Thursday, March 18, 2010

Butternut Squash Gnocchi

My apologies for not posting for a few days. I'm in the middle of finals and they've definitely been keeping me busy! I also tend to cook less at home when I'm cooking more in school, so there haven't been any wow meals recently. But I've been meaning to write about my first attempt at making gnocchi since I was very pleased with the results. For those not familiar, gnocchi generally refers to potato dumplings, very popular in Italy, and great with a wide variety of sauces. Their light, pillow-like texture makes them a great alternative to pasta. I was intrigued by a recipe that uses butternut squash instead of potatoes that I found in my Cooking with Canada's Best cookbook. I made these gnocchi to accompany my roasted pork and pears. They were a little too sticky for my liking but very tasty! Next time I will buy cheesecloth to use for the straining. So if you have cheesecloth, definitely use it. If not, a kitchen towel will also work but try to get out as much water as you possibly can. I also used frozen squash, just to make my life easier, but if you'd like to use fresh, feel free.

Butternut squash gnocchi:
  • 1 12 oz package frozen squash
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (I used half whole wheat, half all-purpose; but all AP works well)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp Parmesan
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
Microwave the squash on high for about 5 minutes, enough to mash it all with a fork.
Place squash in a strainer lined with cheesecloth or a towel and leave in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Squeeze out any excess water before making the dough.
Mix the drained squash with the flour, a lightly beaten egg, nutmeg, Parmesan and a pinch of salt and pepper. Knead together as you would a dough.
On a well floured surface, roll a small chunk of the dough into a 1-inch wide log.
Cut the log into 1-inch pieces.
Repeat, in steps, with the rest of the dough.
The gnocchi can be placed on a cookie sheet and frozen at this point.
To cook immediately, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Drop half of the gnocchi into the boiling water and cook until they rise to the surface.
Remove with a slotted spoon and repeat with the other half.
Toss in some melted butter, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

For a printable recipe click here

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