Happy National Grilled Cheese Day!! My contribution to the madness of this lovely designated day is the Gnocchi-Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich. It's kind of over-the-top don't you think? A sort of carb-lover's dream. I guess that's why it fits into my life so perfectly.
I had never thought of putting pasta into a sandwich before...until now. I mean, why not a lasagna sandwich too? Or a rigatoni hoagie?? I'm all about it. I'm calling it a new trend.
This particular sandwich has everything I love; cheese, bacon, gnocchi (pasta + potato)....it's truly perfection. Oh...it's also filling...like half a sandwich filling. But it would be great with all kinds of soup.
I used two of my favorite cheeses, Gruyere and Pecorino-Romano. The Gruyere is an extraordinarily complex-melty cheese and Pecorino Romano is salty. I also use these two cheeses in my Gnocchi Man n' Cheese along with some Fontina. It's just the perfect combo.
Depending on what type of bread you use for your sandwich will determine how you build it. I used a bolillo roll. I sliced it in half and dug out some of the bread on the bottom and top. This made it easier to pile the gnocchi in without the bread sitting too high.
After I boiled my gnocchi, I took them directly from the water and put them into a hot pan full of butter. I sauteed them until they were somewhat browned and crispy.
I toasted my roll before I built my sandwich in order to get a crispy inside. I buttered the inside too.
Now, obviously with a roll like this (not flat on both sides) I knew I would not be able to flip the sandwich over in the pan. So, I placed the sandwich in a skillet of hot butter and while it cooked, I brushed butter from the pan around the sides and over the top to make sure everything was melty and warm. It worked great.
My husband kind of fell off his chair when I brought this to him for lunch. Ha-ha. There wasn't any left.
Gnocchi-Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- 8 slices bacon, cooked
- 4 crusty rolls, sliced lengthwise, toasted and insides buttered
- 1/2 cup butter, divided
- 1 pound gnocchi, dry
- 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- 1 cup Pecorino-Romano cheese
- Cook bacon over medium heat until crispy. Set aside.
- Slice rolls lengthwise and toast in toaster oven or oven until slightly brown, butter the insides.
- Cook gnocchi according to package directions. When they are done place them directly into a hot, nonstick skillet with a couple Tablespoons of butter. Brown the gnocchi until crispy. Keep warm.
- Build each sandwich by scooping out some of the bread (see picture) of the top and bottom of the roll. Layer each sandwich starting with Pecorino-Romano cheese, browned gnocchi, 2 slices of bacon, more gnocchi and Gruyere cheese and top half of bread. Place each sandwich into nonstick skillet with more butter. If you cannot flip the sandwich, just use a kitchen brush to brush on butter from the pan to the top and sides of bread.
- Slice in half to serve.
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