beautifully, robust standing.

Crab and Gnocchi Gratin
This Yanked  “Mac and cheese” casserole makes a great dinner party dish or simply a comforting casserole on a cold night. It’s a combination of a classic gnocchi gratin and crab macaroni and cheese, but with a bit of luxury.

1 pound packaged(or homemade) gnocchi
3/4 pound cooked crab meat, drained
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoons minced garlic in oil
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 cups light cream or half-and-half
6 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded
6 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups dried, unseasoned bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon crushed basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F. Boil gnocchi according to package instructions and drain. Place gnocchi in a 9×9- inch square baking or casserole dish. Mix in the crabmeat evenly.
Meanwhile, melt half the butter in a large pt over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook 1 minute. Add the flour, whisking well. Add the cream and whisk until smooth. Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes or until cream is thickened and hot, whisking constantly. Add the cheeses and continue whisking and cooking until cheese has melted, just another couple of minutes. Remove from heat and season to taste with pepper. I don’t believe you will need salt but add some if desired. Pour the cheese sauce over the crab and gnocchi mixture, stirring gently to evenly distribute the sauce.
Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and toss with the bread crumbs and basil. Sprinkle the top with bread crumbs, and bake for 20-30 minutes, until the edges are bubbly and the top is golden.

Makes 5-6 servings