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Gnocchi alla Bava; Recipe from the Val d’Aosta
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5 from 23 votes

Gnocchi alla Bava, Recipe from Val d'Aosta (Aosta Valley)

Gnocchi alla Bava recipe is a fabulous example of typical hearty mountain food from Northern Italy. These pillowy potato gnocchi smothered in the best cheese sauce ever are heaven.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Aosta Valley, Italian, Northern Italy
Keyword: fontina, gnocchi, Italian food, potato gnocchi
Servings: 4
Author: Jacqueline De Bono


  • 800 g gnocchi (potato or buckwheat) (28oz)
  • 300 g Fontina cheese
  • 100 ml fresh cream (1/2 cup)
  • 100 ml milk (1/2 cup)
  • salt for gnocchi and to taste
  • 1 handful walnuts shelled and chopped
  • 50 g Parmigiano Reggiano (2oz) grated


  • Put a pot of water on to boil for the gnocchi. Add salt once it starts to boil and bring to the boil again
  • Cut the Fontina cheese into chunks.
  • Put the pieces of Fontina in a saucepan or skillet together with the milk and cream then melt everything on a low flame, stirring continuously until there are no lumps.
  • Cook the gnocchi in the boiling salted water, then remove them with a slotted spoon as soon as they rise to the surface. Add the gnocchi to the cheese sauce and mix everything together well gently.
  • Serve with chopped walnuts and grated parmigiana as required.


This recipe can be made with other good melting Italian cheeses such as Toma, Raschera, Gorgonzola, Maccagno or Castelmagno. You can also use Emmental or Gruyère 
Cooking times don't include making homemade gnocchi.
You can also bake gnocchi alla bava sprinkled with grated Parmigiano for 15 minutes before serving.