1 pound Gnocchi pasta
3 (1 and 1/4 pound) live Maine lobsters
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, minced
Zest of 1 lemon- (option)
Bacon-Thyme Breadcrumbs (optional)
5 slices sourdough bread, crusts removed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
6 ounces cooked bacon, crumbled
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3 cups whole milk, warm
1 cup heavy cream, warm
8 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
6.5 ounces brie, cubed
4 ounces fontina, grated
4 ounces sharp cheddar , grated
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Bring two large pots of heavily salted water to a boil. Assemble a large ice bath.
In one pot of water, parboil the lobsters for 9 minutes each, then shock in an ice bath. When cool to the touch, remove the meat from the shells. This will yield approximately 1 ¼ pounds meat.
Cut the meat into 1-inch pieces and reserve chilled. Reserve the shells for another use.
Pulse the sourdough bread in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. This will yield approximately 2 cups of coarse crumbs. Transfer the breadcrumbs to a small bowl. Add the bacon, melted butter, and thyme. Toss to combine and set aside.
Place a large Dutch oven over medium heat with 4 tablespoons butter. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Whisking continuously, cook until pale golden brown and fragrant, about 6 minutes. Add the mustard and paprika and whisk to combine.
Add the milk and cream and whisk to combine. Bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Stirring frequently, simmer until very thick, about 10 minutes.
Add the white and sharp cheddar, fontina, and brie and whisk until smooth. Add the parsley, tarragon, and salt and whisk to combine. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting.
In the remaining pot of boiling water, cook the pasta for 2 minutes, shy of al dente. Drain and transfer into the sauce. Stir to combine.
Place a non-stick skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons butter. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the lobster meat and cook until opaque, about 3 minutes. Add the cooked lobster meat to the cheese sauce and stir to combine then add the Gnocchi and mix well.
(If adding the bread Crumbs)
Transfer the Gnocchi into a 10-inch cast iron skillet. Place the skillet on a baking sheet, then top with the bacon-thyme breadcrumbs. Turn the broiler to the highest setting. Broil until the breadcrumbs are crisp and golden brown, about 4 minutes.