Caramelized bacon, onion and pear combined with gnocchi and a crunchy blue cheese topping make a fancy baked mac and cheese that's perfect for holiday dinner.
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6 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
1 small (1 cup) onion, sliced vertically into thin wedges
1 medium (1 cup) pear, chopped
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons Land O Lakes® Butter
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup Land O Lakes® Half & Half
5 (3/4-ounce) slices Land O Lakes® Deli American
4 ounces white sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (1-pound) package gnocchi
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 2-quart baking dish with no-stick cooking spray; set aside.
Sauté bacon and onion in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until onion is slightly softened. Add pear and honey. Continue cooking 15-16 minutes or until bacon is crisp and onion and pear are caramelized. Remove mixture from pan; drain on paper towel. Set aside. (Do not wipe skillet.)
Add butter to same skillet. Cook over medium heat until sizzling. Add flour. Cook 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk and half & half, stirring until combined and smooth. Add Deli American and Cheddar; cook until cheeses are melted and sauce is smooth. Stir in gnocchi and bacon mixture. Pour into prepared baking dish.
Combine bread crumbs and blue cheese in small bowl with fingers until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over gnocchi. Bake 22-25 minutes or until cheese is brown and bubbling.
Why not begin a delectable new tradition this holiday season? This contemporary collection of dinner ideas has some great twists on the classic holiday meal.